Dario FranchittiThe Indianapolis 500 race, also known as "the greatest spectacle in racing," celebrates its 100th anniversary tomorrow, Sunday, May 29. And if you're the betting kind, you want to know who to put your money on. Will Danica Patrick -- the first woman ever to win an Indy car race (2008 Indy Japan 300) -- be the first woman to win the Indy 500? Will sexy Dario Franchitti win it -- or will he be too distracted by his gorgeous wife, actress Ashley Judd (who will likely be reading a book in the stands)?
Well, the expert predictions are in, and here's what they say:
Bill Potter of SB Nation Indiana gives this Indy 500 preview:
I see Dixon seizing control of the race from the start. Taking the green flag in the middle of Row 2, with two relatively inexperienced drivers at Indianapolis, I think Dixon can take the lead into Turn 1 and pace the field in the opening stint. While Tagliani and Oriol Servia may be more conservative at the start, Row 2 will be pressing them early, as Townsend Bell, Will Power and Dan Wheldon will all be looking to get to the front and try and stay ahead of the Target Chip Ganassi Racing cars.
His top 5 finishers: Scott Dixon, Dario Franchitti, Townsend Bell, Will Power, and Vitor Meira (in that order).
George Diaz of the Orlando Sentinel, says:
Dario Franchitti. It’s a safe pick to go with a three-time IndyCar champion who has also won two Indy 500s. But it’s also the right pick.He should be the favorite. He drives for Target-Ganassi, the team to beat. And there is a matter of consistency for the man behind the wheel: Franchitti has not finished worse than seventh in the past six races at Indianapolis. He will start ninth on Sunday, but only because Franchitti ran out of fuel on the final qualifying lap, giving away a spot on the front row.
Jim Peltz, Los Angeles Times, predicts:
Headline writers, sharpen your pencils, because the wink-wink plays on Will Power’s name will be in abundance after the 100th anniversary Indianapolis 500. The Australian is a bona fide expert on curvy street and road courses -- the first four races of this season were held on that type of circuit and Power won two of the four, and built a 14-point lead in the title standings over Dario Franchitti -- but he has yet to win on an oval. That will change Sunday.
Hmm, in view of their lack of agreement, perhaps Robert Joss, an 82-year-old racing fan from Indianapolis who has attended every race since 1947, gives the best advice about who to put your money on:
I'd rather bet on whether it'll rain in the next five minutes. There's too many variables.
Will you be watching the Indy 500 tomorrow? Who's your money on?
Image via The Freewheeling Daredevil/Flickr