While the field for the 102nd running of the Indianapolis 500 has been widely known for awhile, the official entry list was released today. The race on May 27 will feature 35 drivers, and six former Indy 500 winners.
Bumping will likely take place for the first time since 2011, as the field is narrowed to 33 entries. Andretti Autosport has entered six cars in this year’s race, while Chip Ganassi’s team is sticking to just their two full-time cars.
Crown Royal Armed Forces Qualifying Weekend is May 19 and 20, with starting positions being determined on Sunday. That is also Pole Day, where the Fast Nine Shootout will determine the first three rows of the grid.
There are four drivers entered that were set to compete for the Sunoco Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year honors, but that number will likely be down to three. Robert Wickens (SPM) and Matheus Leist (Foyt) are Rookies with full-time rides in the Verizon IndyCar Series. Kyle Kaiser will aim to start his first Indy 500 for Juncos Racing. The fourth driver on the list is Pietro Fittipaldi, the grandson of two-time Indy 500 winner Emerson Fittipaldi. Unfortunately for Pietro, it appears he will not be available to compete after a horrific qualifying crash today in the FIA World Endurance Championship at Spa.
Fittipaldi’s father, Gugu da Cruz, explained that Pietro went into surgery after being airlifted to a hospital from the track. He said Pietro suffered a fracture in his left leg, and his right ankle was swollen. The doctors believe it will be about an eight-week recovery, meaning he is likely to miss the 500 later this month.
There are many one-off entries each year, but there are some very good ones lined up for this year’s race. At the top of that list would be three-time Indy 500 winner Helio Castroneves back with Team Penske. Danica Patrick is making her Indy 500 return, and it will be the final race of her career as she pilots a third car for Ed Carpenter Racing. Sage Karam is back with Dreyer & Reinbold, who will field two cars this year, with another talented American in JR Hildebrand.
Carlos Munoz and Stefan Wilson are joining the four full-time drivers at Andretti, and Oriol Servia returns to RLL Racing, with help from Scuderia Corsa. Conor Daly returns with Dale Coyne, as does Pippa Mann. Jay Howard and Jack Harvey complete a four-car effort with SPM and Meyer Shank Racing, and James Davison will drive a third car for AJ Foyt.
Opening Day of practice for the Indianapolis 500 is Tuesday, May 15.