The 102nd running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by Penngrade Motor Oil kicks off today just after 12:00pm. The Greatest Spectacle in Racing as it’s called, has 33 drivers, taking 200 laps, resulting in 500 miles driven. The prize? Last year’s winner, Takuma Sato, took home nearly $2.5 million, and an ice cold bottle of milk.
The inaugural Indianapolis 500 was run in 1911, as Ray Harroun took home first place. Since then, many have succeeded, but none more than A.J. Foyt, Al Unser Sr., and Rick Mears, who have all won the event four times. Helio Castroneves is an active racer with three Indy 500 victories, Castroneves is no doubt looking for his fourth title this weekend.
There is a star-studded field ready to race today, with household names all over the place. Ed Carpenter has the pole position, while Will Power will start in third position, the final spot in the first row. Row three has the drivers everybody knows, Castroneves, Scott Dixon, and of course, Danica Patrick. Marco Andretti will start 12th, Takuma Sato will start 16th, and Ohio State Buckeye fan Graham Rahal will start 30th.
Kelly Clarkson will sing the National Anthem just before 12:00pm, with a flyover involved. Jim Cornelison will perform “Back Home Again in Indiana” after the National Anthem. Those performances are followed by the classic line, “Drivers, Start Your Engines.” The green flag is scheduled to wave at 12:19pm and the 102nd running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by Penngrade Motor Oil will be underway. You can watch coverage on TV on ABC.