Meyer Shank Racing’s Helio Castroneves in the No.06 Sirius XM AutoNation Honda heads into this week’s practice and qualifying for the 106th running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge which takes place on Sunday, May 29 as one of eight previous Indianapolis 500 winners in the field and this year, not only is the Brazilian the defending champion but he is also competing to become the first-ever five-time Indianapolis 500 winner.
Castroneves will receive a $400,000 bonus if he succeeds in defending his Indianapolis 500 title which would be the first time since he did just that in 2002.
This year, seven drivers will make their Indianapolis 500 race debuts. This year’s group includes the high-profile debuts of seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson and Formula One veteran Romain Grosjean and also includes Devlin DeFrancesco, Callum Ilott, Kyle Kirkwood, Christian Lundgaard, and David Malukas.
The eight previous race winners are: Scott Dixon (2008), Helio Castroneves (2001,2002,2009 and 2021), Takuma Sato (2017 and 2020), Will Power (2018), Simon Pagenaud (2019), Tony Kanaan (2013), Juan Pablo Montoya (2000 and 2015) and Alexander Rossi (2016).
14 countries are represented on this year’s grid:
Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Canada, England, France, Spain, Brazil, Mexico, Denmark, The Netherlands, Colombia, Japan, and Sweden. These drivers are – Helio Castroneves, Devlin DeFrancesco, Scott Dixon, Marcus Ericsson, Romain Grosjean, Jack Harvey, Callum Ilott, Tony Kanaan, Dalton Kellett, Christian Lundgaard, Scott McLaughlin, Juan Pablo Montoya, Pato O’Ward, Simon Pagenaud, Alex Palou, Will Power, Felix Rosenqvist, Takuma Sato, Rinus VeeKay, Stefan Wilson.
There are 13 U.S drivers in the field – Marco Andretti, Ed Carpenter, Conor Daly, Santino Ferrucci, Colton Herta, JR Hildebrand, Jimmie Johnson, Sage Karam, Kyle Kirkwood, David Malukas, Josef Newgarden, Graham Rahal, Alexander Rossi.
Chip Ganassi Racing and Andretti Autosport have the most entries this year with five cars each, Team Penske, Ed Carpenter Racing and Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, Arrow McLaren SP and AJ Foyt Racing have three cars each. Dreyer and Reinbold Racing have two cars each.
Meyer Shank Racing is running two cars, Dale Coyne Racing also has two cars. Cusick Motorsports has one car, as does Juncos Hollinger Racing.
Honda Performance Development are supplying the most entries with engines with 17 car cars while Chevrolet has 16.