The Indianapolis 500 or the Indy 500 is billed as the Greatest Spectacle in racing and is considered part of the Triple Crown of Motorsport along with the Monaco Grand Prix and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The inaugural race was held in 1911 and the race celebrated its 100th running in 2011. This year’s race will be the 103rd edition of the Indy 500 and Australian Will Power is the defending champion after winning the race last year.

So far, there have already been four races completed in the 2019 NTT IndyCar series. Here is the list of races and the names of the winners:

Date Race Winner
March 10 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersberg Josef Newgarden
March 24 IndyCar Classic Colton Herta
April 7 Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama Presented by AmFirst Takuma Sato
April 24 Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach Alexander Rossi
May 11 Indy Car Grand Prix Simon Pagenaud

The next race on schedule is the the 103rd running of the Indianapolis 500 Presented by Gainbridge on May 26, 2019. Before we go to our early favorites, let’s take a look at the driver’s standings after five races in the 2019 NTT IndyCar Series:

Rank Name Wins Poles Points
1 Josef Newgarden 1 0 182
2 Scott Dixon 0 0 176
3 Alexander Rossi 1 1 146
4 Simon Pagenaud 1 1 138
5 Takuma Sato 1 1 132
6 Will Power 0 2 119
7 Graham Rahal 0 0 113
8 Sebastien Bourdais 0 0 109
9 Ray Hunter-Reas 0 0 107
10 James Hinchcliffe 0 0 106

Here are the betting odds to win the 2019 Indy 500. Odds taken from bet 365 as of 5/21/19:

Driver Odds
Josef Newgarden +160
Scott Dixon +162
Alexander Rossi +450
Will Power +1200
Simon Pagenaud +1200
Takuma Sato +1400
James Hinchcliffe +2500
Graham Rahal +2500
Ryan Hunter-Reay +2500
Sebastien Bourdais +2800
Colton Herta +5000
Felix Rosenqvist +5000
Marco Andretti +6600
Jack Harvey +100000
Ed Jones +15000
Marcus Ericsson +20000
Santino Ferrucci +25000
Zach Veach +25000
Matheus Leist +30000
Patricio O’Ward +30000

Josef Newgarden is the 2017 IndyCar Series champion and is currently on top of the 2019 NTT Indy Series drivers standings with a total of 182 points. Newgarden won the first race of the season in Russia and finished 2nd in the IndyCar Classic last March and also 2nd in the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach last month. Despite finishing the last race of the series at 15th place, Newgarden is seen as the man to beat in the 2019 Indy 500.

Scott Dixon is a five-time IndyCar Series champion, having won the title in 2003, 2008, 2013, 2015 and 2018. Dixon won the 2008 Indy 500 from pole position and he finished 3rd last year. Dixon also finished 5th in 2011, 2nd in 2012, 4th in 2015 and 8th in 2016. Dixon has a total of 43 wins, 103 podiums and 29 poles over his IndyCar career. He is currently 2nd in the Driver’s standings with 176 points.

Alexander Rossi became the 9th rookie driver to win the Indy 500 when he won in 2016. The 27-year old from California added a second career win in 2017 with a victory at Watkins Glen International for his first road course win in IndyCar. Rossi finished second in the Driver’s standings last year after securing three wins and two second place finishes. Rossi is currently third in the standings with 146 points.

Will Power is the 2018 Indy 500 winner. He won the 2014 IndyCar Championship by finishing 62 points ahead of two-time Indy 500 winner Helio Castroneves in the standings. He finished second in the 2015 Indy 500 behind teammate Juan Pablo Montoya and finally won his first Indy 500 last year. Power is currently 6th in the 2019 standings with 119 points. He earned pole position in St. Petersburg and Austin but finished 3rd and 24th, respectively in both races. Being the most recent winner, he looks to be the first back-to-back winner since Helio Castroneves in 2001 and 2002.

Simon Pagenaud is the 2016 IndyCar champion who is currently 4th in the standings with a total of 138 points. The 35-year old Frenchman won the last race of the season, taking victory at the 2019 IndyCar Grand Prix last May 11th. Including that win, Pagenaud has four Top 10 finishes in five races so far. Pagenaud took the Indy 500 pole position

Takuma Sato is the first ever driver from Asia to win the Indy 500, winning the race in 2017. He was a former winner of the Formula One 2004 United States Grand Prix but has raced full-time in the IndyCar series since 2010. He also won the 2013 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach to become the first Japanese-born driver to win an IndyCar race. Sato finished 32nd in the 2018 Indy 500 and he is currently 5th in the standings with 132 points, having won the 2019 Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama Presented by AmFirst while also taking pole position in that race.

Ryan Hunter-Reay is the Indy 500 winner of 2014 and the IndyCar Series championship winner of 2012. The 38-year old from Dallas, Texas was the 2008 Indianapolis Rookie of the Year and has an IndyCar Series career total of 16 wins, 32 podiums and 6 poles. His last win came at the 2018 GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma. He finished 5th in the 2018 Indy 500.  Hunter-Reay is currently 5th in the Driver’s standings with 96 points. He finished 4th in the standings last year.

“Racing" Who Wins?

Josef Newgarden is the most consistent driver this season with four Top 5 finishes in five races including three 1 or 2 finishes. His best finish at the Indy 500 though has only been 3rd in 2016.

Will Power has four Top-10 finishes in his last five starts at the Indy 500 including last year’s win and although he has yet to win this year, he’s claimed pole in two out of the first races. He may be 6th in the standings but will be one of the drivers to watch in the 103rd running of the Indianapolis 500 Presented by Gainbridge. Aside from Power, Scott Dixon has had the consistency in both the Indy 500 and the IndyCar championship as well. Although his win came way back in 2008, Dixon was 3rd last year.

Simon Pagenaud has been driving strong all month. In the past couple of weeks, he’s been terrific and his run on Sunday saw the Frenchman drive with amazing consistency for him to run laps over 230. Pagenaud also won the last race of the series last May 1tth and somehow you feel it’s time for him to win the big one on May 26th.

I like Simon Pagenaud’s momentum heading to May 26th and at  +1200, he has good betting value. Defending race champion Will Power is also currently pegged at +1200 while Scott Dixon is at +162. Between Pagenaud’s current form and Power’s race history, I’d like to go with the former here.

Prediction: Simon Pagenaud

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