28 May 2016

2016 Indianapolis 500 Predictions

With it being Memorial Day Weekend, that means that this Sunday will be the Indianapolis 500 and not just any Indianapolis 500. Not only does this year mark the 100th running of the Greatest Spectacle in Racing, but it also will be a complete sellout which means that the infamous local blackout will be lifted. What a time to be alive.

Who will be drinking the milk this Sunday? Can I correctly predict the winner for the second year in a row? Here are my predictions for the 2016 Indy 500.

Nobody enters this Sunday hotter than Simon Pagenaud as he has won the last three races and comes in as the points leader. However, I would be a little more careful with him as he has shown a lot more success on road courses than on ovals (his three straight wins have come at Long Beach, Barber and the IMS road course). Also, his best finish is only eighth in his four previous times running the 500. You can't rule him out fully because he drives for Team Penske but I think I'd stay away.

A popular storyline this week has been regarding the polesitter James Hinchcliffe. After all, he was unable to run in last year's 500 after a scary crash in practice that nearly killed him. He enters the weekend on an upswing as he has improved his finish in every race, up to a third in the Grand Prix of Indianapolis two weeks ago. But he's not my pick either.

It would be easy for me to pick Juan Pablo Montoya because as I mentioned earlier, I correctly picked him as the winner a year ago. And he has had a strong season thus far with a win in the opener at St. Petersburg and a worst finish of ninth at PIR. But his spot in the starting grid in the middle of row six is far from ideal and that'll make me shy away from his as well.

For those who are wondering, my pick to win is Will Power. After all with how close he came a year ago to winning amid a riveting battle with his teammate Montoya before ultimately finishing second, I think he is due. He's been a little all over the place this season but he has shown a lot of speed all month and his starting spot of sixth is certainly manageable. And of course, he's got that Team Penske power. He will be the one that'll kiss the bricks tomorrow.

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