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2024 Indy 500 odds and predictions: Who are the favorites to win the race?

Josef Newgarden, the current Indy 500 champion, aims to achieve back-to-back titles, a feat not accomplished since Helio Castroneves in 2001 and 2002.


The iconic Indianapolis Motor Speedway is known for the high speeds reached by IndyCars, which can reach up to 240 miles per hour as they race down kilometer-long straightaways. The unique design of these cutting-edge vehicles, combined with drafting strategies, makes the Indy 500 a spectacle unlike any other in motorsports.

Unlike the pack racing style of NASCAR, where cars bunch together tightly at Daytona or Talladega, the Indy 500 presents a different challenge. Picture instead a long train of 33 cars, each driver meticulously setting up their moves for the pivotal moments off turn two or four, navigating the kilometer-long straights into turns one or three. In this high-stakes game, no lead is safe, and victory hinges on split-second decisions and precision maneuvering.

Before making any predictions, attention turns to the weather forecast, which unfortunately paints a less-than-ideal picture. With temperatures expected to reach a high of 78 degrees Fahrenheit and a low of 64 degrees Fahrenheit, coupled with a 90% chance of thunderstorms, the prospect of adverse weather conditions looms large over race weekend. Despite the grim forecast, hopes remain high that conditions will improve.

The best teams

First and foremost is the quality of equipment. Teams like Penske, Arrow McLaren, Ganassi, and Andretti boast superior resources, but success on race day isn’t solely determined by the size of the budget. Practice evaluation becomes crucial, analyzing drivers’ feedback on car handling and balance, as well as their ability to execute strategic passes.

Race strategy itself becomes a chess match, with teams navigating fuel mileage, pit stops, and on-track incidents to gain a competitive edge. As the longest race on the IndyCar calendar, the 500-mile marathon demands unwavering focus and strategy.

The best drivers

Track history also plays a pivotal role, with drivers who have excelled at Indianapolis in the past often carrying that momentum into the present. Similarly, proficiency on other ovals, such as Gateway or Iowa, can provide valuable insights into a driver’s capabilities.

Winner’s Pick:

  • Scott McLaughlin (Car #3, Team Penske): McLaughlin has consistently topped the charts in practice sessions and is starting from pole position, making him the favorite to win the race.

Drivers to Watch:

  • Kyle Larson (Car #42, Hendrick Motorsports): Larson’s impressive qualifying performance and strong showings in practice sessions make him a serious contender for victory.
  • Joseph Newgarden (Car #2, Team Penske): The defending champion is eyeing back-to-back victories and has shown impressive pace throughout the lead-up to the race.
  • Will Power (Car #12, Team Penske): With a wealth of experience and a history of success at the Brickyard, Power is poised to mount a strong challenge for his second Indianapolis 500 win.
  • Alexander Rossi (Car #17, Arrow McLaren SP): Rossi has displayed impressive consistency and speed, making him a formidable threat on race day.
  • Helio Castroneves (Car #06, Meyer Shank Racing): The seasoned veteran has demonstrated his prowess on numerous occasions and could stage a remarkable comeback from a lower starting position.