Motorsport: Indy 500 Race Preview 2019
The premier event of the IndyCar Series, it is always regarded highly by motorsport fans all over the world and any driver will tell you that this race is high on his/her priority list. With double points on offer to the winner, extra emphasis is placed on emerging victorious at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway circuit. Buckle in sports fans, it should be a thrilling ride from lap one to lap 200.
Out in front
2019 Indy Grand Prix winner Simon Pagenaud will start from pole position after an excellent performance during the practice/qualifying weekend earlier this month. After a slow start to the campaign, Pagenaud has started to climb the drivers standings and now sits fourth with 138 points to his name. A win this weekend would certainly help his chances of claiming a second IndyCar Series title – he was previously crowned champion in 2016.
William Hill are offering 8/1 for Pagenaud to win the Indy 500 this weekend but he will be under immediate pressure from the Ed Carpenter Racing duo of Ed Carpenter and Spencer Pigot. These two men will start alongside Pagenaud on the front row and the latter, who was favourite with most bookmakers and fans to take pole position last weekend, could be a real danger to Pagenaud’s ambitions of winning the race.
Carpenter is expected to struggle but Pigot will be well fancied to emerge victorious on race day. Getting off to a fast start is an absolute must though and he cannot afford to lose too many places in the early exchanges. And with a talented trio of drivers lining up directly behind the front row, Pigot and co may find themselves under the cosh from start to finish.
Teammate Ed Jones heads up the second row but rookie sensation Colton Herta and last year’s Indy 500 champion Will Power will be raring to go. There has been just one rookie winner of this race (Alexander Rossi in 2016) in the last 18 years and punters will fancy the 14/1 with BetFred for Herta to buck that trend this weekend. One of only five drivers to win an IndyCar Series race this year, it would be foolish to write the rookie off.
Rossi lines up on the third row of the grid having finished in the final three spots in the Fast Nine section of qualifying. However, he is still well within striking distance and the likes of Sebastien Bourdais and current championship leader Josef Newgarden will also be of the same mindset. At the time of writing, Newgarden is favourite with 888sport at 8/1 to record his first victory in this famous race.
That final stage of qualifying was almost cancelled after torrential rain, which meant that most of the practice sessions were postponed. Unfortunately for two-time Formula One champion Fernando Alonso, this did not give him the required time to set up his car in the correct way and that hindered his chances in the Last Row Shootout. Winner of the Monaco Grand Prix in 2006 and Le Mans in 2018, this was Alonso’s chance to become only the second driver to win the Triple Crown of Motorsport.
Three drivers were bumped out of the race in qualifying; Alonso and Carlin pair Patricio O’Ward and former Formula One driver Max Chilton. Alonso had also been running a Carlin-built car, which means that the British team have lost three of their four entries before race day – the 2019 Indy 500 will live long in the memory for all the wrong reasons for Carlin. But the show must go on…
Much of the post-qualifying attention was on Alonso’s failure to qualify but it is now time to focus on the race. We’ve got 33 talented drivers in this year’s line-up and there are plenty of big hitters in the second half of the field. Pippa Mann and James Hinchcliffe are two who missed the cut last year but will feature in the 2019 Indy 500 event. That can only be viewed as a positive for the enhancement of the sport.
The IndyCar Series organisers have worked long and hard to promote the race but safety, as always, is paramount and technological innovations have allowed drivers to be able to walk away unharmed from accidents so far this year. There were five major shunts in qualifying and practice and no serious injuries. Fingers crossed for an exciting yet safe race on Sunday.
With bad weather on the horizon, it is important to remember the rules and regulations from a betting perspective. If bad weather affects the outcome of the race, 101 of the 200 scheduled laps must be completed for any result to stand and for full points to be awarded. If the race cannot happen as scheduled, it will be delayed and drivers will compete at a later date. Keep an eye on that weather forecast ahead of this weekend’s big race.
On paper, the Fast Nine drivers near the top of the grid stand the best chance of victory but this is the Indy 500 and anything is possible. Simply being involved in such a prestigious race is a victory in itself and all 33 drivers are good enough to win. There aren’t many drivers you can handpick in this field and rule out with any certainty and that shows just how talented this field is.
With the race scheduled to begin at 12:30pm local time, or 5:30pm in the UK, motorsport fans should be able to watch the conclusion of the Monaco Grand Prix before switching over for the Indy 500. Predicting an outright winner is difficult but one thing is for certain: this weekend is going to be thrilling, it is going to be exhilarating and it is going to be full of drama. Bring it on.
Race Calendar for 2019
Mar 24 2019 - Circuit of the Americas, Circuit Of The Americas
Apr 7 2019 - Grand Prix of Alabama, Barber Motorsports Park
Apr 14 2019 - Grand Prix at Long Beach, Streets Of Long Beach
May 11 2019 - Grand Prix of Indianapolis, Indianapolis Motor Speedway
May 26 2019 - Indianapolis 500, Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Jun 1 2019 - Chevrolet Dual in Detroit - Race 1 Detroit Street Circuit
Jun 1 2019 - Chevrolet Dual in Detroit - Race 2 Detroit Street Circuit
Jun 8 2019 - Texas Grand Prix, Texas Motor Speedway
Jun 23 2019 - Road America, Road America
Jul 14 2019 - Honda Indy Toronto, Streets Of Toronto
Jul 20 2019 - Iowa 300, Iowa Speedway
Jul 28 2019 - Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
Aug 18 2019 - Pocono Grand Prix, Pocono Raceway
Aug 24 2019 - Gateway Grand Prix, Gateway International Raceway
Sep 1 2019 - Grand Prix of Portland, Portland International Raceway
Sep 22 2019 - Grand Prix at Laguna Seca, Weathertech Raceway Laguna Seca
The most creative form of IndyCar betting, prop bets enable you to wager on a possibility of a certain event taking place during the race. So, it is an “either/or” situation, where you can lay a wager that a driver will hold a leading position in most laps. Other common variations of prop bets are:
- The first driver to not finish the race (or, popularly referred to as “to DNF)
- Laps completed (number of completed laps - over/under bet)
- Caution Flags (another over/under bet on how many times that yellow flag will pop up, warning the players that the track is potentially hazardous).
Some of the bets described above can be categorized as skilled props bet; unskilled props would refer to certain events that are difficult to predict. A possibility of a crash or the number of vehicles that will finish the race are the most common examples of the IndyCar prop bet.
Wagering on a specific driver who will win the race is the most traditional form of betting and probably the best option if you are just getting acquainted with the rules and drivers’ history.
Top Three Finish
Also known as Podium Finish Bet. Instead of wagering on a specific driver to win the race, you can improve your odds by betting that he will be one of the top 3 drivers that make it to the finish line.
Head to Head Matchups
Players who select this bet will be more concerned about the driver’s ranking as opposed to another contestant. The final result is irrelevant, as long as your favourite manages to rank better than the opponent.
A lot of new bettors leave this one to the professionals since it requires more extensive knowledge of the subject. Future bets are placed long before the actual event takes place and as the date approaches, the odds become less and less favourable for the player. Spotting a potential Indy 500 winner may be a difficult task when the event is months away, but the payouts can be extremely generous.
Best IndyCar Drivers to Bet on in 2019:
- Scott Dixon – born in New Zealand, “The Iceman”, as the fans call him, managed to win IndyCar championship 5 times so far. Dixon drives for Chip Ganassi Racing and has competed in a total of 265 races (43 wins and 102 podiums) during his 16 years long career. 2018 IndyCar Series position – 1st.
- Alexander Rossi – Andretti Autosport team member, Rossi has so far competed in more than 45 races. He became a household name after winning Indy500 in 2016. So far, he had 5 wins and 12 podiums. 2018 IndyCar Series position – 2nd.
- Will Power – Australian champion and team Penske driver with more than 170 races under his belt, Will is among the most successful road and street course drivers. He was also the winner of IndyCar Series 2014 and has a total of 32 wins. 2018 IndyCar Series position – 3rd.
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Learning as much as you can about a particular sports market can be extremely profitable in the long run, but if you fear that this is an excruciation process, you can always stick to the bets with the most favourable IndyCar odds and gradually accumulate profit by playing safe.
At the same time, going for the more complex bets that require a higher level of expertise does not have to be a time-consuming endeavour. Nowadays, drivers’ statistics are often a click away and can be found on IndyCar official website. Video material is also available, as well as the tips featured on online bookmakers (offered to registered members).
Brief History of Indycar
Founded in 1994, IndyCar is a premier open-wheel racing that combines superspeedways, street circuits, shorts oval track racing, and road tracks. The speed at which IndyCar vehicles compete is higher than in any other motorsport – their fastest race was recorded in 2003 (California) when the average speed was measured at amazing 207.151 mph.
This is hardly a surprise, considering the design of the vehicles, single seaters with twin-turbocharged, 500-760 horsepower engines, supplied by Chevrolet and Honda. Depending on the model, IndyCar can develop a top speed of 200 to 235 mph.
The premier event of the series is the annual Indianapolis 500, which is traditionally the busiest event for both online and land-based bookies, who process thousands of bets from the moment the initial odds are published.