Profiles of the 33 drivers in Sunday's Indianapolis 500, in starting order with car number in parentheses, age, hometown, chassis, race team, four-lap qualification average and biographical information (w-former winner; r-rookie; all chassis Dallara, all engines Honda):
1. (3) w-Helio Castroneves, 35, Sao Paulo, Brazil; Team Penske;
227.970 mph. Defending champion is looking to become the fourth
driver to win Indy four times, joining A.J. Foyt, Al Unser Sr. and
Rick Mears. Third in the points standings. Won earlier this year
during the inaugural race at Barber Motorsports Park. Has won at
least one race each season since joining the IRL in 2001. Could
become the first driver to post back-to-back Indy wins twice. He
was the last to go back-to-back by winning in 2001 and 2002. Won
TV's "Dancing with the Stars" in 2007.
2. (12) Will Power, 29, Toowoomba, Australia; Verizon Team
Penske; 227.578. Making his third Indy 500 start. Finished fifth
last season. Currently atop the point standings after opening the
season with wins in Brazil and St. Petersburg. Former ChampCar
driver broke four bones in his back after crashing in practice in
California last summer. Joined Penske in 2009 as a substitute for
Helio Castroneves before eventually catching on full-time.
3. (10) w-Dario Franchitti, 37, Edinburgh, Scotland; Target Chip
Ganassi Racing, 226.990. Won Indy in 2007 in a rain-shortened race
while driving for Andretti Green Racing. Defending points champion,
captured the title on the final race of the season, edging teammate
Scott Dixon by 11 points. Currently fifth in points through five
races. Finished in top 10 in each of last four Indy starts. Married
to actress Ashley Judd.
4. (6) Ryan Briscoe, 28, Sydney, Australia; Team Penske,
226.554. Making fifth Indy 500 start. Qualified second but finished
15th a year ago due to grip issues. Has just one Top 5 finish at
the Brickyard. Finished third in points a year ago but is off to a
slow start in 2009. He's seventh in the standings through five
races, with his best finish third-place at St. Petersburg. Says
winning the 500 is just as important as capturing the points title.
Married ESPN NASCAR reporter Nicole Manske in the offseason.
5. (77) Alex Tagliani, 37, Lachenaie, Quebec; FAZZT Race Team,
226.390. Making second Indy 500 start. Was the top rookie last
year, finishing 11th while driving for Conquest Racing after
replacing Bruno Junqueira. In his first year as a full-time rider
for FAZZT Race Team. Currently 12th in points, his best finish was
sixth in St. Petersburg. ChampCar veteran with one career win in
that series at Road America. Drove a partial schedule last season
with a best finish of ninth in Toronto, where he led 21 laps.
6. (9) w-Scott Dixon, 29, Auckland, New Zealand; Target Chip
Ganassi, 226.233. Won from the pole at Indy two years ago, when he
led 115 of 200 laps. Led 73 laps last year but was passed by
Castroneves on lap 142 and faded to sixth. Narrowly missed
collecting his third season points title when poor fuel strategy
cost him in the season finale at Homestead, allowing Franchitti to
take the title. Second in points this year, coming off a win in
Kansas on May 1. Parents Ron and Glenys were both dirt track
racers. CART rookie of the year in 2001, when victory at Nazareth,
Pa., made him at 20 the youngest winner in major open-wheel racing.
7. (30) Graham Rahal, 21, Columbus, Ohio; Rahal Letterman
Racing, 225.519. Making third Indy start. Failed to finish the race
in both 2008 and 2009. Son of 1986 Indy 500 winner Bobby Rahal.
Spent the last two seasons racing for Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing.
Raced in St. Petersburg, Long Beach and Barber for Sarah Fisher
Racing. This is his first race driving for his father.
8. (20) Ed Carpenter, 29, Indianapolis, Ind.; Panther Racing,
224.507. Making his sixth Indy 500 start and his 100th career start
in the series. Best finish at the Brickyard was fifth in 2008, when
he led three laps. Finished 12th in points last year and narrowly
missed picking up his first victory at Kentucky, where he was edged
by Ryan Briscoe. Looking for a full-time ride after Vision Racing,
owned by his stepfather and IRL co-founder Tony George, suspended
operations. Started in midget and sprint cars, finished third in
IRL's developmental Indy Lights in 2002 and 2003, including win at
Indianapolis in 2003.
9. (06) Hideki Mutoh, 27, Tokyo, Japan; Newman/Haas Racing,
223.487. Making third Indy start. Finished seventh in 2008 while
driving for Andretti Green Racing. Struggled this season, comes
into the race 17th in points after finishing 11th last year for
AGR. Named the 2008 Rookie of the Year after finishing 10th in
points. Graduate of the Honda driver development program. Best
career finish is second at Iowa in 2008.
10. (99) Townsend Bell, 35, San Francisco, Calif., Chip Ganassi
Racing Sam Schmidt Motorsports, 225.097. Came out of nowhere to
finish fourth at Indy last year. Hopped from series to series
during his nomadic career, including stints in IndyCar in 2004-05
and 2008. Making fourth Indy 500 start. Runs a "sponsorship
coaching" program when he's not racing, which teaches aspiring
drivers how to sell themselves to potential investors.
11. (22) Justin Wilson, 31, Sheffield, England, Dreyer &
Reinbold Racing, 225.050. Making third Indy 500 start. Has yet to
reach the checkered flag in the race. Crashed in both 2008 and
2009. Former ChampCar driver finished ninth in points last season
while driving for Dale Coyne Racing. Currently sixth in points,
with top 3 finishes at both St. Petersburg and Long Beach. Has also
spent time in Formula One. A At 6-foot-3 he's the tallest driver on
the IndyCar Series.
12. (2) Raphael Matos, 28, Belo Horizonte, Brazil, de Ferran
Dragon Racing; 225.028 mph. In his second IndyCar season after
winning series championships in the Formula Dodge, Star Mazda Pro,
Champ Car Atlantic and Indy Lights developmental programs. Tied for
10th in points with season-best finish fourth in season-opener at
Brazil. Led 3 laps at St. Petersburg. First championship was 2001
Brazilian Chevrolet Formula Junior series.
13. (32) Mario Moraes, 21, Sao Paulo, Brazil; KV Racing
Technology-Curb/Agajanian; 224.888 mph. Former karting star,
finished second in South American F3 series in 2006 and 14th in the
British F3 International Series in 2007. Joined IndyCar Series in
2008. Finished 2009 with four straight top-10 finishes, including
IndyCar best of third at Chicago. Was 22nd last year at Indy after
placing 18th in 2008. Season-best finish was sixth at Long Beach
and is tied for 13th in points.
14. (21) Davey Hamilton, 47, Nampa, Idaho; de Ferran Dragon
Racing; 224.852 mph. Making only fourth start, all at Indianapolis,
since he was seriously injured in a crash at Texas in 2001 and
underwent 21 operations on feet and legs. At the time, he was the
only driver to compete in every IndyCar race since league began in
1996. Finished ninth, 14th and 29th at Indy last three years. Best
finish in eight races at Indy was fourth in 1998. IndyCar Series
runner-up in 1997 and 1998.
Indianapolis 500 driver profiles
An inside look at all 33 drivers of Sunday's Indianapolis 500.
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