Month of May

Young front-runners aim for history at Indianapolis 500

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — This time a few years ago they were hopping out of high school. 

On Sunday, if one crosses the famed yard of bricks at Indianapolis Motor Speedway first, history at the Indianapolis 500 will be rewritten.

At 20 years old, Rinus VeeKay can clear it by a mile. At 21, Colton Herta can safely claim it to be his. And fresh off his 22nd birthday, Pato O’Ward can take it home by a sliver.

Troy Ruttman — the 1952 Indianapolis 500 winner at 22 years and 80 days old — still has his grip on the honor of being the youngest driver to claim victory on Memorial Day weekend in Indianapolis. 

“That is crazy. A new generation is taking over (IndyCar),” Veekay said. “I am over the moon; I am very happy, and this really exceeded my expectations.” 

“It is a changing of the guard, and the youth movement is definitely on,” Herta said. “I am definitely happy, but it would have been a little better if we got the pole.”

Scott Dixon, 40, starts on the pole for his fourth time, tied for the second-most of any driver at the Indianapolis 500.

And seated just one row behind Dixon is yet another young gun eyeing an upset.

Alex Palou, 24, who won the season-opening race at Barber and is Dixon’s new sidekick with Chip Ganassi Racing, starts sixth on Sunday. 

“It is true. Everybody now is like, ‘The young guys are coming fast,'” Palou said. “We are doing a good job.”

The next generation of stars is bearing down on the 105th Indianapolis 500.


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