Four past winners and four IndyCar Series champions are among the drivers named to the 40 entries filed for the 2010 Indianapolis 500, scheduled for Sunday, May 30 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
A total of 78 cars comprise the 40 entries, with 34 drivers named with the entries. It's the second consecutive year with 40 entries on the list, the most entries since 2002. It's also the seventh consecutive year in which the number of entries has climbed or held steady.
Defending Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves (2001-'02, 2009) leads the list of past winners, which also includes Scott Dixon (2008), Dario Franchitti (2007) and Dan Wheldon (2005). Castroneves will attempt to become just the fourth four-time winner in the illustrious history of the race, joining A.J. Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears. Series champions include Dixon (2003, 2008), Franchitti (2007, 2009), Tony Kanaan (2004) and Wheldon (2005).
The 33 starting spots will be determined by a new two-day qualifying process, which will be run under a new format. The 2010 Indianapolis 500 is scheduled to start at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday, May 30.
Besides the four past race winners and four series champions, 15 of the 34 drivers named to entries have won at least one race in either IZOD IndyCar Series or Champ Car World Series competition. In addition, four women could start in the Indianapolis 500 for the first time, as 2005 Chase Rookie of the Year Danica Patrick, Milka Duno, Sarah Fisher and Simona De Silvestro were named to entries.
Young talent that has advanced through the Road to Indy ladder system also will be on display, as the field includes three of the last four Firestone Indy Lights champions – Jay Howard (2006), Alex Lloyd (2007) and Raphael Matos (2008). Other recent Firestone Indy Lights graduates on the entry list include 2002 series champion A.J. Foyt IV, Marco Andretti, Ed Carpenter, Hideki Mutoh, Mario Romancini and Sebastian Saavedra. Six drivers comprise a strong rookie crop: Firestone Indy Lights champion Howard, Firestone Indy Lights race winners Romancini and Saavedra, former Formula 1 driver Takuma Sato, and IZOD IndyCar Series rookie regulars Bertrand Baguette and De Silvestro.
Andretti Autosport is involved in five entries, more than any other team. The team, which won the 2005 and 2007 Indianapolis 500, filed four entries and is co-entrant along with NASCAR legend Richard Petty on another entry.Driver entry list:
Former race winners (4): Helio Castroneves (2001, 2002, 2009), Dan Wheldon (2005), Dario Franchitti (2007), Scott Dixon (2008).
Former pole winners (4): Bruno Junqueira (2002), Helio Castroneves (2003, 2007, 2009), Tony Kanaan (2005), Scott Dixon (2008).
Rookies (6): Bertrand Baguette, Simona De Silvestro, Jay Howard, Mario Romancini, Sebastian Saavedra, Takuma Sato.
Youngest: Sebastian Saavedra, 19.
Oldest: Davey Hamilton, 47.
Most previous starts: John Andretti, 10