Several drivers improved their Indy 500 odds after weekend qualifying, but none performed better than Marco Andretti. The 33-year-old, who comes from a strong lineage of IndyCar Series drivers, won the pole for the Aug. 23 Indianapolis 500.
The race was rescheduled from May to August because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It will be the first time in the 500’s 104-year history that there will be no fans in attendance.
On a hot and humid day in Indianapolis, Andretti out-dueled Indy 500 favorite Scott Dixon for the first spot with a four-lap average of 231.068 mph. Despite finishing in the second spot, Dixon saw his odds to win go from 7/1 to 5/1 at the Westgate in Las Vegas.
Odds to Win Indianapolis 500
|Driver||Aug. 5 Odds||Aug. 17 Odds|
Source: Westgate SuperBook USA
Andretti, however, had the biggest odds jump. He entered qualifying at 50/1 to win and, after his performance, leaped up to 10/1. The son of famed driver Michael Andretti and grandson of legend Mario Andretti told reporters he is elated to be the first Andretti to win the pole in 33 years.
“Obviously, I was emotional,” Andretti said. “We put so much into it. This place means so much to us as a family. We’ve just been through so many ups and downs at this place.”
Several Drivers Improve Indy 500 Odds
Joining Andretti and Dixon in the first row of the iconic race is Takuma Sato. Sato saw his Indy 500 odds move from 30/1 to 16/1. Sato won the race in 2017.
Another driver who saw his odds drop is rookie Rinus VeeKay. The 19-year-old had the best qualifying of a teenager in Indy 500 history, earning the fourth spot. His odds fell from 50/1 to 14/1.
“It was a great qualifying effort,” VeeKay said. “It was a good run. The wind was a llttle tough on the last lap. I stayed flat for four laps and that was my aim. I think being the only Chevy (in Fast Nine), being fourth is amazing.”
Veterans Take a Dip
It was a bad weekend for veteran drivers and previous Indy 500 favorites Will Power, Josef Newgarden, and Simon Pagenaud. They all entered qualifying at 7/1 with Dixon picked to win. After Sunday, though, all three saw their odds drop to 10/1.
Of the three, Newgarden will start closest to the front in the fifth row. Power is three rows back, and Pagenaud will be in Row 9. None of the three made it to Sunday’s qualifying.
Another driver who didn’t make it was Ed Carpenter. Carpenter, whose odds went from 30/1 to 40/1, echoed the sentiments of other Chevy drivers when he said they just can’t compete with the Honda cars. VeekKay is the only Chevy driver to make the Sunday final nine. Carpenter will start the race in Row 6.
“From my perspective, as a team, we feel like we let (Chevy) down,” Carpenter said. “We had speed and the other two cars (besides VeeKay) that didn’t get in, we weren’t our best. I felt like we could have represented them better.”