Indianapolis 500 driver profiles

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, 34, Sao Paulo, Brazil; Team Penske; 224.864 mph. Two-time Indy 500 winner missed season-opener during his tax evasion trial, in which he was acquitted of most charges. Seventh at Long Beach and runner-up at Kansas, he's 10th in season points. Has won 14 IndyCar races, at least one each season since 2001 when he came to IRL. Won Indy in 2001 and 2002, the first to repeat since Al Unser Sr. in 1970-71. Fourth at Indy last year. Won TV's "Dancing with the Stars" in 2007.

2. (6) Ryan Briscoe, 27, Sydney, Australia; Team Penske, 224.083 mph. Won season-opener at St. Petersburg, his third career win, and is second in series points after three races, one point behind Tony Kanaan. Was a test driver in Formula One in 2004. Best finish in three starts at Indy was fifth in 2007. Also finished second in American Le Mans Series LMP2 class in 2007 and joined Penske's IndyCar team last year in place of former Indy champion Sam Hornish Jr., who moved to NASCAR.

3. (10) Dario Franchitti, 36, Edinburgh, Scotland; Ganassi Racing; 224.010 mph. The 2007 Indy 500 and IndyCar champion, returns after unsuccessful NASCAR attempt. Third behind Tony Kanaan and Ryan Briscoe in series points. Won at Long Beach but 18th after crashing at Kansas. Finished 19th as Indy rookie in 2002 but missed race in 2003 after breaking his back in motorcycle accident. Sixth and seventh the next two years before winning. Married to actress Ashley Judd.


4. (02) Graham Rahal, 20, New Albany, Ohio; Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing; 223.954 mph. Son of Rahal Letterman Racing co-owner and 1986 Indy winner Bobby Rahal. Won his IRL debut at St. Petersburg, Fla., last year, becoming the youngest winner in major open-wheel racing. Started from pole and finished seventh in two of the first three races this season, eighth in series points. Finished 33rd at Indy last year after crashing on lap 37.

5. (9) w-Scott Dixon, 28, Auckland, New Zealand; Ganassi Racing; 223.867 mph. Defending Indy 500 and IndyCar Series champion. Making 100th career start in IRL. Coming off win at Kansas, his 17th career victory, is fourth in season points. CART rookie of the year in 2001, when victory at Nazareth, Pa., made him at 20 the youngest winner in major open-wheel racing. Moved to IRL with Ganassi and won first series championship in 2003. Won four races in 2007 and six races in 2008.

6. (11) Tony Kanaan, 34, Sao Paulo, Brazil; Andretti Green Racing; 223.612 mph. The 2004 IndyCar champion leads the series this season by one point over Ryan Briscoe after finishing fifth, third and third. Has 13 career wins, but best finish in seven starts at Indy was runner-up to Buddy Rice in rain-shortened 2004 race. Ended up 29th after crashing at Indy last year, but led 12 laps and is the only driver in history to lead in each of his first seven starts at Indianapolis.


7. (5) Mario Moraes, 20, Sao Paulo, Brazil; KV Racing Technology; 223.331 mph. Former karting star, finished second in South American F3 series in 2006 and 14th in the British F3 International Series in 2007. Joined IRL in 2008, and best finish in 19 IndyCar starts seventh last year at Watkins Glen. Led three laps and finished 18th in first start at Indy a year ago. Nineteenth in series points this season, with best finish 11th at Kansas.

8. (26) Marco Andretti, 22, Nazareth, Pa.; Andretti Green Racing; 223.114 mph. Indy runner-up and rookie of the year in 2006, when he was passed by Sam Hornish Jr. just before the checkered flag. Crashed and finished 24th at Indy in 2007 and third last year. Seventh in series points this season after finishing sixth at Long Beach and Kansas. Son of car owner Michael Andretti, grandson of 1969 Indy winner Mario Andretti. Only IndyCar win at Infineon Raceway in 2006.

9. (12) Will Power, 28, Toowoomba, Australia; Penske Racing; 223.028 mph. Champ Car rookie of the year in 2006. Was 13th at Indianapolis and 12th in IndyCar series as a rookie last year. Hired by Penske this season after Helio Castroneves was charged with tax evasion. Ninth in season points in two races this season, with pole and second-place at Long Beach, his best finish in 18 IndyCar starts. Switched to different car after Castroneves returned to team.


10. (7) Danica Patrick, 27, Roscoe, Ill.; Andretti Green Racing; 222.882 mph. First woman to win major open-wheel race with victory in Japan last year. Sixth in points this season after finishing fourth at Long Beach and fifth at Kansas. Indy and IRL rookie of the year in 2005, when she won three poles and started and finished fourth at Indianapolis, where she was the first woman to lead the race. Eighth at Indianapolis in 2006 and '07, was 22nd last year after crashing with Ryan Briscoe.

11. (99) Alex Lloyd, 24, Manchester, England; Ganassi Racing/Sam Schmidt Motorsports; 222.622 mph. Won Indy Lights series championship in 2007. Won the developmental series' Liberty Challenge in 2006 and Freedom 100 in 2007, making him the only driver to win on both the oval and road courses at Indy. Was 25th at Indianapolis in his first IndyCar start last year with Rahal Letterman. Making his first start this season.

12. (2) r-Raphael Matos, 27, Belo Horizonte, Brazil, Luczo Dragon Racing; 223.429 mph. In his first IndyCar season after winning series championships in the Formula Dodge, Star Mazda Pro, Champ Car Atlantic and Indy Lights developmental programs. Sixteenth in series points this season, with best finish eighth at Long Beach, where he led two laps. First championship was 2001 Brazilian Chevrolet Formula Junior series.


13. (15) Paul Tracy, 40, Scarborough, Canada, KV Racing Technology; 223.111 mph. Making his first start at Indy since 2002, when he finished second to Helio Castroneves and lost an appeal that he had passed Castroneves for the win before the caution flag came out on the last lap. That was still his best finish in five starts at Indy. Won 30 CART/Champ Car races in 1993-2007 and was that series champion with seven wins in 2003. Last win was in 2007 at Cleveland.

14. (14) Vitor Meira, 32, Brasilia, Brazil; A.J. Foyt Enterprises; 223.054 mph. Holds IndyCar record with 96 career starts without a win. Finished second in eight races, including twice at Indianapolis in 2005 and 2008. Fifteenth in series points this season, with best finish ninth in opener at St. Petersburg. Began racing go-karts when he was 12 and won a Brazilian karting title before moving to Europe in 1995. Joined IRL in 2002 after two seasons in European F3000 series.

15. (18) Justin Wilson, 30, Sheffield, England; Dale Coyne Racing; 222.903 mph. Won 2001 F3000 championship and had 16 Formula One starts in 2003. Had four Champ Car wins and was series runner-up in 2006 and 2007. Joined IndyCar series last year, with his only win in 19 starts at Belle Isle. Was 27th at Indianapolis as a rookie in 2008. Twelfth in series points this season with best finish third in opener.


16. (27) Hideki Mutoh, 26, Tokyo, Japan; Andretti Green Racing; 222.805 mph. Runner-up in developmental Indy Lights in 2007, joined Andretti Green when 2007 Indy and IRL champion Dario Franchitti left for NASCAR. Best finish in 21 career starts was second at Iowa in 2008. Fourteenth in series points this year, with best finish eighth at Kansas. Seventh as a rookie at Indianapolis last year.

17. (20) Ed Carpenter, 28, Indianapolis; Vision Racing; 222.780 mph. Drives for team co-owned by his stepfather, Speedway boss Tony George. Started in midget and sprint cars, finished third in IRL's developmental Indy Lights in 2002 and 2003, including win at Indianapolis in 2003. Best finish in five starts in the Indy 500 was fifth last year, when he led three laps. Seventeenth in series points this season, with best finish ninth at Kansas.

18. (4) w-Dan Wheldon, 30, Emberton, England; Panther Racing; 222.777 mph. The Indy 500 winner and IndyCar champion in 2005 has gone 12 races without a win and is 11th in points after three races this season. Won two races in each of the past three years. Best finish this season fifth at Long Beach. Former rookie of the year in the U.S. F2000, Toyota Atlantic, Indy Lights and IndyCar series. Fifteen career wins in IndyCar.


19. (41) A.J. Foyt IV, 24, Hockley, Texas; A.J. Foyt Enterprises; 222.586 mph. Grandson of four-time Indy winner A.J. Foyt. Making his first start of the season with his grandfather's team after two years with Vision Racing. Won Indy Lights championship in 2002 and was youngest starter in Indy 500 history in 2003, when he was 18th as a rookie. Best finish in five starts at Indy was 14th and best career finish was third at Kentucky, both in 2007.

20. (16) Scott Sharp, 41, Norwalk, Conn., Panther Racing; 222.162 mph. Former Indy pole-starter, making a record 147th IndyCar Series start but first since 2007. Best finish in 13 starts at Indianapolis also was in 2007, when he was sixth. He started from the pole in 2001 but crashed on the first lap and finished 33rd. Only career win was at New Hampshire in 1996. Drove in American Le Mans Series last year, finishing second in LMP2 class with one win at Long Beach.

21. (67) Sarah Fisher, 28, Commercial Point, Ohio; Sarah Fisher Racing; 222.082 mph. Became third woman to race at Indianapolis in 2000. Drove in NASCAR West series in 2005 and returned to IRL in 2006. Best finish in 70 career starts was second at Homestead in 2001. First woman to start from pole in a major U.S. race at Kentucky in 2002. Best finish in seven Indy 500 starts 18th in 2007. Formed her own race team last year and making her first start this season.


22. (44) Davey Hamilton, 46, Nampa, Idaho; Dreyer & Reinbold Racing; 221.956 mph. Making only third 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 IRL race since league began in 1996. Was ninth and 14th at Indy the past two years. Best finish in eight races at Indy was fourth in 1998. IndyCar runner-up in 1997 and 1998.

23. (06) r-Robert Doornbos, 27, Rotterdam, Netherlands, Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing; 221.692 mph. In his first IndyCar season, is 13th in series points with best finish ninth at Long Beach. Drove in 11 races in Formula One in 2005 and 2006, and was Champ Car rookie of the year in 2007, when he won two races and was third in series points. Drove for A1 Team Netherlands and was a Formula One test driver with Renault last year.

24. (8) Townsend Bell, 34, San Francisco; KV Racing Technology; 221.195 mph. Indy Lights rookie of the year in 2000 and series champion in 2001. Drove in former CART series in 2002 and Formula 3000 in 2003 before joining IndyCar in 2004. Best finish was fifth at Nashville in 2004. Best finish in two starts at Indianapolis was 10th last year. Making his first start this season.


25. (17) Oriol Servia, 34, Pals, Spain; Rahal Letterman Racing; 220.984 mph. Champ Car series runner-up in 2005, filling in for injured Bruno Junqueira. Finished sixth in Champ Car in 2007 and joined IRL with KV Racing last year. Ninth in series points in 2008, with best finish fourth at Belle Isle. First tried to make Indy 500 in 2002 but failed on three qualifying attempts; finished 11th as a rookie at Indianapolis last year. Making his first start this season.

26. (19) Tomas Scheckter, 28, Cape Town, South Africa; Dale Coyne Racing; 221.496 mph. Son of 1979 F1 champion Jody Scheckter. Runner-up in the British Formula 3 championship in 2000 and in Formula Nissan series in 2001. Led 85 laps and was co-rookie of the year at Indianapolis in 2002 and finished fourth in 2003. Only wins in 99 IndyCar starts were at Michigan in 2002 and Texas in 2005. Making his first start this season.

27. (24) r-Mike Conway, 25, Bromley, England, Dreyer & Reinbold Racing; 221.417 mph. British Formula 3 Renault champion in 2004 and British Formula 3 International champion in 2006. Drove the past two years in GP2 Series and made his IndyCar debut this year with 22nd place at St. Petersburg. Has crashed in all three IndyCar starts, and 23rd in points after finishing a season-best 19th at Kansas.

ROW 10

28. (43) John Andretti, 46, Indianapolis; Richard Petty Motorsports; 221.316 mph. Nephew of Mario Andretti and cousin of Michael and Marco Andretti. Was 30th at Indianapolis in 2007 in his first start since 1994 and 16th last year. Spent most of last decade in NASCAR. Making his first IndyCar start this season with team entered by seven-time NASCAR champ Richard Petty. Best finish in nine Indy 500s was fifth in 1991; only IndyCar win also in 1991 in Australia.

29. (13) E.J. Viso, 24, Caracas, Venezuela; HVM Racing; 221.164 mph. A test driver in Formula One in 2006, he also competed in the European GP 2 Series, winning twice. No wins in 18 IndyCar starts the past two season, with best finish fourth last year at St. Petersburg. Started and finished 26th in his first race at Indianapolis last year, and 22nd in series points this season with best finish 17th in the opener, also at St. Petersburg.

30. (23) Milka Duno, 37, Caracas, Venezuela; Dreyer & Reinbold Racing; 221.106 mph. Fifth woman to qualify at Indy, was 31st in her rookie race in 2007 and 19th last year. Best finish in 19 IndyCar starts 11th at Texas in 2007. Finished 16th at Kansas in her only start this season. Before IRL, she raced sports cars for a decade, winning Panoz GT Series in 2000. Victory at Homestead in 2004 made her the first woman to win a major North American sports car race.

ROW 11

31. (00) r-Nelson Philippe, 22, Valence, France, HVM Racing; 220.754 mph. Making his first IndyCar start. Began racing in Champ Car in 2004, when at 17 he was the youngest ever to start in that series. Only victory was at Surfers Paradise in 2006, when he became the youngest to win a Champ Car race and finished fourth in series points. Drove in final Champ Car race at Long Beach last year and competed in Superleague Formula in Europe.

32. (21) Ryan Hunter-Reay, 28, Boca Raton, Fla.; Vision Racing; 220.597 mph. IndyCar series rookie of the year in 2007 and Indy 500 rookie of the year in 2008 after finishing sixth. Fifth in series points this season, with best finish second in opener at St. Petersburg. Only win in 26 IndyCar starts was at Watkins Glen last year. Won three Grand National karting championships in the 1990s.

33. (36) r-Alex Tagliani, 36, Lachenaie, Canada, Conquest Racing; 221.115 mph. Starting last because car qualified by Bruno Junqueira. Drove in CART/Champ Car in 2000-08, with best finishes second three times. Competed in the final Champ Car race at Long Beach last year and drove his first two IndyCar points races for Conquest, finishing 22nd at Belle Isle and 12th at Chicagoland. Also finished fourth for Conquest in the season-ending exhibition race at Surfers Paradise.


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