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Fernando Alonso at Indy 500

More drivers compete in the Indy 500 than at any other event, and when the green flag drops at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday morning, more than 30 cars will be vying for the win.

In a field of 33 at speeds of 380 km/h the slightest mistake can spell disaster. What's more American than that?

Goodyear, who last raced professionally in 2003, brings more than two decades of racing experience to the broadcast booth. Here are five things to watch for this Sunday in Indianapolis.

All eyes, though, will be one row behind Scott Dixon as Fernando Alonso makes his debut in "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing". But Alonso is not your typical rookie.

He has qualified fifth and given the more unpredictable nature of IndyCar compared with Formula One, victory is not out of the question. His experience on road courses won't help him on the Indy oval, but he's still regarded as one of the favorites at +800. "I expect us to be better in race conditions". "Every lap you are out there, you need to keep learning".

Brazil's Helio Castroneves, a four-time pole sitter and three-time champion, signalled his readiness to fight for an elusive fourth win after clocking the top speed in final practice yesterday. IndyCar drivers are smart enough to understand that Alonso is good for all of them right now. He played baseball and basketball as a kid but also raced go-karts because of his love for "anything motorized".

When Penske announced last October that Newgarden was joining his team, he said that "when you look at the top talent in the series, both from a driving and commercial perspective, Josef is near the top of the list". It was a qualifying run for the ages, but fans rarely remember qualifying times, even historic ones like Dixon's. Anyone who finally gets to swig from the bottle of milk and take the pace auto home will have truly earned it.

Although Dixon was obviously thrilled with his result, it came as a bit of a surprise considering how the week began at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He raced to the lead early in Stage 2 - and won it - but needed a late restart to take the race. "Everybody has the opportunity to win and everybody hopes it might happen to them", he says. If the recent past is any indicator, the victor on Sunday will come from a bit farther back in the pack.

The Indy 500 is a great American tradition, but these Canadians at Indianapolis Motor Speedway sure know what they're doing.

The Team Penske drivers as a group surprisingly didn't qualify well, leading some to wonder if they were a tad short of speed. He will start ninth.

"These guys, all the teams, all the crews on all the cars at Team Penske work very hard in the offseason practicing pit stops and working out", Power said. Chevrolet replaced Honda as its manufacturer, and Conor Daly, Zach Veach and Carlos Munoz have replaced Jack Hawksworth and Takuma Sato in the drivers' seats for Sunday's race. Although a champion in another form of auto racing, he is a rookie at Indianapolis. Is it better to be second with three corners to go or first?

One of those is presentation, where ABC for years has used the Indy 500 to roll out creative new broadcast enhancements - on-board cameras, for example, were pioneered during the 1983 race.

Kanaan, a driver who had his heart broken repeatedly at Indy before his breakthrough victory four years ago, can't predict what might happen. But Marco, who will start from Row 3, doesn't buy it.

Note the half-smile he wears as he looks down the podium from his place at the end of it, a half-smile that suggests he'd like someone to pinch him. I think come race day it's going to knock his socks off to see what nearly 400,000 people looks like in one tiny spot. "That was an example of four or five flawless pit stops, no mistakes". "This is the circuit I think we thought we'd be best matched for".

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