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From the Pole
LARS ANDERSON
May 19, 2008
After the first day of qualifying, the front rows are set for the May 25 Indianapolis 500, and the sport's three powerhouse teams, Target Chip Ganassi Racing, Team Penske and Andretti Green Racing, lead the field. Here comes the most competitive Indy in years
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May 19, 2008

From The Pole

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After the first day of qualifying, the front rows are set for the May 25 Indianapolis 500, and the sport's three powerhouse teams, Target Chip Ganassi Racing, Team Penske and Andretti Green Racing, lead the field. Here comes the most competitive Indy in years

STARTING POSITION, DRIVER, NATIONALITY, TEAM

1. Scott Dixon New Zealand, Ganassi
Dixon, an 11-time winner on the IndyCar circuit, is the driver to beat; but keep in mind that 72 of the race's 91 pole sitters haven't finished first.

2. Dan Wheldon Great Britain, Ganassi
The '05 Indy 500 winner, Wheldon has finished fourth or better in three of the past four years. He's coming off a win at Kansas Speedway on April 27.

3. Ryan Briscoe Australia, Penske
Briscoe, who moved to Penske this season, piloted mediocre equipment to a fifth-place finish in last year's 500; now he'll have stronger support.

4. Helio Castroneves Brazil, Penske
A two-time 500 champion—and recent Dancing with the Stars winner—the irrepressible Castroneves has all the moves to win at Indy.

5. Danica Patrick U.S., Andretti Green
Look for Patrick to pit out of sequence early to try to win the race on fuel mileage strategy—just as she did in Japan in April.

6. Tony Kanaan Brazil, Andretti Green
In his six starts at Indy, Kanaan has led in every race, for a total of 202 laps—but never won. This could be the year he gets it right.

7. Marco Andretti U.S., Andretti Green
Team owner Michael's son—and Mario's grandson—has been near or at the top of the speed charts in every practice; he was second in the 500 in '06.

8. Vitor Meira Brazil, Panther Racing
The lone outsider among the Big Three bunch, Meira has four straight top 10s at Indy, including a second in 2005. Experience will keep him in the hunt.

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