Alomania takes center stage at Indianapolis 500

Of course, most of the pre-race intrigue will focus on one of the Andretti drivers in particular, two-time Formula One world champion Fernando Alonso, who bypassed the Monaco Grand Prix to run the Indy 500 for the first time. In choosing the Brickyard over the iconic Monaco GP, Alonso is attempting to be just the ninth rookie to win what's been dubbed "the greatest spectacle in racing".

Scott Dixon, of New Zealand, drives across the Yard of Bricks during practice for the Indianapolis 500 IndyCar auto race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Monday, May 22, 2017, in Indianapolis. The perspective changes from this being a great North American race to something that all the Formula One fans are following because they want to see how well Alonso does. It wasn't until 2008 victor Scott Dixon turned in the best qualifying effort in 21 years to win the pole that the spotlight briefly shifted to someone else. "It's a huge story but I think it's good for everybody".

Like going to Taco Bell at 10 p.m. after winning the pole?

But is there any jealousy?

"He's done fantastic and to win the race he's going to be one of the guys you're going to have to beat", Dixon, a four-time IndyCar Series champion, said. "It's not something I converse about".

"I understand what we did", he said.

The New York Times labeled him "The New Face of IndyCar Racing" in 2015, just days before he wrecked at Pocono Raceway and debris from his auto struck and killed Justin Wilson.

And then there's Will Power, who has an IndyCar championship trophy on his mantle, but not the Borg-Warner Indy 500 winner's trophy. He wants to do it. "The IndyCar paddock is a very different world from the F1 paddock". "At the end of the day, I came here with the feeling that I had to live the experience, I had to enjoy this experience". Franchitti, a three-time Indianapolis 500 victor, retired following a crash at the 2013 IndyCar race in Houston which left him with multiple fractures including a broken back and right ankle.

"I think it was the largest ever online views that IndyCar has ever had when he was not only doing his private test, but also in the days leading up to his qualifying at the weekend. Might be the dominant story". As the first F1 driver in decades to race the Indy 500, fans just hope for a chance to see him, especially considering he's normally on the other side of the globe.

"They held a gun at Dixon's head and asked him for his wallet and his phone".

McLaren's ambition to usher in a new era under the guidance of Zak Brown has been marked by the Indy 500 endeavour, something unthinkable under the reign of Ron Dennis. Now he calls himself "the other Spaniard".

No, there are indeed 32 others in the field.

There was a palpable sense of excitement everywhere Doug Boles went a year ago, whether it was the gas station or grocery store or his office on 16th and Georgetown just outside Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Three-time Indianapolis 500 victor Helio Castroneves watched from afar as NASCAR stars Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart retired and Dale Earnhardt Jr. announced that he will step away after the season.

"Indy isn't a race that you play for the top five", Herta said. But he thinks he's done everything possible to prepare for the race, and even spent time Thursday on a simulator.

"I still lack experience in important moments of the race". "We all have a possibility".


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