Indianapolis 500: Scott Dixon heads field going for checkered flag

A staple of Memorial Day Weekend in the United States for over 100 years, the 500-mile open-wheel car race attracts fans from around the world.

Sam Riche/AP
Scott Dixon, of New Zealand, drives through the first turn during practice before qualifications for the Indianapolis 500 auto race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Sunday, May 17, 2015.

Once again this Memorial Day weekend, thousands of Indy Car racing fans will descend upon central Indiana for the Indianapolis 500, also referred to as "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing."

33 drivers will take to the two and a half mile oval at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, as they have almost every year since 1911, when Ray Harroun captured the very first Indy 500 victory with a top speed of just over 74 miles an hour.

New Zealand native Scott Dixon, who won the 2008 Indy 500, will start from the pole position in Sunday's race. He also started from that inside spot on Row 1 when he took the checkered flag seven years ago.

Also qualifying for the front row are Will Power and Simon Pagenaud. Right behind them in Row 2 is a pair of former Indy winners. Helio Castroneves has won the Indy 500 three times, most recently in 2009. Tony Kanaan, after years of coming close, finally won his first Indianapolis 500 in 2013.

Other past Indy champions in this year's field include Juan Pablo Montoya on the outside of Row 5. He won back in 2000. And last year's winner, Ryan Hunter-Reay will start from the inside position on Row 6.

Another group of drivers with family connections to the race include Marco Andretti, grandson of 1969 Indy 500 champion Mario Andretti and son of former Indy Car champion and now car owner Michael Andretti. He'll start on Row 3. On the outside of Row 4 is 2014 pole sitter Ed Carpenter, stepson of Indy Racing League founder and former Indianapolis Motor Speedway CEO Tony George. And in the middle of Row 6 will be Graham Rahal, son of 1986 Indy winner Bobby Rahal.

Qualifying for Indianapolis has been a real effort for some of the drivers this year, as several crashes, involving both Castroneves and Carpenter, have occurred during the run-up this month to Sunday's race. But, barring heavy rains, drivers and their cars will be on the track, ready to roll.

You can watch the 99th edition of the Indianapolis 500 at noon Eastern time, Sunday on ABC.

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