INDIANAPOLIS - Ten things to watch for in Sunday’s 100th anniversary of the Indy 500:
1. A rolling start at Indianapolis means 33 cars will be on cold tires and accelerating as they approach Turn 1. One tiny misstep could spell a massive crash for even the most careful driver in this situation.
2. There will be some drivers — hello Tony Kanaan — who will make a kamikaze run through the grid on the start in an attempt to improve his track position in a hurry. This could be dangerous.
3. In the first few laps some of the less experienced drivers like an E.J. Viso may try to run a high line to make a pass. But on cold tires all this does is put other drivers in line for a wreck.
4. Once everyone’s tires are up to temperature the big teams that didn’t qualify well, like the Penske car of Helio Castroneves and the Andretti cars of Marco Andretti and Danica Patrick will start a move to the front.
5. It will be interesting to watch what the strategy of the No. 23 Dreyer & Reinbold car of Paul Tracy will be early in the race. He wants to be around at the end to make a charge so he will be trying to stay out of trouble.
6. If it is as hot as is predicted for the race some teams may opt for early pit stops for fresh tires if they start losing grip as the pavement around the 2.5 mile track begins to get slick.
7. Should the race get some long green flag runs it will be interesting to see how fuel mileage begins to become a factor. The teams who can pull off the fastest stops under green will have a big advantage.
8. At some point after the first 250 miles, back markers will start to become a component of the race. A race leader coming up on a much slower car at Indy can be hazardous.
9. By the final 100 miles the grid should have been culled of most of the pretenders, leaving about 10 cars with a real chance to win the milks and the glory that is a victory at Indy.
10. Finally the double file re-starts that IndyCar bosses introduced this season might be a deciding factor as the race wears on as driver’s fear that being on the outside lane could push them into the walls around IMS.