All drivers will compete in the new Dallara chassis that debuted at the start of this IZOD IndyCar Series season. The Indianapolis 500 will be the first oval race for the new car.
Engine competition returns to "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing" for the first time since 2005. Chevrolet and Honda each will power 14 entries, with Lotus powering six. The popular, distinctive sound of turbocharged engines also returns to the "500" for the first time since 1996.
Team Penske's Helio Castroneves (2001, 2002, 2009) leads the list of past winners, which also includes Target Chip Ganassi Racing teammates Dario Franchitti (2007, 2010) and Scott Dixon (2008). Castroneves is trying to become just the fourth four-time winner in the illustrious history of the race, joining A.J. Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears. Franchitti will attempt to become just the 10th driver to earn at least three Indianapolis 500 victories.
IZOD IndyCar Series champions assigned to cars include Dixon (2003, 2008), Franchitti (2007, 2009, 2010, 2011) and KV Racing Technology w/SH's Tony Kanaan (2004). Four-time Champ Car champion Sebastian Bourdais also aims to make his first Indianapolis 500 start since 2005.
Thirty drivers have been named to the 34 entries filed this year, which will breed competition for the 33 starting spots during Pole Day qualifying Saturday, May 19 and Bump Day qualifying Sunday, May 20.
The 2012 Indianapolis 500 is scheduled to start at noon (ET) Sunday, May 27 and will be broadcast live by ESPN on ABC, the IMS Radio Network and SiriusXM 94. Opening Day is scheduled for Saturday, May 12, which also will feature the Celebration of Automobiles.
There is outstanding depth and quality in this year's field. Besides three past race winners and three IZOD IndyCar Series champions, 15 of the 30 drivers named to entries have won at least one race in either IZOD IndyCar Series or Champ Car World Series/CART competition.
A strong crop of seven rookies includes the most experienced Formula One driver in history, Rubens Barrichello, and two past Firestone Indy Lights champions, Wade Cunningham and Josef Newgarden. Other rookies assigned to cars are reigning two-time USAC National Drivers Champion Bryan Clauson, James Jakes, Katherine Legge and 2010 American Le Mans Series champion Simon Pagenaud.
Plenty of young talent that recently advanced through the Mazda Road to Indy ladder system also was assigned to cars, including three Firestone Indy Lights champions – Cunningham (2005), 2011 Indianapolis 500 runner-up JR Hildebrand (2009) and Newgarden (2011). Other recent Firestone Indy Lights graduates on the entry list include Marco Andretti, Ana Beatriz, Ed Carpenter, Clauson, James Hinchcliffe, Charlie Kimball, Graham Rahal and Sebastian Saavedra.
Three women were among the drivers named to entries: 2010 Chase Rookie of the Year Simona De Silvestro, Beatriz and Legge.
Andretti Autosport is involved in five entries, more than any other team. Andretti Autosport is fielding cars for Andretti, Beatriz, Hinchcliffe and Ryan Hunter-Reay, while Andretti Autosport/AFS Racing has entered a car for Saavedra.
Former race winners (3): Helio Castroneves (2001, 2002, 2009), Dario Franchitti (2007, 2010), Scott Dixon (2008).
Former pole winners (4): Helio Castroneves (2003, 2007, 2009, 2010), Tony Kanaan (2005), Scott Dixon (2008), Alex Tagliani (2011).
Rookies (7): Rubens Barrichello, Bryan Clauson, Wade Cunningham, James Jakes, Katherine Legge, Josef Newgarden, Simon Pagenaud.
Youngest: Josef Newgarden, 21.
Oldest: Rubens Barrichello, 39. (Barrichello turns 40 on May 23, four days before Race Day.)
Most previous starts: Helio Castroneves, 11.
Car Driver Hometown Car Name Engine Entrant
2 Ryan Briscoe Sydney, Australia IZOD Team Penske Chevrolet Team Penske
3 Helio Castroneves (W) Sao Paulo, Brazil Shell V-Power/Pennzoil Ultra Team Penske Chevrolet Team Penske
4 JR Hildebrand Sausalito, Calif. National Guard Panther Racing Chevrolet Panther Racing
5 E.J. Viso Caracas, Venezuela CITGO/ PDVSA KV Racing Technology Chevrolet KV Racing Technology
6 Katherine Legge (R) Guildford, England TrueCar-Dragon Racing Lotus Dragon Racing
7 Sebastien Bourdais Le Mans, France Dragon Racing Lotus Dragon Racing
8 Rubens Barrichello (R) Sao Paulo, Brazil BMC/Embrase KV Racing Technology Chevrolet KV Racing Technology
9 Scott Dixon (W) Auckland, N. Zealand Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda Target Chip Ganassi Racing
10 Dario Franchitti (W) Edinburgh, Scotland Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda Target Chip Ganassi Racing
11 Tony Kanaan Salvador, Brazil GEICO/Mouser Electronics KVRT Chevrolet KV Racing Technology w/SH
12 Will Power Toowoomba, Australia Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet Team Penske
14 Mike Conway Bromley, England ABC Supply Co./A.J. Foyt Racing Honda A.J. Foyt Enterprises
15 Takuma Sato Tokyo Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda Rahal Letterman Lanigan
17 Sebastian Saavedra Bogota, Colombia Team AFS Chevrolet AFS Racing/Andretti Autosport
18 Justin Wilson Sheffield, England Sonny's BBQ Honda Dale Coyne Racing
19 James Jakes (R) Leeds, England Boy Scouts of America Honda Dale Coyne Racing
20 Ed Carpenter Indianapolis Fuzzy's Vodka / Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet Ed Carpenter Racing
21 TBA Chevrolet Ed Carpenter Racing
22 Oriol Servia Pals, Spain Lotus-DRR Lotus Lotus – DRR
25 Ana Beatriz Sao Paulo, Brazil Team Ipiranga Chevrolet Andretti Autosport/Conquest Racing
26 Marco Andretti Nazareth, Pa. Team RC Cola Chevrolet Andretti Autosport
27 James Hinchcliffe Toronto Team GoDaddy.com Chevrolet Andretti Autosport
28 Ryan Hunter-Reay Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Team DHL/Sun Drop Citrus Soda Chevrolet Andretti Autosport
38 Graham Rahal New Albany, Ohio Service Central Honda Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing
39 Bryan Clauson (R) Noblesville, Ind. Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing/RW Honda Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing
41 Wade Cunningham (R) Auckland, N. Zealand ECat/ABC Supply Honda A.J. Foyt Racing
45 TBA Honda Rahal Letterman Lanigan
67 Josef Newgarden (R) Hendersonville, Tenn. Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing Honda Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing
77 Simon Pagenaud (R) Poitiers, France Schmidt Hamilton HP Motorsports Honda Schmidt-Hamilton Motorsports
78 Simona de Silvestro Thun, Switzerland Nuclear Clean Air Energy Lotus HVM Racing Lotus Lotus-HVM Racing
83 Charlie Kimball Camarillo, Calif. NovoLog FlexPen Honda Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing
98 Alex Tagliani Lachenaie, Canada Team Barracuda-BHA Lotus Bryan Herta Autosport w/Curb-Agajanian
99 TBA BraunAbility-Schmidt Pelfrey Motorsports Honda Sam Schmidt Motorsports
TBA TBA Lotus-Newman Haas Racing Lotus Newman/Haas Racing
Thirty-four cars entered. All cars use 2012 Dallara chassis and Firestone tires.
(R) – Denotes Chase Rookie of the Year Candidate (W) – Denotes Indianapolis 500 winner