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Indy 500: Drivers set for hot and wild race

The 96th Indianapolis 500 is finally here, and with new cars, new engines and record-breaking temperatures to contend with, drivers are expecting a wild time of it.
As far as US motor racing is concerned, today marks the pinnacle of the Month of May - if not of the entire year - with the arrival of Race Day for the 2012 Indianapolis 500, the 'greatest spectacle in motorsport.'

Asked how he saw the day going, veteran team owner Roger Penske - with 15 Indy 500 victories under his belt - summed it simply by saying: "I think we're going to see the best race we've had in at least a decade."

Penske's driver Ryan Briscoe has been enjoying the last week basking in the spotlight of being the polesitter for the race, but as much as that's been a thrilling experience for him, he knows full well that the real work will only begin today at the drop of the green flag for the start of the 96th Indy 500 race.

"It's going to be a tough race. I think it's going to be all about executing on the day, not making mistakes, having good pit stops and keeping your nose clean," he said. "I think it's going to be a pretty wild race. I think nobody is going to be able to pull away. There's going to be a lot of passing. It's going to be a pretty gruelling 500 mile race."

As well as the Penske trio of Briscoe, Helio Castroneves and Will Power performed in qualifying, they're not kidding themselves that they're going to be able to walk away with anything in the race itself - especially given the impressive performances so far in May of fellow Chevrolet-powered teams such as Andretti Autosport and KV Racing Technology.

"You know Andretti, they are always strong here in the race," pointed out Briscoe. "The surprise was how good they were in qualifying, because normally they are a little bit off in qualifying, but really bring it in the race.

"They have been strong in race runs," he conceded. "I feel like we have been just as strong, though, and I feel like there are a lot of cars out there that have been strong.

"It's going to be hard to predict a winner until you see them come out of turn four," he added. "And maybe even then, you won't know it."

Briscoe is sharing the front row for the start of the race with two of the strongest of the five Andretti cars, James Hinchcliffe and Ryan Hunter-Reay, while Marco Andretti is at the head of the second row immediately behind them.

"I think we're definitely in it, I think it's going to be our race to lose," said Marco.




Related Pictures

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A typical American way of closing proceedings. [Picture credit: Jim Haines for IndyCar Media]
The start of the 2011 Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, May 29. [Picture credit: Larry Seidman for IndyCar Media]
Dan Wheldon crosses the finish line to win his second Indy 500. Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Sunday May 29, 2011. [Picture credit: LAT Photo USA for IndyCar Media]
The front row for the 2012 Indy 500:  Ryan Hunter-Reay, James Hinchcliffe and Ryan Briscoe. 12-27 May, 2012, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA. (c) 2012, Michael L. Levitt LAT Photo USA (Photo Credit: INDYCAR/LAT USA)
Matt Brabham tests with Andretti Autosport at Iowa Speedway
Matt Brabham tests with Andretti Autosport at Iowa Speedway
Matt Brabham tests with Andretti Autosport at Iowa Speedway
INDYCAR CEO Mark Miles at the podium during the 2014 INDYCAR Championship Celebration (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Briscoe wrecks after contact with Ryan Hunter-Reay in the closing laps of the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Briscoe wrecks after contact with Ryan Hunter-Reay in the closing laps of the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Briscoe wrecks after contact with Ryan Hunter-Reay in the closing laps of the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Briscoe wrecks after contact with Ryan Hunter-Reay in the closing laps of the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Briscoe wrecks after contact with Ryan Hunter-Reay in the closing laps of the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Helio Castroneves leads the field down the frontstretch during the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Degree Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet V6 IndyCar, raced to a sixth-place finish Saturday, June 27, 2015, in the Verizon IndyCar Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Sage Karam, driver of the #8 Comfort Revolution/Big Machine Records Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet V6 IndyCar, races to a fifth-place finish Saturday, June 27, 2015, in the Verizon IndyCar Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. (Photo by Perry Nelson/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 PPG Automotive Refinish Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, races to a fourth-place finish Saturday, June 27, 2015, in the Verizon IndyCar Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. (Photo by Perry Nelson/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Tony Kanaan, driver of the #10 NTT Data Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6 races to a second-place finish Saturday, June 27, 2015, in the Verizon IndyCar Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California.  (Photo by Perry Nelson/LAT for Chevy Racing)

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