When the 102nd edition of the Indianapolis 500 will be run this May, three Indy veterans will try to qualify for the race.
The English duo Pippa Mann and Jay Howard will enter their 7th and 4th Indy 500 races respectively, while Conor Daly with the Northern Irish descent will try to get into his 5th Indy 500.
They are the officially 31st, 32nd and 33th drivers entered for the race, but there are a few more expected to enter, so there will be actual bumping happening for the 33 spots on the grid, which happened for several seasons.
Pippa Mann will enter with Dale Coyne Racing, like she has done in five of her previous six Indy 500 outings. She is slowly but surely climbing further and further up the results lists, and if everything goes well this year, she might sneak in the top-15 for the first time. The driver of car #63 won’t have it easy however, since she will only do that single race this year. The advantage for her is that all cars run the new aero kit, so everybody starts from zero regarding setups. And 34 year-old Mann is a bit of a oval specialist. She will be teammate with Pietro Fittipaldi, Conor Daly and Sebastien Bourdais at the race.
Conor Daly has been a bit of a on-off Indycar driver through the last five seasons, but when he finally managed to get two full seasons for Dale Coyne Racing and A. J. Foyt Enterprises in 2016 and 2017 respectively, everything was pointing towards him being a regular Verizon IndyCar Series driver. But shortly after the end of the 2017 season, the team threw a bucket of cold water in his face, and announced that he wouldn’t be part of their 2018 line-up. Since then, he has been fighting to collect sponsors and find the team for the Indy 500. Fortuneately his old team, Dale Coyne Racing had a car for him for 2018. Conor Daly will run car 17.
Jay Howard will enter for Schmidt Peterson Motorsport, like he has done for two of his three previous races. He will run car number 7, and will be teammate with Robert Wickens and James Hinchcliffe, plus his countryman Jack Harvey, who runs in the satellite team Michael Shank Racing with Schmidt Peterson. He still yet has to see his first Indy 500 chequered flag, in the big race.
The practices for the Indy 500 starts on 15 May, before the race itself will be run on 27 May.