Seven rookies are in the field, including Dreyer & Reinbold-Kingdom Racing’s Sage Karam, Jack Hawksworth and Martin Plowman of England, Mikhail Aleshin of Russia, Carlos Huertas of Colombia and Busch.
Lazier has the most starts of any driver with 17; the record is 35 by four-time winner A.J. Foyt in consecutive starts from 1958-92.
Dixon has led 347 laps, the most led of any driver in the field. Kanaan, 225 laps, and Castroneves, 232 laps, are the other drivers who have led more than 200 laps.
The most experienced 500 field had 260 previous starts in 1987 and 1992. This year’s field has a combined 149 previous starts.There are 14 Indy Lights Series graduates in the field: Carpenter, James Davison, Jack Hawksworth, Ed Hinchcliffe, Sage Karam, Martin Plowman, Marco Andretti, JR Hildebrand, Charlie Kimball, Pippa Mann, Carlos Munoz, Josef Newgarden, Graham Rahal and Sebastian Saavedra.
The oldest driver is Lazier, 46; the youngest is Karam, 19.
Two-seater rides in the Indy Racing Experience have attracted various celebrities. Former NBA coaches Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson were driven by Mario Andretti at speeds nearing 180 mph. Van Gundy’s grandfather was a track usher. After the laps around the track, ex-Pacers Jackson regretted not having done it sooner.
Only 11 American-born drivers are in the race: Carpenter, Marco Andretti, Newgarden, Hildebrand, Busch, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Graham Rahal, Townsend Bell, Kimball, Karam and Lazier.
Andretti Autosport has the most cars, three, in the first three rows.