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Question of the Day: Who will win the Indy 500? [Updated]

May 26, 2011 |  9:10 am

Photo: Driver Danica Patrick autographs a helmet during Community Day for the Indianapolis 500. Credit: Michael Conroy / Associated Press Writers from around the Tribune Co. discuss the topic. Check back throughout the day for more responses and feel free to leave a comment of your own.

George Diaz, Orlando Sentinel

Dario Franchitti.

It’s a safe pick to go with a three-time IndyCar champion who has also won two Indy 500s.
But it’s also the right pick.

He should be the favorite. He drives for Target-Ganassi, the team to beat. And there is a matter of consistency for the man behind the wheel: Franchitti has not finished worse than seventh in the past six races at Indianapolis. He will start ninth on Sunday, but only because Franchitti ran out of fuel on the final qualifying lap, giving away a spot on the front row.

Franchitti, who turned 38 this month, is at the top of his game.

“He's fast, and [he has] a good team,” said open-wheel rival Will Power. ''That's what it takes."

Look for Franchitti to be gulping down some celebratory milk Sunday afternoon.

[Updated at 9:57 a.m.: An earlier version of this post misidentified Will Power as Scott Power.]

[Updated at 12:26 p.m.

Dave van Dyck, Chicago Tribune

If the race gods could have their way, the 100th anniversary of the Indianapolis 500 would end before it begins -- with A.J. Foyt and Mario Andretti battling it out in pace cars. Next best would be a Foyt- or Andretti-owned car (with grandson Marco driving) winning. But the gods are rarely fair in racing, and  tradition at this historic battle-scarred Brickyard has mostly vanished. However, in keeping with the past as best we can, let’s go with Helio Castroneves in a car owned by Foyt-Andretti contemporary Roger Penske.

Jim Peltz, Los Angeles Times

Headline writers, sharpen your pencils, because the wink-wink plays on Will Power’s name will be in abundance after the 100th anniversary Indianapolis 500. The Australian is a bona fide expert on curvy street and road courses -- the first four races of this season were held on that type of circuit and Power won two of the four, and built a 14-point lead in the title standings over Dario Franchitti -- but he has yet to win on an oval. That will change Sunday. Power is steadily learning the nuances of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and he’s driving a top-notch car provided by Team Penske, whose owner Roger Penske has a whopping 15 Indy 500 wins to his credit. This will be Power’s fourth race at the Brickyard (he finished eighth last year after clawing back from an early pit-road miscue) and he’s finished every lap in his prior three attempts.]

Photo: Driver Danica Patrick autographs a helmet during Community Day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Credit: Michael Conroy / Associated Press