After surviving a life-threatening crash during a practice session prior to last year’s race, James Hinchcliffe hopes to make a victorious return to the Indianapolis 500 this weekend when he starts on the pole at +1200 odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
Hinchcliffe missed the final 11 races of 2015 after suffering serious leg injuries in last year’s crash, but has shown steady improvement in the five races this season leading up to Sunday afternoon’s 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The 29-year-old Canadian had his best outing of the season earlier this month, finishing third at the Grand Prix of Indianapolis for which he sported +700 odds at the sportsbooks, and making his first podium appearance since winning at last year’s Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana.
Currently sitting eighth in the IndyCar standings, Hinchcliffe has twice started second in the Indy 500 but has yet to capture the checkered flag, with his sixth-place finish two years ago currently his career best.
It has been a shaky start to the season for Will Power, who currently follows Hinchcliffe in the standings. Power opened the season with a strong third-place finish in Phoenix, but was a disappointing 19th in the Grand Prix of Indianapolis.
However, memories of the veteran’s second-place finish last year on Memorial Day weekend have helped lift him to the top of the odds to win the Indianapolis 500 as a +600 favorite.
Power is joined at the top of the odds by defending Indy 500 champion Juan Pablo Montoya, and the current IndyCar standings leader Simon Pagenaud.
Last year’s win was the second of Montoya’s career, with his first coming back in 2000. The veteran opened his campaign with a win at the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, paying out handsomely at +1000, and he followed up with a pair of top-five finishes.
Pagenaud rides a three-race win streak, including the Grand Prix of Indianapolis, but will be starting eighth on the grid this weekend and has never finished better than eighth in the Indy 500.
Reigning IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon is second in the standings, trailing Pagenaud by 76 points, and sits alongside three-time Indy 500 champion Helio Castroneves at a strong +650 to win the race this weekend.
Tony Kanaan follows at +900, ahead of Josef Newgarden, who joins Hinchcliffe at +1200, with Sebastien Bourdais at +1600, and both Marco Andretti and Ryan Hunter-Reay at +2000.