Indy 500 Preview: Danica in the Spotlight
Danica Patrick by Michael Hickey/WireImage.com, Helio Castroneves by Brian Spurlock/WireImage.com
Even before the cry of "Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines," the 92nd
will be packed thick with excitement and story lines (Sunday, May 25, 1 pm/ET, ABC).
The fiercest rivalry in open wheel racing is
as the sport's two governing bodies have unified after 12 years. The hot new young guns with familiar names (Marco Andretti and Graham Rahal) will be motoring alongside Indy greats such as
and two-time Indy winner (and
one-time Dancing With the Stars champ
And yet all eyes watching the 33 sleek cars whipping around the most famous track in the U.S. will be trained on
, Patrick became the first female driver ever to win a big league motorsports event, and she loves Indy as much as the crowd loves her.
ABC/ESPN analyst Scott Goodyear, himself an Indy great, likes Dixon ("I think he's in a class by himself this year"), Catroneves and Tomas Scheckter, but says you can't bet against Danica. "I don't think she cares whether she has to go around you, on top of you or knock you off, she wants to get to the front," he says. "I don't think there's much of a fear in her. She is determined to win at any cost."
- Robert Edelstein