(Our ever-vigilant IndyCar analyst Matt Lennon casts his eye over the 40-strong list of aspiring entrants for the 2010 Indianapolis 500. Just 33 will make it through to the grid on race day, meaning that we could see seven potentially high-profile casualties not making the start. Here’s his run-down on the contenders…)

If you view the official entry list, most if not all, have registered two entries for this race. This is as per Indy 500Indy 500 rules, once a car completes its three allotted qualification attempts, it cannot attempt to qualify again. Therefore, if a driver, pushing for every last hundredth of a second, crashes, that is it, they are registered as having “not qualified”. Of course, no driver wants that, so after the car is repaired, all that is required is a change of the number on the car and the driver can try again. Here is a brief profile of all 40 drivers taking part in the grandest spectacle in racing:

Raphael Matos Helio Castroneves Dan Wheldon Takuma Sato
Matos Castroneves Wheldon Sato

#2 Raphael Matos De Ferran Luczo Dragon Racing
  2009 IndyCar Series Rookie of the Year
#3 Helio Castroneves Team Penske
  3-time Indianapolis 500 winner; defending race winner
#4 Dan Wheldon Panther Racing
  2005 Indianapolis 500 race winner and 2005 IndyCar Series champion
#5 Takuma Sato KV Racing Technology
  Making his Indianapolis 500 debut, he is Japan’s most successful F1 driver
Ryan Briscoe Danica Patrick EJ Viso Scott Dixon
Briscoe  Patrick Viso Dixon
#6 Ryan Briscoe Team Penske
  3rd overall in 2009 IndyCar Series; qualified 2nd at 2009 Indianapolis 500
#7 Danica Patrick Andretti Autosports
  2005 IndyCar Series Rookie of the Year; first female IndyCar racewinner
#8 E.J. Viso KV Racing Technology
  34 starts in the IndyCar Series; briefly tested for the Spyker F1 team
#9 Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing
  2008 Indianapolis 500 racewinner; 2003 & 2008 IndyCar Series champion
Dario Franchitti Tony Kanaan Will Power Vitor Meira
Franchitti  Kanaan Power Meira
#10 Dario Franchitti Chip Ganassi Racing
  2007 Indianapolis 500 racewinner; 2007 IndyCar Series champion
#11 Tony Kanaan Andretti Autosports
  2004 IndyCar Series champion; 34 IndyCar Series victories
#12 Will Power Team Penske
  Currently leading the IndyCar Series championship
#14 Vitor Meira AJ Foyt Enterprises
  Two-time runner-up in the Indianapolis 500; 96 starts in the IndyCar Series
Paul Tracy Milka Duno Alex Lloyd Ed Carpenter
Tracy Duno Lloyd Carpenter
#15 Paul Tracy KV Racing Technology
  2003 Champ Car Series champion; 261 starts in CART / Champ Cars
#18 Milka Duno Dale Coyne Racing
  Holds the record for the best-ever finish in the Daytona 500 by a female
#19 Alex Lloyd Dale Coyne Racing
  2007 Indy Pro Series champion; finished 13th in 2009 Indianapolis 500
#20 Ed Carpenter Panther Racing
  Runner-up in 2009 Kentucky IndyCar round; step-son to Tony George
Davey Hamilton Justin Wilson Tomas Scheckter Mike Conway
Hamilton  Wilson Scheckter Conway
#21 Davey Hamilton De Ferran Luczo Dragon Racing
  1997 & 1998 championship runner-up in Indy Racing League Series’
#22 Justin Wilson Dreyer & Reinbold Racing
  Former Minardi & Jaguar F1 driver; 6 wins in Champ Car and IRL
#23 Tomas Scheckter Dreyer & Reinbold Racing
  2 wins in IndyCar Series; son of 1979 F1 World Champion, Jody
#24 Mike Conway Dreyer & Reinbold Racing
  2006 British F3 champion; best IndyCar finish of 3rd place at Sonoma
Ana Beatriz Marco Andretti Sebastian Saavedra Graham Rahal
Beatriz  Andretti Saavedra Rahal
#25 Ana Beatriz Dreyer & Reinbold Racing
  2008 Indy Lights Rookie of the Year; first female Indy Lights racewinner
#26 Marco Andretti Andretti Autosports
  2006 IndyCar Rookie of the Year; runner-up in 2006 Indianapolis 500
#27 TBC AFS Racing
  Rumoured to be 2009 Indy Lights Series champion J.R. Hildebrand
#29 Sebastian Saavedra Bryan Herta Autosport
  2009 Indy Lights Rookie of the Year
#30 Graham Rahal Rahal Letterman Racing
  2008 St Petersburg IndyCar racewinner
Mario Moraes Bruno Junqueira Mario Romancini Bertrand Baguette
Moraes  Junqueira Romancini Baguette
#32 Mario Moraes KV Racing Technology
  35 starts in IndyCar Series; best IndyCar finish of 3rd at Chicagoland
#33 Bruno Junqueira FAZZT Race Team
  8 wins in CART & Champ Car; 2000 FIA Formula 3000 champion
#34 Mario Romancini Conquest Racing
  Two-time 2009 Indy Lights racewinner
#36 Bertrand Baguette Conquest Racing
  2009 Formula Renault champion; former Renault & Sauber F1 test driver
Ryan Hunter-Reay AJ Foyt IV John Andretti Jay Howard
Hunter-Reay  Foyt IV Andretti Howard
#37 Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport
  Two-time IndyCar Series racewinner
#41 A.J. Foyt IV AJ Foyt Enterprises
  2002 Indy Lights Series champion; grandson of the legendary A.J. Foyt
#43 John Andretti Andretti Autosports
  Inaugural Sufers Paradise Indy racewinner in 1991
#66 Jay Howard Sarah Fisher Racing
  2006 Indy Pro Series champion
Sarah Fisher Alex Tagliani Simona de Silvestro Townsend Bell
Fisher Tagliani De Silvestro Bell
#67 Sarah Fisher Sarah Fisher Racing
  Youngest woman to compete in Indianapolis 500 history
#77 Alex Tagliani FAZZT Race Team
  132 starts in Champ Car Series
#78 Simona de Silvestro HVM Racing
  3rd overall in 2009 Indy Lights Series; 4-time Indy Lights Series racewinner
#98 TBC Team 3G
  Rumoured to be 2008 Indy Lights Series runner-up Richard Antinucci
#99 Townsend Bell Sam Schmidt Motorsports
  2001 Indy Lights Series champion
#06 Hideki Mutoh Newman-Haas Racing
  2002 Japanese Formula Dream Series champion
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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.