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Sunday, May 25, 2003
Indy's storylines

ESPN.com

There's plenty to pay attention to during Sunday's Indy 500. So what will be the story of the race? ABC's and ESPN's announcers share their takes:

AnnouncerStoryline
Bob Jenkins Bob Jenkins
Host
"People watching Helio Castroneves and Michael Andretti. Of course, the thing that will play into it is the 31 other drivers that will be trying to prevent Helio and Michael from winning. I think that the Helio and Michael stories are the thing that people will be watching for mainly in the race. But there are so many things, of course, that can happen -- who knows, they may not."
Scott Goodyear Scott Goodyear
Analyst
"It's probably the most competitive field that we've ever had here. We've talked before about the winner not being known until the last lap and I think that's truly going to be the case here -- probably until the last turn. Prediction-wise, everybody asks -- really, there's a driver in every row that probably can win this event. And it doesn't matter if you start in the first row or the last row. I think there are the natural guys that everybody is talking about, but if you had to pick a handful of guys, only five guys, I think I would look at de Ferran, Kanaan, Wheldon, Sharp and maybe in one sense a bit of a darkhorse, maybe Al Jr. again."
Gary Gerould Gary Gerould
Pit Reporter
"The competitiveness of the field is certainly a predominant storyline and of course the bid for the threepeat by Castroneves. And Michael's last run at Indy. Will there be any change in the Andretti fortune? I think those are the predominant themes all the way through and I don't see anything changing that."
Robin Miller Robin Miller
RPM2Night
"Michael Andretti closes out his brilliant open-wheel career and tries to finally make it to victory lane. Will he retire as the best to have never won Indy? Will it be Honda or Toyota in their Indy debuts? All the strong teams have one of these Japanese engines except two-time IRL champ Sam Hornish and former IRL champ Buddy Lazier. They've got Chevys and no chance to win."
Marlo Klain Marlo Klain
RPM2Night
"There are a couple of storylines in this race. You have Michael Andretti and his last race, and if you want to talk about people that have a great shot, Michael Andretti has a great shot at winning this race. The last couple of years since he's returned, he's had a strong car and he certainly doesn't have as good a shot as he's had in the past. But this year I think he's got a pretty good shot. That team is prepared, they've had a good month. He didn't have the greatest Carb Day with a hiccup with the car, but I think that would be an unbelievable storyline if he actually wins going out. The guy has 42 CART victories and if he can win in his last race -- that's the way everyone wants to go out, with an Indy 500 win."
Vince Welch Vince Welch
Pit Reporter
"You've got a list of probably 20 drivers that if they ended up in Victory Lane on Sunday, people who cover motorsports or are aware of motorsports on a regular basis wouldn't be surprised. For that reason, I think it makes it one of the more exciting 500s certainly in recent years. You have the Andretti story and the Helio story, but ultimately what makes the race exciting is the number of people that have the potential to win. And if one guy falls out, it doesn't take away the story of the race."
           Jonathan Baum
RPM.ESPN.com
"Obviously, Andretti's last race and Castroneves' quest for three consecutive Indy wins top the list. But there's also the battle of the uber teams -- Penske, Andretti, Kelley and Ganassi. And don't count out Rahal. Which camp the winner comes from is almost as intriguing as the winner him (or her) self. Also, Indy can be full of surprises -- will a driver from one of the smaller teams pull off a major upset? How about a Chevy driver -- do Hornish and Co. have a chance? Or will the pace car leading the field to the green be the only time a Chevy is at the front on Sunday?"