Indy 500 favorite Scott Dixon heavily backed by public

5/27/2021 2:21:54 PM EST

Scott Dixon's short odds to win the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday aren't dissuading the public from backing the heavy favorite.

The New Zealander will start the 105th running of the race from the pole, and the +350 favorite has been backed by 13 percent of the handle and eight percent of the winning bets at DraftKings. Both are the most among the 33-car field.

American Colton Herta, 21, and the Netherlands' Rinus VeeKay, the youngest in the field at 20, are also on the front row in second and third, respectively. Herta is the second favorite at +700 but has only been backed by a modest five percent of the handle and winning bets.

VeeKay, who has been bet down to +1400 from +1600 earlier this week, has been supported by seven and six percent, respectively.

The fact that it's the fastest field overall in the race's history only adds to the excitement of the Indy 500's return to its Memorial Day weekend spot after being postponed last year to the coronavirus pandemic.

"Winning a pole at the Indianapolis 500 is one of the toughest things to do," Dixon said. "From a team standpoint, just how much work and effort goes into building these cars specifically for that pole run, it's a lot of money and a lot of effort that it takes."

It's the fourth pole for Dixon at the Indy 500.

"We've been on the other side of it. We've had them before, but we've started well in the pack, too, where you can't figure out why you're in that position," Dixon said.

Meanwhile, Japan's Takuma Sato, the defending champion, is seeking his third Indy 500 victory. At +2000, he is being backed by seven percent of the handle and four percent of the bets at DraftKings.

The last three races have been won by a driver starting in one of the first four positions, and that makes Ed Carpenter one to watch.

Starting fourth, the stepson of Tony George, the man whose family owned the track for generations, and indeed the series for many years, will not only be a sentimental favorite, but a driver who saves his best for Indy every year, with a high finish of second in 2018.

The public is backing him with 8 percent of the handle and 7 percent of the bets at +2500 at DraftKings. That's just behind Alexander Rossi (9 and 7 percent at +1400) as the drivers with the most support beyond Dixon.

Legends Tony Kanaan (one Indy 500 win, +1600), Helio Castroneves (three, +3000) and Juan Pablo Montoya (two, +3300) are also in the field.

--Field Level Media

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