Start Your Engines 


By: Jeff Yoder

Happy Friday 

It’s one of my favorite weekends on the calendar as the sports world shifts its focus to the home of yours truly. It’s 500 miles of speed and a holiday tradition in the Hoosier state. No series closeouts yet in the NBA and NHL after teams in green won Thursday night to keep hope alive, but the Memorial Day Weekend primer is all about the big race.

Start those engines…

Letter Rip!

INDY 500

The Indy 500 Primer

Photo: Jamie Squire / Getty Images

Everything You Need to Know for the 107th Running of the Indianapolis 500

For 90 percent of the year, we cover team sports with balls, sticks, helmets and gloves. Only a few events on the calendar bring cause for pause and captivate the entire sports world. The Kentucky Derby, Tour de France, Olympics and World Cup fit that category. And then, there’s the Indianapolis 500.

The Greatest Spectacle in Racing is ready to take over the sports world for Memorial Day Weekend. The largest and most-attended single-day sporting event on Earth brings 300,000-plus to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday — the largest venue on the planet, too — for a spectacle of speed unlike any other. Memorial Day Weekend is here, and so is racing’s most iconic moment. Here’s everything you need to know for Sunday’s 500-mile dash.

Indy 500 For Beginners

The 500 is just one race in the IndyCar Series that runs 17 separate events throughout the season, but the 500 is markedly different than the rest. The 500-mile race features 200 laps on the 2.5-mile oval that registers as the largest sports venue in the world. More than 250,000 seats surround the track in the grandstands while tens of thousands watch from the infield. Cars travel at speeds beyond 230 mph with significantly more handling capabilities than NASCAR. IndyCar’s Formula 1 counterparts may provide a better seasonal product, but nothing compares to the experience of the 500.

Palou on the Pole

Chip Ganassi Racing’s Alex Palou will start from the pole position after winning qualifying with a speed of 234.217 mph. The 26-year-old Spaniard is fresh off winning the Indianpolis Grand Prix two weeks ago, and he seems to be right at home at IMS.

Starting Grid

Row 1: A. Palou | R. VeeKay | F. Rosenqvist

Row 2: S. Ferrucci | P. O’Ward | S. Dixon

Row 3: A. Rossi | T. Sato | T. Kanaan

Row 4: M. Ericsson | B. Pedersen | W. Power

Row 5: E. Carpenter | S. McLaughlin | K. Kirkwood

Full Starting Grid

Best Odds to Win 107th Indy 500

Alex Palou (+550), Scott Dixon (+750), Pato O’Ward (+750), Takuma Sato (+1000), Felix Rosenqvist (+1000), Marcus Ericsson (+1200), Alexander Rossi (+1200), Scott McLaughlin (+1200) | Full Odds

Recent Champions (Last 5 Years)

2022: Marcus Ericcson

2021: Helio Castroneves

2020: Takuma Sato

2019: Sion Pagenaud

2018 Will Power

Other Past Winners in the Field: Alexander Rossi, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Tony Kanaan, Scott Dixon

Event Info

Race Start: 12:45 pm ET, NBC

Honorary Starter: Adam Driver (Actor)

Pace Car Driver: Tyrese Haliburton (Indiana Pacers)

Drivers, start your engines!

Read More

IndyStar: Complete Guide to 2023 Indy 500

Motorsport: What to Watch For in 2023 Indy 500

ESPN: An Indy 500 Win is Life-Changing, Even for IndyCar Champions



Not So Fast…

Photo: Maddie Meyer / Getty Images

Celtics Stave Off Elimination Again in Game 5 With Wire-to-Wire Win (110-97)

Don’t let the scoreline fool you. The Celtics handed the Heat beatdown in Game 5 that was much worse than the scoreboard suggests, and Boston suddenly has the NBA world on the edge of its seat. No team has ever come back to win a series when trailing 3-0, and the Celtics are halfway there. Thursday’s Game 5 was all Boston, all night. The C’s jumped out to a 20-5 lead in the first six minutes and never looked back. Four Celtics scored 20-plus while no one on the Heat cracked 20 points. Game 6 heads back to Miami on Saturday and the biggest comeback in NBA Playoff history is still a possibility.

Celtics 4-Headed Monster

D. White: 24 points (6-for-8, 3pt)

M. Smart: 23 points (4-for-6, 3pt)

J. Tatum: 21 points, 8 rebounds, 11 assists

J. Brown: 21 points, 3 steals

Eastern Conference Finals

Gm 5: Celtics def. Heat (110-97) | MIA Leads (3-2)

Gm 6: Saturday (8:30 pm ET)

Winner to Face Denver Nuggets in NBA Finals

Read More

B/R: Celtics Comeback & NBA History Are More Likely Than You Think

SI: Celtics Dominate Heat in Game 5 to Keep Finals Hopes Alive



Stars Still Shining

Photo: Jeff Bottari / Getty Images

Stars Prevent Golden Knights Sweep With OT Winner From Joe Pavelski in Game 4 (3-2, OT)

The celebration will have to wait for Vegas. Staring down a sweep after dropping the first three games of the Western Conference Finals, the Stars skated past the Golden Knights on Thursday with a gritty performance and a Joe Pavelski snipe for the OT winner. Dallas kept their cool after trailing 0-1 and 1-2 to punch back twice and force OT. Miro Heiskanen (2 assists) was the catalyst for Dallas throughout the night. The Stars, even if it’s temporary, are still shining, and we’re going back to casino for Game 5.

Western Conference Finals

Gm 4: Stars def. Golden Knights (3-2, OT) | VGK Leads (3-1)

Gm 5: Saturday (8:00 pm ET)

Winner to Face Florida Panthers in Stanley Cup Finals

Read More

SportsNet: Stars Beat Golden Knights in OT to Force Game 5

ESPN: 7 Hard Lessons From the Stanley Cup Playoffs




O’s Best Yankees Again, Go 5-1 in AL East Road Trip

Austin Riley Hits 2 Moonshot Homers in Braves Win

Rougned Odor Crushes Go-Ahead 3-Run HR in Padres Comeback


Jackie Young Drops 30 in Aces’ Win Over Sparks (94-85)

Diana Taurasi Hits Four 3s, Double-Double in Mercury Win (90-81)

 PGA: Hall Dominates, Block Stumbles at Colonial

Harry Hall (-8) dominated Round 1 at the Charles Schwab Challenge on Thursday. He has a 3-stoke lead after 18 holes, but all eyes were on America’s hero, Michael Block. The pressure was on this time around. Block stumbled with an opening-round 81 (+11). He’s dead last.





The Must-Watch List

The 107th Running of the Indianapolis 500

Sunday (12:30 pm)

NBA Playoffs

Gm 6: Celtics at Heat (Sat. 8:30 pm)

MIA Leads (3-2)

NHL Playoffs

Gm 5: Stars at Golden Knights (Sat. 8:00 pm)

VGK Leads (3-1)

French Open

1st Round Begins Sunday

PGA Tour

Charles Schwab Challenge (All Weekend)


Dodgers-Rays Series

Padres-Yankees Series

Rangers-Orioles Series

Full MLB Schedule


Sun at Liberty (Sat. 1:00 pm)

Wings at Sky (Sun. 6:00 pm)

Full WNBA Schedule


MLS Weekend Schedule

NWSL Weekend Schedule

Download The Sportsletter’s Must-Watch Calendar




Yesterday, we asked: Which Florida underdog team do you think is most likely to win a championship? The Panthers are waiting in the Stanley Cup Finals, and the Heat have yet to slam the door on the Celtics. The team is riding with the Panthers.

Florida Panthers — 74%

Miami Heat — 26%