INDIANAPOLIS — Part-time drivers and one-off rides are usually afterthoughts at the Indianapolis 500, where the sport’s brightest stars tend to shine in the hot sun on the final Sunday of May.

This year, the part-time driver is Helio Castroneves.

And the one-off is Danica Patrick.

Throw in a deep, four-car stable from owner Roger Penske, the race favorite starting from the back row and a big name sitting out the race, and the 102nd edition of the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing” just might live up to its nickname.

Yes, Castroneves can win this race for a record-tying fourth time. He’s been chasing that mark since 2010 and has finished second three times, including last year when he was beaten by Takuma Sato, the first Japanese winner in race history.

Castroneves is part of the talented Penske lineup that put all four of its Chevrolets in the front nine of the starting grid. He was the favorite to win the pole but didn’t get the run he needed and wound up eighth, right behind Patrick.

Her return to racing’s biggest stage comes seven years after Patrick left for NASCAR. The only woman to lead laps in both the Indy 500 and the Daytona 500 has no plans to race again after Sunday. Like Castroneves, she returned to Indy with a car capable of winning.

Chevrolet, winner of only two Indy 500s since its 2012 return to IndyCar, came to Indianapolis Motor Speedway intent on ending Honda’s two-year winning streak. With the fastest cars in the field, there are Chevys in seven of the first nine starting spots. Four went to Penske drivers and three to Ed Carpenter Racing, which is fielding a car for Patrick and put team owner Ed Carpenter on the pole.

Everyone knows she can win her finale, but not many believe she will actually pull it off. Patrick believes in herself, though, and her peers have no doubt she will impress again at Indy.

“Not enough people give enough credit to her,” Castroneves said. “She’s not only stayed away so many years from IndyCar, and come back, not only to be in a race … it shows that she’s an amazing talent. She opens so many doors for so many young ladies, young girls, to become race car drivers. Courageous for her, as well, making the decision to stop.”

“Making an impact on people’s lives, having the ability to make an impact on people’s lives, is really powerful,” she said. “I’ve never overlooked it. I’ve never said I didn’t ask for it and I don’t want it. I honor it and try to do a good job with it.”

The same could be said for James Hinchcliffe, the driver who replaced Patrick when she left for IndyCar and grew into one of the sport’s most popular drivers. He had a near-fatal accident at Indy in 2015, returned the next year and won the pole, then failed to qualify for Sunday’s race because of a series of mistakes by his race team.

An embarrassing and heartbreaking setback for one of IndyCar’s championship contenders, Hinchcliffe did not want the field of 33 expanded to accommodate him. The Canadian was uncomfortable asking another driver to give up his seat for him, and he was determined to show strong sportsmanship during this setback in his strange history with Indy. So Hinchcliffe has honored every sponsor appearance, did a media tour to promote the race in New York City and has supported teammates as they’ve prepared to race without him.

He solemnly watched Friday’s pit crew competition in a black T-shirt that read simply: “Indy 500 or Nowhere.”

Drivers aren’t sure what to predict and have no idea what kind of race it will be.

“Everybody is worried, but honestly that’s going to make it more of race about pure talent of the guys, how smart are you with the tools? Saving this? Saving that?” Tony Kanaan said. “It’s uncomfortable, but I like it

FORMULA ONE: Daniel Ricciardo took a dominant pole position for the Monaco Grand Prix on Saturday, softening the blow for Red Bull after his teammate Max Verstappen failed to even start qualifying, having earlier crashed in final practice.

Ricciardo topped all three sections of qualifying, setting a lap record in the process for only his second career pole. The other was also in Monaco, two years ago.

Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel qualified second ahead of championship leader Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes. In a further boost for Ferrari, Kimi Raikkonen qualified fourth ahead of Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas.

NASCAR: Kevin Harvick has won the last three Cup races, including the $1 million All-Star race at Charlotte Motor Speedway last weekend. And while he is starting 39th for the Coca-Cola 600 after his No. 4 Ford failed inspection three times prior to qualifying, he’s expected to be in the mix at the end.

Harvick’s failure to participate in qualifying wasn’t lost on his competitors, who are looking for any advantage possible in their attempts to reel him in. Joey Logano joked that “it sure don’t hurt” that Harvick has to start at the back of the field.

But with this being 100 miles longer than any other race on the NASCAR circuit, Harvick has plenty of time to push to the front. Harvick said his team knows things are going well, but they are staying focused and handling success in stride.

XFINITY: Brad Keselowski became the first repeat winner on the Xfinity Series this season, taking the rain-delayed race at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C.

The Cup driver has 38 Xfinity victories, also winning the rain-delayed Phoenix race in March.