The odds for the Indy 500 favourite Fernando Alonso
The Spaniard is a two-time F1 world champion but has been since rejoining McLaren in 2015 with a best finish of fifth.
So when the opportunity came about to miss the Monaco GP, where he would likely be battling for a slim chance of a top-10 finish, he jumped at a seat in Indy 500.
But can he really become just the 10th man in 101 runnings of the 200-lap race to win at the very first attempt?
Indy 500 2017 odds (selected; best available)
Fernando Alonso 13/2, Scott Dixon 11/2, Will Power 9/1, Ryan Hunter-Reay 12/1, Juan Pablo Montoya 12/1, Helio Castroneves 12/1, Marco Andretti 14/1, Josef Newgarden 16/1, Takuma Sato 16/1, Tony Kanaan 16/1, Simon Pagenaud 16/1, Ed Carpenter 18/1, James Hinchcliffe 25/1, Alexander Rossi 25/1.
Indy 500 2017 line-up: How the starting grid and drivers will look Thu, May 25, 2017
Express Sport brings you the Indy 500 2017 line-up
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Will Fernando Alonso finish on the podium?
No 6/11, Yes 13/10.
When did a rookie last win the Indy 500?
In the inaugural race in 1911, naturally everyone was a rookie and Pennsylvania-born racing driver Ray Harroun won the race to become the first winner and the first rookie winner.
Since then eight others have managed the feat with only three coming in the last 50 years but the most recent came last year when Alexander Rossi, a former GP2 driver, triumphed for Andretti Autosport – the same team for which Alonso will race in 2017.
Rookie winners: Ray Harroun (1911), Jules Goux (1913), Rene Thomas (1914), Frank Lockhart (1926), George Souders (1927), Graham Hill (1966), Juan Pablo Montoya (2000), Helio Castroneves (2001), Alexander Rossi (2016).