Indy 500 betting guide

Ryan Hunter-Reay has an excellent history at the Indy 500, including a win in 2014. Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

If anyone associated with Indycar, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway or open wheel racing was worried about how the 2017 Indy 500 could live up to last year's 100th running of The Greatest Spectacle in Racing, they can thank Formula 1 star Fernando Alonso.

On April 11, the two-time Formula 1 World Champion announced that he would be skipping the Monaco Grand Prix, F1's most prestigious race, to instead partner with Indycar's Andretti Autosport and make a run at the Indy 500.

Alonso, a 32-time winner on the Formula 1 circuit, brings international star power to an already world-class event and the 35-year-old Spaniard hasn't disappointed since hitting the track. Following impressive speed throughout practice, Alonso secured a fifth-place starting position during last weekend's qualifications.

The Indy 500, already a popular event among motorsports bettors, is garnering even more attention this year, according to Bookmaker.eu's Scott Cooley.