INDIANAPOLIS – We’ve had two new driver announcements in as many days for the upcoming 103rd Running of the Indianapolis 500. First it was Pippa Mann and the Clauson-Marshall Racing debut which was unveiled on Wednesday. Then, it was Dreyer & Reinbold Racing announcing that Sage Karam will be back with them for the fifth time in the last six years.
Where does that leave us now?
That’s 31 confirmed drivers for 32 entries. I can still make a case where we get to 36-40.
Last year, we had bumping for the first time in several years. 35 car and driver combinations came to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway with two (James Hinchcliffe, Pippa Mann) being sent home.
This year, we’re well on track to have more entries.
Here’s what we know with under two months left.
Team Penske (4) – Will Power, Josef Newgarden, Simon Pagenaud, Helio Castroneves. They’re set with no expansion.
ECR/Scuderia Corsa (3) – Ed Carpenter, Spencer Pigot, Ed Jones. This team is likely set. It would take someone with a lot of money to get them to bring four cars.
AJ Foyt Racing (2) – Matheus Leist, Tony Kanaan. The team had plans to merge for a third car but that talk has quieted some. They’re part of the Clauson-Marshall deal but not as much as they were with Byrd. Do they bring a third car out?
Carlin (2) – Max Chilton, Charlie Kimball. The team is set with these two for the Month of May, but does the third car come out? If so, RC Enerson or Pato O’Ward are the favorites.
McLaren (1) – Fernando Alonso. It doesn’t seem likely that they will field a second car.
DragonSpeed (1) – Ben Hanley R. They’re only showing up with one car for Hanley.
Juncos (1) – We know one car will be at Indy but the driver is still TBA. They have a second car but they need funding. With so many drivers left looking for rides still, there’s a good chance we see two cars in May still.
Clauson-Marshall Racing (1) – Pippa Mann. This deal was announced on Wednesday. They’ll run just one car.
Dreyer & Reinbold Racing (1) – Sage Karam is back for another run. Rumor is JR Hildebrand will be back in a second car for a second consecutive year too.
Andretti Autosport (5) – Marco Andretti, Alexander Rossi, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Zach Veach, Conor Daly. They’re set on five cars. There isn’t any plans to add a sixth this year.
RLL (3) – Graham Rahal, Takuma Sato, Jordan King R. There’s a chance they could add a fourth car, but it will take some serious cash to do so. If not, they’re set with three again.
SPM/Meyer-Shank Racing (3) – James Hinchcliffe, Marcus Ericsson R, Jack Harvey. These three are set but rumors are they may run a fourth car (3rd from SPM) in May again. Jay Howard has drove this car the past two years.
Chip Ganassi Racing (2) – Scott Dixon, Felix Rosenqvist R. They’re set with two with no plans of expansion.
Dale Coyne Racing (2) – Sebastien Bourdais, Santino Ferrucci R. They have plans to run a third car but a fourth doesn’t seem likely. Several drivers are in play for the third.
Harding/Steinbrenner Racing (1) – Colton Herta R. They would still like to run the second car at Indy, but funding is tight.
Dreyer & Reinbold Racing (1) – All signs point to them being back with the same driver lineup as last year.
Carlin (1) – The third car is a 70-30 chance still with RC Enerson or Pato O’Ward as the favorites to land in it.
AJ Foyt Racing (1) – They’ve ran a third car the last few years and I can see them still bringing one back out. Several drivers could be in the mix here.
Juncos (1) – They have a second car but do they use it or lease it out to someone else. Plenty of drivers are in play here from Carlos Munoz, Kyle Kaiser, Rene Binder, Jay Howard, Stefan Wilson, Gabby Chaves and others.
SPM (1) – This car seems likely with Oriol Servia’s name mentioned as the top option. Jay Howard’s name is also in the mix.
DCR (1-2) – It will take a lot to get two more cars from DCR, but James Davison with Byrd Racing appear to be the favorites to land the third seat. Jay Howard and his partners are also in the mix if he loses out on the seat with SPM. Stefan Wilson and Gabby Chaves are potentials too.
Harding (1) – They want to run the second car. Carlos Munoz and Gabby Chaves make sense to hop in it. But, do they bring enough money?