Where the full season IndyCar entries are now, as well as also for the 105th Running of the Indy 500, after a busy week of announcements

INDIANAPOLIS — The 2021 NTT IndyCar Series season got a ton of clarity on the driver and team front this past week. In what started as an announcement that James Hinchcliffe would pilot the fourth Andretti Autosport car on a full-time basis during this upcoming season, was soon followed by Dale Coyne Racing unveiling their plans as well.

Two of the last three days have shed more light on the matter with three of the last four days being busy on the Indy Car front overall.

With that said, where do we sit on the car counts for this season as well as the 105th Running of the Indianapolis 500 this coming May?

We know that we have 31 cars already set for this May and upwards of 25 full time. We could also see as much as 26-27 on select races outside of Indy.

Lets start with the season first as most of those will end up on the Indy 500 list obviously.

Team Penske will expand from three to four full time cars with Scott McLaughlin joining Josef Newgarden, Will Power and Simon Pagenaud with the team.

Chip Ganassi Racing also expands to a fourth car with a shared Jimmie Johnson and Tony Kanaan entry (No. 48 Honda). Marcus Ericsson is back. As is defending champion Scott Dixon. While Felix Rosenqvist does depart to Arrow McLaren SP, Palou replaces him in the No. 10 Honda.

Rosenqvist, in turns joins Pato O’Ward with Arrow McLaren SP as Oliver Askew wasn’t retained.

Graham Rahal and Takuma Sato are back with RLL. Meyer Shank Racing will expand to a second car for six races and have Helio Castroneves in it.

Colton Herta shifts from the 88 to the 26 Honda in replacing Zach Veach. Hunter-Reay and Hinchcliffe join Herta and already under contract Alexander Rossi at AA. Marco Andretti will be part-time as of now.

Ed Carpenter Racing will be the same lineup with Rinus VeeKay full time and Ed Carpenter/Conor Daly splitting the No. 20 Chevrolet seat in the same capacity.

Dale Coyne Racing has Ed Jones in the No. 18 Honda with Vasser-Sullivan as the partner while Rick Ware Racing will join for the second car and move from the No. 19 Honda, or the No. 55 Honda for that matter last year, to the No. 51 Honda. A driver will be announced next week with all signs pointing to Romain Grosjean on all road/street courses. Cody Ware is the leading favorite to race the Indy 500 which makes sense for the 52 ride, but he could shift to the 51 with James Davison is also in the hunt to be in the mix here. So is Pietro Fittipaldi.

Carlin has Max Chilton back for road/street courses as well as the Indy 500 and still searching for a driver for the Texas two-step and the World Wide Technology Raceway.

Chevrolet (11)

Team Penske (4) – Josef Newgarden (No. 2), Scott McLaughlin (No. 3), Will Power No. 12), Simon Pagenaud (No. 22)

Arrow McLaren SP (2) – Pato O’Ward (No. 5), Felix Rosenqvist (No. 7)

Ed Carpenter Racing (2) – Ed Carpenter ovals only, Conor Daly road coures only (No. 20), Rinus VeeKay (No. 21), Daly in the 3rd Indy 500 car

AJ Foyt Racing (2) – Sebastien Bourdais (No. 14), Dalton Kellett (No. 4)

Carlin (1) – Max Chilton road/street courses only (No. 59) the oval seat is open

Honda (15) 

Andretti Autosport (5) – Colton Herta (No. 26), Alexander Rossi (No. 27), Ryan Hunter-Reay (No. 28 Honda), James Hinchcliffe (No. 29 Honda), Marco Andretti (No.98 part-time)

Chip Ganassi Racing (4) – Marcus Ericsson (No. 8), Scott Dixon (No. 9), Alex Palou (No. 10), Jimmie Johnson road/street courses only, Tony Kanaan ovals only (No. 48)

Rahal/Letterman/Lanigan Racing (2) – Graham Rahal (No. 15), Takuma Sato (No. 30)

Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan (18 car) and Rick Ware Racing (51 car) (2) – Ed Jones (No. 18 Honda), No. 51 (open)

Meyer Shank Racing (2) Jack Harvey (No. 60), Helio Castroneves – PT (No. 06 Honda)

Indy 500

We have part time rides here already shaping up. RWR has an additional car with DCR again. ECR has a third for Daly. AA has a fifth for Marco Andretti. Arrow McLaren SP has hired Juan Pablo Montoya in a third ride. Paretta Autosport brings Simona de Silvestro.

That’s 31 cars already.

We know DRR will likely show up with two cars again which will push this list to 33. RLL has ran a third car the last several years. That’s 34. Foyt is open to bringing out a third car again so long as the funding is there. That’s 35 already with more on the horizon.

There’s plenty of drivers available, but the main one on the outside right now is Charlie Kimball. He has the talent but no full time ride now. Does he end up with Carlin? Does he come back with Foyt for their third car?

Every Indy 500 winner since 2013 is here again. There’s 13 Indy 500 wins already on the entry list.

This could be one of the toughest fields to get into next year in the 105 year history of this event. I know the glory years saw more cars go home than starting spots, but their depth from top to the bottom wasn’t like this. The speeds were as close to each other then either. The disparity from first to last over four laps now can be separated by a slight bobble on one of your laps.

Throw in high class drivers in every ride and you get what should be a memorable Month of May this year with the best field to ever grace us at the Brickyard.

Entries So Far

Chevrolet (14)

Team Penske (4) – Josef Newgarden (No. 2), Scott McLaughlin (No. 3), Will Power No. 12), Simon Pagenaud (No. 22)

Arrow McLaren SP (3) – Pato O’Ward (No. 5), Felix Rosenqvist (No. 7), Juan Pablo Montoya (Number TBA)

Ed Carpenter Racing (3) – Ed Carpenter (No. 20), Rinus VeeKay (No. 21), Conor Daly (Number TBA)

AJ Foyt Racing (2) – Dalton Kellett (No. 4), Sebastien Bourdais (No. 14)

Carlin (1) – Max Chilton (No. 59)

Paretta Autosport (1) – Simona de Silvestro (1)

Honda (17) 

Andretti Autosport (5) – Colton Herta (No. 26), Alexander Rossi (No. 27), Ryan Hunter-Reay (No. 28), Marco Andretti (No. 98), No. 29 (open – likely James Hinchcliffe)

Chip Ganassi Racing (4) – Marcus Ericsson (No. 8), Scott Dixon (No. 9), Alex Palou (No. 10), Tony Kanaan (No. 48)

Dale Coyne Racing (3) – Ed Jones (No. 18 Honda), No. 51 Honda (open), No. 52 Honda (open)

Rahal/Letterman/Lanigan Racing (2) – Graham Rahal (No. 15), Takuma Sato (No. 30)

Meyer Shank Racing (2) – Helio Castroneves (No. 06), Jack Harvey (No. 60)

Part Time (8)

No. 88 Honda – Harding/Steinbrenner Racing?. The car is there, do they have the funding to go back to part time with maybe and Indy only entry?

No. 24 Chevrolet – Dreyer & Reinbold Racing (ran at least 1 car for every Indy 500 since 2000)

DRR – 2nd car (ran this car for 3 straight years)

RLL (3rd car) – ran an Indy only entry for 13 straight years now. Brought a 3rd car out in 2004, 2013 (DNQ), 2018 (Servia), 2019 (Jordan King), 2020 (Pigot).

AJ Foyt Racing (3rd car) – Interest is there. Ran a 3rd car in 5 of the last 6 years

Buhl Cirtrone – ran Pigot with RLL last year. Do they run on their own or team up with another existing team for an extra car?

Top Gun Racing? – Was supposed to show up last year but ran out of time. Do they try again this May?

Byrd Racing? – Has had a car in each of the last 3 years for James Davison and in 2015 and 2016 for Bryan Clauson. Do they come back for the 6th time in the last 7 years? Odds are if they do, it will be an alliance.

Juncos Racing? – Sold a car to another team, so do they even have enough parts and a car left?

Notable Non Rookie Drivers Available

Oriol Servia – 11 starts, best finish 4th (2012), last start came in 2019

Charlie Kimball – 10 starts (all consecutively) – best finish 3rd (2015), has driven for 3 different teams in the last 4 years

JR Hildebrand – 10 starts (all consecutively) – best finish 2nd (2011) – drove for DRR last 3 years

Sage Karam – 7 starts, best finish 9th (2014) – drove for DRR in 6 of 7 years

James Davison – 6 starts, best finish 12th (2019)

Spencer Pigot – 5 starts, best finish 14th (2019)

Zach Veach – 4 starts, best finish 15th (2020)

Santino Ferrucci – 2 starts, improved each time. Was 7th in 2019 and 4th last year

Oliver Askew – 1 starts (2020) – finished 30th. Won the 2019 Freedom 100

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