INDIANAPOLIS — The wait is now over. The long rumored sixth seat with Andretti Autosport has a driver. On Tuesday morning, Andretti Autosport unveiled their sixth entry for the Greatest Spectacle in Racing. Stefan Wilson will pilot the No. 25 Honda for his second time he’s embarked on the ‘500, both coming with AA.
Wilson and LOHLA SPORT to complete Andretti Autosport’s six-car Indy 500 lineup
Premier women’s golf lifestyle brand LOHLA SPORT to make their debut in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES and Indianapolis 500 for Wilson’s third start at the Greatest Spectacle in Racing
Andretti Autosport announced today that Stefan Wilson and new partner LOHLA SPORT will join the five-time Indianapolis 500 winning team for the 105th Running of the Indianapolis 500 to complete the team’s six-car lineup. Wilson, who ran the 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500 with Andretti Autosport and competed for the team in Indy Lights, will team up with the new premier women’s golf lifestyle brand to run the No. 25 LOHLA SPORT Honda.
“We’re excited to not only welcome Stefan back to the team, but also to have a new partner in LOHLA SPORT come on board to experience their first Indy 500,” said Michael Andretti, Chairman and CEO, Andretti Autosport. “We have a great history with the Wilson family and we’re hopeful we can build on successes we’ve had in the past this May.”
“After leading laps with Andretti Autosport at the Indianapolis 500 in 2018, I’m hungry to return and finish the job. I’ve worked tirelessly to make this return happen and I am so thankful that LOHLA SPORT has believed in me to represent them,” said Wilson. “It’s a dream come true to rejoin Andretti and also partner with Honda once more in the Greatest Spectacle in Racing. The icing on the cake is we get to do this with a brand new company in LOHLA SPORT, a premium women’s apparel brand already captivating the golf lifestyle scene. Among the fans and partners involved with the Indianapolis 500, we have a huge amount of golf enthusiasts, so I’m excited to get them exposed to what LOHLA SPORT is all about. None of this would have happened without Don and Carolyn Cusick, who are avid racing and golf enthusiasts and also shareholders in LOHLA SPORT. This program also represents the birth of Cusick Motorsports, and I am hopeful the 2021 Indianapolis 500 will be a springboard to many exciting opportunities for the Cusick Motorsports brand in the future. Lastly, I am thankful to have Expedia Group’s VIP Access join the effort, along with Menlo Ventures, VSRS and Liberty Group.”
Debuting in January of 2021, LOHLA SPORT has quickly captivated the golf, country club and resort market. The brainchild of recognized fashionista Lisa O’Hurley, former Golf Channel and GOLFINO executive with more than two decades in the industry, the brand’s impeccable sense of style features colorful, on-trend European designs with Los Angeles flair. Formal collaboration with London-based Paul Rees – renowned creator of countless Burberry, Aquascutum and GOLFINO hits – has LOHLA SPORT in roughly 100 exclusive golf shops coast to coast.
“Taking this cool, market-broadening road to Indy doesn’t happen every day,” said O’Hurley. “LOHLA SPORT is proud to support women who love golf and love all sports as our outfits are fit for the course, court, racetrack and everywhere between.”
Also joining the effort is Cusick Motorsports, created by Don and Carolyn Cusick as a business incubator in racing; VIP Access, Expedia Group’s network of premium, invitation-only properties; VSRS, specializing in forging exclusive relationships in the automotive sector; Menlo Ventures, an investment firm having backed 70+ public companies and Liberty Group, specializing in wealth management, tax planning and estate law.
“As a lifelong INDYCAR fan I have always wanted to attend the Indianapolis 500 live, but never found my way there until now,” said Don Cusick. “Thankfully the stars aligned this year, meeting Stefan Wilson and creating this amazing partnership. From casually asking Stefan if he had any contacts for great seats at Indy and half-jokingly telling him the best seat would have him driving in it. As it turns out I’m getting the second-best seat in the house as the sponsor of the number 25 Andretti Autosport Indy car driven by Stefan. LOHLA SPORT is a company I am invested in, owned by our family friend Lisa O’Hurley. I couldn’t be more excited for the month of May and this opportunity to sponsor Stefan Wilson, one of the truly great people in motorsports.”
This will be the 4th time in the last 5 years that AA has shown up to Indy with 6 cars. They’ve ran at least five every year since 2014 too.
With this signing, that gives us 35 cars on the official entry list with the potential for one more. There’s the long rumored team at Top Gun Racing who keep saying that they’re entering the race with RC Enerson but for whatever reason, haven’t officially announced their intention of doing so. I get waiting on fans and how many can attend which affects sponsorship money, but they’re getting further and further behind by waiting.
By waiting longer and longer, the aspirations of showing up to race are slimmer and slimmer. Nothing against this team, but they’re a victim of past teams that have expressed Indy entries only to flame out and never show. They can say they have cars and engines and sponsors and a driver in place, but until they make this “official” I’m going to wait to count them because I can say that they have not “officially” entered this year’s race yet and it’s already May.
Right now, Honda has 18 entries and Chevy with 17. That means Chevy would be the one in play for Top Gun, but Chevy officials have not confirmed yet that they’re pairing with Top Gun. There’s photo evidence out there, but Chevy officials weren’t happy about that photo circulating and nothing concrete has been announced.
If they do end up working it out, that’s 36 cars. Carlin has ran a second car in the past and was working on that again for this year, but I’ve since heard that those plans have fizzled out with the new intention of running just Max Chilton in the No. 59 Chevrolet. Never say never though as if someone with funding shows up, then they’d run the second car. Right now, the funding is short for that program which is why Carlin is focusing on 1 car.
If they do show up, they’d be the 37th entry, but is Chevy willing to supply 19 engines?
Buhl Citrone ran in conjunction with RLL last year but that isn’t happening this May. Are they still around anymore? Do they team up with an existing team? Time has pretty much run out.
35 cars is the safe bet for a few weeks from now with potential for 36-37.
For those drivers that are on it, we know that every Indy 500 winner since 2013 is here again. There’s 13 Indy 500 wins already on the entry list. Also, the entire top 14 of last years finishing order is back. Plus, you add a two-time Indy 500 champion back to the fold that wasn’t here a year ago too.
That could make this one of the toughest fields to get into this 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 weren’t 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.
With the 35 cars on the list, 25 of them are full time and the other 10 part time rides.
AJ Foyt Racing has Hildebrand and Charlie Kimball as their part time drivers. Rick Ware Racing will have an additional car with DCR again. Pietro Fittipaldi will drive one of them, the full time entry in a shared role with Romain Grosjean with the second car a TBA at the moment. ECR has a third for Daly. AA has a fifth for Marco Andretti and a sixth for. Arrow McLaren SP has hired Juan Pablo Montoya in a third ride. Paretta Autosport brings Simona de Silvestro and DRR with Karam.
That’s 34 drivers for 35 confirmed cars.
Entries So Far
Team Penske (4) – Josef Newgarden (No. 2), Scott McLaughlin (No. 3), Will Power No. 12), Simon Pagenaud (No. 22)
AJ Foyt Racing (4) – JR Hildebrand (No. 1), Dalton Kellett (No. 4), Charlie Kimball (No. 11), Sebastien Bourdais (No. 14)
Arrow McLaren SP (3) – Pato O’Ward (No. 5), Felix Rosenqvist (No. 7), Juan Pablo Montoya (No. 68)
Ed Carpenter Racing (3) – Ed Carpenter (No. 20), Rinus VeeKay (No. 21), Conor Daly (Number TBA)
Carlin (1) – Max Chilton (No. 59)
Paretta Autosport (1) – Simona de Silvestro (No. 16)
Dreyer & Reinbold Racing (1) – Sage Karam (No. 24)
Andretti Autosport (6) – Stefan Wilson (No. 25), Colton Herta (No. 26), Alexander Rossi (No. 27), Ryan Hunter-Reay (No. 28), James Hinchcliffe (No. 29), Marco Andretti (No. 98)
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), Pietro Fittipaldi (No. 51 Honda), No. 52 Honda (open)
Rahal/Letterman/Lanigan Racing (3) – Graham Rahal (No. 15), Takuma Sato (No. 30), Santino Ferrucci (No. 45 Honda)
Meyer Shank Racing (2) – Helio Castroneves (No. 06), Jack Harvey (No. 60)
Part Time (4)
Top Gun Racing? – Was supposed to show up last year but ran out of time. Do they try again this May? They say all the right things but have no made official announcement for them or RC Enerson yet.
Carlin – They own a 2nd car but do they use it? Time is running out.
DRR – 2nd car (ran this car for 3 straight years) but word is that they’re focusing on 1 car this May.
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?
Notable Non Rookie Drivers Available
Oriol Servia – 11 starts, best finish 4th (2012), last start came in 2019
Spencer Pigot – 5 starts, best finish 14th (2019)
Zach Veach – 4 starts, best finish 15th (2020)
Oliver Askew – 1 starts (2020) – finished 30th. Won the 2019 Freedom 100