The long awaited confirmation that Marco Andretti would be taking the fifth Andretti Autosport car has now been finalized. That’s the 32nd car entered for this May’s 106th Running of the Indianapolis 500 (11 a.m. ET, NBC, INDYCAR Radio Network). So, what’s left?
We know 31 drivers are accounted for the 32 cars with the only opening via AJ Foyt Racing’s No. 11 Chevrolet. Tatiana Calderon will drive the car in all 12 road/street course races leaving the ride open for the other five ovals.
Past that, there’s a little more movement than initially expected.
We’re going for a max of 36 cars again. 18 each for Honda and Chevrolet. Right now, Chevy has 15 engines spoken for with three left for the taking. Honda has less room with 17 of their 18 accounted for.
Essentially, there’s four rides left (3 Chevrolet, 1 Honda). Who gets them?
Chevrolet (15) – 3 Left
- Team Penske (3) – Josef Newgarden, Will Power, Scott McLaughlin are back as they’re scaling down from four cars to three.
- Arrow McLaren SP (3) – Pato O’Ward and Felix Rosenqvist are back full time. Juan Pablo Montoya is in the No. 6 Chevrolet for the Month of May only.
- Ed Carpenter Racing (3) – Rinus VeeKay is back in the 21. Conor Daly will be in the 20 while Ed Carpenter will be in the third seat for Indy.
- AJ Foyt Racing (3) – Kyle Kirkwood will be in the 14 full time. Dalton Kellett will return to the seat of the 4 car. Tatiana Calderon will race the 11 car on all road/street courses with ovals being open. Do they get a fourth again for Indy? I’ve heard since December that JR Hildebrand fits into their Indy plans again so him being in the 11 makes the most sense.
- Dreyer & Reinbold Racing (2) – They’ll have two cars next May for Indy only and Sage Karam (No. 24) and Santino Ferrucci (No. 23) will drive them.
- Juncos Hollinger Racing (1) – Callum Ilott will be in the car again as an Indy rookie.
Is Paretta back or was that a one off year? Is Foyt going to snag a four entry? They did last year but one of the cars failed to make the show. What about Carlin? Rumor is they sold everything to Juncos and are done. The caveat is, Juncos Hollinger sounds like they may not be willing to run a second car for Indy though. Top Gun says they’ll be back but it will be without RC Enerson.
Honda (17) – 1 Engine Left
- Chip Ganassi Racing (5) – All five drivers (Scott Dixon, Alex Palou, Marcus Ericsson, Jimmie Johnson and Tony Kanaan) return but with Jimmie Johnson racing full time, they needed a fifth car for Tony Kanaan. That car and engine package comes from Andretti Autosport’s inventory of six that they had last year.
- Andretti Autosport (5) – They’ll run four cars full time (Colton Herta, Alexander Rossi, Romain Grosjean and Devlin DeFrancesco) with Marco Andretti as Indy only.
- Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (3) – Graham Rahal, Jack Harvey and Christian Lundgaard make up this team as they’ll expand from two full time cars to three.
- Dale Coyne Racing (2) – HMD Racing replaces Vasser Sullivan in the 18 ride and brings David Malukas with them. Rick Ware is back on the 51 Honda and will have Takuma Sato. Is the 52 seat back?
- Meyer Shank Racing (2) – Here’s another expansion with them growing to two full time cars now too. Helio Castroneves and Simon Pagenaud) will drive them.
- Rick Ware Racing/Dale Coyne Racing – They had the No. 52 Honda last year and the only reason one Honda is left for the taking is due to this ride not being solidified yet. Does this one become available or does the Honda engine end up with someone else. I don’t foresee Ganassi going to a sixth car and RLL moving to a fourth team isn’t likely either. MSR is set a two. So, the only real place this ends up is RWR/DCR, Andretti or a team like Paretta.
- Paretta – They have the ambition to come back. Can they find the full budget to make this work? Roger Penske can’t really afford for this to be a one-off so helping them get one of the three Chevrolet engines seems like the best option. The thing is, I’ve heard Penske also hasn’t necessarily been involved either. That opens the door for that 18th Honda engine.
- Top Gun – RC Enerson has everything from last year but the team still says they’ll be back in May. The question is, are they seriously going to be able to pull this off? They had a Chevy engine package last season.
- AJ Foyt Racing – I don’t really see them stretching themselves thin this year on a fourth car but if the opportunity arose and an engine is just sitting there, never say never. JR Hildebrand is the lead target for the 11 seat at Indy, so is Charlie Kimball back in a fourth car?
- Cusick – They’re after an alliance to team with someone to bring Stefan Wilson a ride again. They teamed with Andretti in 2021 for Wilson in the No. 25 Honda in the Indianapolis 500. It seems as if even though engines are there for the taking and Cusick having a budget to run on their own, that they’re eyeing a merger.
- Vasser Sullivan – Merging with a fifth Ganassi car is the most sense. They’re not going to run on their own this year.
- Carlin – It seems like they’ve already moved into Juncos’ building so expect this deal to get announced somewhat soon. They kicker here is, does Carlin stay involved or are they done all together.
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