INDIANAPOLIS — A lot took place in a short amount of time with the NTT INDYCAR Series silly season for 2023 now almost complete. With Alex Palou and Felix Rosenqvist staying in place, it’s really down to the Colton Herta situation and if he can get an exemption on the F1 superlicense scenario. If not, then the top teams remain status quo.
Penske is set with 3. Ganassi now has 3 of their 4 drivers back with Jimmie Johnson left to make a decision on to return full-time or not. Carvana is supporting him in whatever he wants to do.
Andretti is set if Herta stays. We know Romain Grosjean and Devlin DeFrancesco and coming back and Kyle Kirkwood replaces the departing Alexander Rossi.
Rossi moves to AMSP with Pato O’Ward and Rosenqvist.
RLL is bringing back Graham Rahal and Christian Lundgaard and Jack Harvey while being a possible addition to the free agent market, has a multi-year deal and I don’t see RLL buying him out. Meyer Shank Racing is set with both drivers returning.
That takes 6 teams off the list.
Ed Carpenter Racing has Conor Daly and Rinus VeeKay back. Their only situation is what Ed Carpenter does and if they keep the 3rd car open to Paretta. Other than that, they’re set.
That’s 7 teams solidified.
The only things left are AJ Foyt Racing, Juncos Hollinger Racing’s 2nd car and Dale Coyne Racing.
David Malukas is back and the 2nd car is down to if Takuma Sato wants to return or not. If so, then DCR and HMD are eyeing expansion for a 3rd car to put Linus Lundqvist in it. If Sato retires, then Lundqvist goes there.
Foyt should have Dalton Kellett back in the 4 car and it appears Benjamin Pedersen lands in the 14 seat.
JHR wants a veteran so Pedersen or Lundqvist doesn’t make much sense to land there. Ryan Hunter-Reay or Tony Kanaan make the most sense for this ride.
The rest is history.
Team Penske (3) – All 3 drivers are returning
Arrow McLaren SP (3) – They’ll use all 3 engines full-time next year. O’Ward and Rossi will be in 2 of them but the 3rd will be down to Rosenqvist or Palou.
Ed Carpenter Racing (3) – Both drivers are back. Ed is likely back on ovals. Do they pair on a grander scale with Paretta for 2023?
AJ Foyt Racing (3) – They had 3 engines this year but will they use all 3 next season?
Juncos Hollinger Racing (2) – They’ll have 2 cars next year with Callum Ilott in 1 of them and a TBA driver in the 2nd car.
Dreyer & Reinbold Racing (2) – I don’t get any indication that they’ll scale back to 1 or 0 cars in 2023 after a strong show this past May. I also don’t get any sense they’ll add more races outside of Indy either.
The Top Gun/RC Enerson saga has 1 engine. AJ Foyt has another but do they use all 3? That leaves 1 engine left. Cusick and Paretta are interested. Can they each secure 1?
Andretti Autosport (5) – They have 4 drivers signed for 2023 but 1 could go to F1. If he does, they have a seat open. Do they move Marco Andretti back into it? He doesn’t sound like he wants to go back full-time but still has the passion for the Indy 500 which is why I think they’ll use all 5 again next year.
Chip Ganassi Racing (4) – I don’t see them running a 5th car for Indy only next year. The question now is, Jimmie Johnson. Is he full-time or not?
Rahal/Letterman/Lanigan Racing (3) – All 3 drivers are back in 2023.
Meyer Shank Racing (2) – They’ll have both drivers back. They’re eyeing expansion but I don’t see how that gets done yet.
Dale Coyne Racing (2) – They’re after a 3rd engine but can they secure it? Malukas is back unless Ganassi or Andretti comes calling. Sato is back unless he wants to retire. They could have 1 seat, both seats or no seats opening.
There’s 1 engine left out there (Vasser Sullivan’s) that could be used. Then the rest gets interesting. Does Ganassi drop 1 of their engines and can DCR gain it? Does MSR secure a 3rd one to use part-time?
- JHR expands to a 2nd car
- Ilott returns to JHR on a multi-year contract
- McLaughlin returns to Penske on a multi-year contract
- Kirkwood signs with Andretti to replace Rossi
- Rossi leaves Andretti to join AMSP
- O’Ward reaches agreement on a new contract with AMSP
- VeeKay signs extension to stay with ECR
- Castroneves returns to MSR for 2023