If Herta truly is out of running for F1 seat, then INDYCAR Silly season almost over

“It was all a dream,” said Biggie Smalls. That’s the case for the NTT INDYCAR Series too. In what started off as a wild start to the silly season, ended up with everyone staying put. Pato O’Ward was mad Colton Herta was offered an F1 testing opportunity with McLaren. Would he leave?

He signed a contract extension on Carb Day. Alex Palou was unhappy with Chip Ganassi Racing. He was going to leave to join McLaren which as a result could push Felix Rosenqvist out. Despite court cases and deliberation, both drivers will stay in place.

Herta was on the Andretti to F1 radar then McLaren and later Alpha Tauri. Sounds like that has all run out and he’ll be back in his No. 26 Dallara-Honda.

Some things are best left unsaid and the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. Plenty of people in the paddock have found that out this year and have elected to just stay in comfort and in situations to where they can win now.

With that said, there’s not much left in silly season.

Penske is set with 3. Andretti is set with their 4 with the only change being Kyle Kirkwood replacing the departing Alexander Rossi. Rossi joins the 3rd car at AMSP joining O’Ward and Rosenqvist there.

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.

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.

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.

That’s 7 teams solidified.

Linus Lundqvist Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey. Photo Credit: INDYCAR Media Site

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.

Chevrolet (16)

Team Penske (3) – All 3 drivers are returning

Arrow McLaren SP (3) – They’ll use all 3 engines full-time next year with O’Ward, Rosenqvist and Rossi in them.

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?

Honda (17)

Andretti Autosport (5) – They have 4 drivers signed for 2023 and all will be back. I’d expect Marco Andretti to return in the Indy only role again.

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 but is Sato? They could have 1 seat open. If they don’t, then they want a 3rd engine for Linus Lundqvist.

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?

Moves Made

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