Drivers For Indianapolis 500 Entry List Nearly Complete

A look at the nearly-full entry list for the 106th running of the Indianapolis 500, which is now just 106 days way.
Drivers For Indianapolis 500 Entry List Nearly Complete

The 106th running of the Indianapolis 500 is 106 days away and the list of teams and drivers for the event is almost complete. There are a few remaining seats that may come to fruition if sufficient funding is found, but for the most part, the entry list is pretty cut and dry right now.

According to the two manufacturers, Honda and Chevrolet, each is likely to produce 17 or 18 entries for this year’s event. That means there will only be a maximum of 36 cars vying for the 33 starting positions, but it may not reach that point, as once thought.

Among the full-time entries, only one seat is available at this time. AJ Foyt Racing will be running three cars at every round this year, but rookie Tatiana Calderon will only be participating in the road and street courses in the No. 11 Chevrolet. That leaves the door open for an oval-only program for a driver, which will likely be JR Hildebrand, who raced for the team last season.

Foyt's other two drivers, Dalton Kellett and talented rookie Kyle Kirkwood will both be on the entry list. In the Andretti Autosport camp, there will be at least five cars entered with full-time drivers Colton Herta, Alexander Rossi, Romain Grosjean, and Devlin DeFrancesco. The extra car will be for Marco Andretti, who will attempt to make his 17th start in the Greatest Spectacle in Racing.

Arrow McLaren SP will have the same three drivers as last year, with full-time drivers Pato O'Ward and Felix Rosenqvist teaming up with two-time Indy 500 winner Juan Montoya. Chip Ganassi will join Andretti as the only team fielding five cars in May. Full-time drivers Marcus Ericsson, Scott Dixon, reigning series champion Alex Palou, and Jimmie Johnson will be joined by 2013 winner Tony Kanaan in a fifth Honda machine.

Dale Coyne Racing will be the wild card for Honda. At the moment, they have just two cars to enter with rookie David Malukas and two-time 500 champ Takuma Sato. There is a strong possibility that they field a third entry, but only if it makes business sense. If they stick with just two cars, that available Honda engine lease could wind up being a sixth entry for Andretti, possibly for James Hinchcliffe or Ryan Hunter-Reay.

Ed Carpenter Racing is finally doing what many people thought he should have done a few years ago. Instead of splitting duties with another driver in the No. 20 car, that is now a full-time ride for Conor Daly. Rinus VeeKay remains in the No. 21 car and Carpenter will field a separate car for himself this year. Juncos Hollinger Racing will be back with Callum Ilott after merging with Carlin Racing.

Last year's winning team Meyer Shank Racing will be back at IMS with a strong two-car lineup. Helio Castroneves will be back to defend his crown and aim to become the first driver ever to win the race five times. His new teammate is a familiar face in 2019 winner Simon Pagenaud, as the two former Penske drivers look to keep the momentum going after winning the Rolex 24 at Daytona this year. The team will not be fielding a third entry.

Drivers For Indianapolis 500 Entry List Nearly Complete

Rahal Letterman Lanigan has typically run three cars at Indy, and will do so again this year but with all three being full-time entries. Graham Rahal returns with former MSR driver Jack Harvey now on board. They will team up with rookie sensation Christian Lundgaard, giving the team a realistic shot at winning this race once again. A fourth car will not come from this stable.

Team Penske will aim to get back on track after a couple of rocky years for The Captain. The team will likely stay with their three current full-time drivers, Josef Newgarden, Scott McLaughlin, and Will Power. If a big-name driver comes along and it makes sense to run him, Roger just might pull the trigger on a fourth entry.

Dreyer & Reinbold Racing will be back at the Speedway with two talented young drivers this year in Sage Karam and Santino Ferrucci. Outside of those entries, there are just a few questions still to be answered.

Paretta Autosport is likely to return this year with driver Simona de Silvestro. They qualified 33rd last year but have continued to put together new sponsorship that should have them back again in May. Team owner Beth Paretta is said to have made an effort to order a brand-new chassis from Dallara before the open test at IMS in late April. Whether that comes to fruition or not, they are expected to seek a partnership with an existing team once again this year.

Marotti Autosport has been trying to raise funds to field an entry for several years now, but is now closer than ever to realizing that goal. The team is said to have a team and a driver, but a deal has not been signed. They could end up with Foyt in their third entry this year.

After a tough break last year when they failed to qualify for the race, Top Gun Racing now has a bigger hurdle to overcome. The team has parted ways with RC Enerson, and the 24-year old's family has taken full ownership of the chassis and extra tub that they were using. This leaves both sides struggling to find their way back to the grid in 2022.

Cusick Motorsports was expected to be in the series this year but after not being able to secure an engine lease and a team to partner with, it could be 2023 before they are on the grid. Don Cusick has his driver in Stefan Wilson, but admitted that their odds of showing up in May this year are very small. The team still plans to enter the series on a full-time basis in 2023.

Barring some last-minute deals or issues, the entry list will look very similar to this. Drivers that are available and trying to secure a seat include Hunter-Reay, Hinchcliffe, Enerson, Sebastien Bourdais, Spencer Pigot, Charlie Kimball, Ed Jones, Max Chilton, Linus Lundqvist, and Stoffel Vandoorne. The official entry list will likely be 34-35 cars again this year.

The Indianapolis 500 is set for May 29 with the first day of practice taking place on May 17.

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