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Will We Get to 33 Entries for the Indy 500?

INDIANAPOLIS – With the Month of May quickly coming up, the car count for the 101st Running of the Indianapolis 500 is rapidly rising as well. First Zach Veach and A.J. Foyt Racing announced on Friday that Veach will pilot the teams fourth entry in the No. 40 Chevrolet. Then, Andretti Autosport announced on Sunday that Jack Harvey will drive the No. 50 Honda for the team too.

IndyCar Media Site

Today, a new team was formed, in Harding Racing. The team will have a technical alliance with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing and put Gabby Chaves in the No. 88 Chevrolet. The three entries combined with the previously announced rides, give us 29 drivers for 33 spots.

Now, there’s still four spots left. 

Obviously, Juncos Racing will show up, but the question is with how many drivers? They have committed to one and will likely show up in a Chevy. Buddy Lazier has also stated his interest and he too will likely be in a Chevy again. That’s 31 drivers.

Where do the other two come from?

Stefan Wilson has some funding, but the musical chairs have almost stopped. Where does he end up?

Ed Carpenter Racing has stated they will stick with two cars, so where else do these entries come from then? Chevy is now pretty much maxed out. Juncos Racing will need to bring two cars, but if not, Chevy will have 13 cars at Indy. Honda, they only room for growth there is if SPM or Coyne expand an entry. Ganassi is set at four and Andretti now has five. RLL won’t go past two, so unless SPM or Coyne add a fourth car to each, Honda is set with 17.

If Honda is set with 17 and Chevy with 14, that’s 31 cars for 33 spots.

Where do the other two come from?

The reason as to why there’s so few opportunities this year is first, due to the fact that there hasn’t been that many cars available the last few years anyways. We’ve had one true bump day the last few years, and that included just 34 cars going for 33 spots. So, it’s not like there’s 40 chassis/engine combinations floating around out there.

Also, there’s a new car coming out next year, so why would owners buy new cars, spare parts, lease engines, etc, for one race? The full-time seats are set in the series, so any additional entries are for the Indy 500 only. Why would an owner spend over $1-million for a car, an engine, parts, spare parts, tires, gas, crew members, etc and only get a check of at least $350,000 in return. That’s a net loss of almost $700,000

That’s something to really keep close tabs on over the next few weeks.

Chevrolet: 12

Penske- 5 (No. 1 Simon Pagenaud, No. 2 Josef Newgarden, No. 3 Helio Castroneves, No. 12 Will Power, No. 22 Juan Pablo Montoya)

Foyt- 3 (No. 4 Conor Daly, No. 14 Carlos Munoz, No. 40 Zach Veach R)

ECR- 2 (No. 20 Ed Carpenter, No. 21 J.R. Hildebrand)

Dreyer & Reinbold Racing- 1 (No. 24 Sage Karam)

Harding Racing/Dreyer & Reinbold Racing- 1 (No. 88 Gabby Chaves)

Honda: 17

Andretti Autosport-5 (No. 26 Takuma Sato, No. 27 Marco Andretti, No. 28 Ryan Hunter-Reay, No. 50 Jack Harvey, No. 98 Alexander Rossi)

Ganassi-4 (No. 8 Max Chilton, No. 9 Scott Dixon, No. 10 Tony Kanaan, No. 83 Charlie Kimball)

SPM- 3 (No. 5 James Hinchcliffe, No. 7 Mikhail Aleshin, No. 77 Jay Howard)

Coyne-3 (No. 18 Sebastien Bourdais, No. 19 Ed Jones R, No. 63 Pippa Mann)

RLL- 2 (No. 15 Graham Rahal, No. 16 Oriol Servia)

Potential Rides:

Juncos Racing (1-2 cars)

Lazier Partners (1 car- Buddy Lazier)

 

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