INDIANAPOLIS – There’s no secret, outside of the viewership/attendance issues lately, car counts have been among the chief concerns in the Verizon IndyCar Series world. But, with only two engine manufacturers, there hasn’t been much room for anyone to really expand. Sponsorship dollars are down as are car chassis/engine combinations. Most of the teams are also maxed out on resources too.
So, how can car counts expand then?
Well, the series is heading in the right direction and soon, should have an up tick in car counts.
Attendance is up everywhere. Ratings are consistently trending upwards each season since Mark Miles has been at the helm. With that, it is bringing more money to the series, which in turn, is bringing more sponsorship dollars back around. That in turn is helping attract new manufacturers to join Chevrolet and Honda, which in turn is going to affect the new car for 2018 and beyond.
With all this being said, the best opportunity to gain new teams though is starting to come forward. It makes the most sense for teams in the Indy Lights Series to move up to the Verizon IndyCar Series. They have enough time to gain exposure and opportunity in the feeder series’ then when they’re ready, already know the game to hit the ground running.
That plan is starting to take place.
Carlin Racing has long stated their interest to move up to full-time IndyCar action. They came from Europe to end up there. First though, they jumped in Indy Lights to gain knowledge and do it right. There’s been rumors floating around that they could move up to full-time IndyCar competition in 2018 or 2019.
Now, Juncos Racing appears to be coming up too. They’re worked their way up the Mazda Road to Indy ladder since 2009 and after the recent news, they too appear to be set for an IndyCar debut.
Kevin Kalkhoven mentioned in his statement today that Richard Juncos has purchased the KVSH equipment. That lines up with what we’ve been hearing that Juncos Racing would field two cars in this year’s Indy 500 and then two full-time cars in 2018.
So far, it appears to be heading that way.
With that being said, if this comes true, by 2019, we could have four new IndyCar entries between two new teams. Plus, add to the fact of higher viewership and attendance bringing in more money and a new car attracting a new manufacturer, the existing teams could expand a car or two as well.
Don’t be surprised to see 25+ full-time cars on the grid in the season opener in 2019.