A few weeks ago, we saw three drivers named for the 101st Running of the Indianapolis 500 in a five day span. That gave us 30 drivers for the 33 car field. With that being said, that left three spots open. Now that we’re a little over a month away, where are those three seats coming from?
If you paid attention to the Fernando Alonso announcement, you would have seen that Stefan Wilson’s bold move meant that Honda had no more cars/engines available. They are maxed out at 18 entries and don’t have time to make any more.
If they couldn’t do so for Alonso, they can’t do it for anyone.
That means, Chevrolet has to come up with the other three entries. But, where do they come from?
It has to be part-time teams that’s who.
Team Penske is maxed out at five cars. A.J. Foyt Racing is maxed out with three. Ed Carpenter Racing has been adamant that they’re sticking with two cars.
Dreyer & Reinbold Racing has paired with two teams, Kingdom Racing (Sage Karam) and Harding Racing (Gabby Chaves). They can’t add a car now either.
That gives us 12 Chevy entries, hence the 30 cars on the car count right now.
Buddy Lazier said it appears they will definitely be back and should have something to announce soon. He’s had a Chevy the last few years so expect that to be the 13th Chevy car.
Juncos Racing has already stated that they will enter a car, but they do possess two cars overall. Will they enter a driver for each, or just one driver and carry a backup car?
If we’re to get to 33, they may need to enter both cars.
But, if they do, who will drive them?
I know they’d like to bring their Indy Lights driver Kyle Kaiser, so he appears to be ready. Kaiser, currently sits second in the Indy Lights standings. He’s made 38 career Indy Lights starts, all with Juncos, and has two career victories. Both of those wins came last year, the first at Phoenix and the other at Laguna Seca.
He has four podiums in his last six Lights starts, but he’s also yet to make and IndyCar start.
The other option, is Spencer Pigot. ECR has said that they don’t have a program to run Pigot at Indy and that he’s free to look elsewhere. It would be a perfect fit for him to land at Juncos.
To me, Juncos should work out a deal to put Kaiser in their main entry and team up with ECR to run Pigot. Logistically it makes sense too since both shops are in Speedway. They could share data and parts.
Plus, Pigot ran for Juncos in Pro Mazda in 2014, where he won the championship as well as six races. He then ran for them in Indy Lights in 2015 and once again won the title on the heels of six more wins.
In two years with Juncos in two different series’, Pigot has won 12 races and two championships.
Also, Pigot ran for RLL in last year’s Indy 500 where he started 29th and finished 25th.
He’s the last part of the plan it seems.
My guess, Buddy Lazier, Kyle Kaiser and Spencer Pigot get the final three seats.