It’s officially 100 days from the 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500. That has led to a mini celebration on social media from teams, drivers and fans themselves celebrating that the biggest event in the world is just around the corner. But, as the days count down, the entry list for the Greatest Spectacle in Racing is starting to form too.
As we sit here today, I have 28 cars on the official entry list that have confirmed deals. But, from what I’m hearing, that list could quickly expand to 34-35 cars for the Verizon IndyCar Series.
With Danica Patrick’s slip of the tongue during Daytona 500 Media Day, her and Ed Carpenter Racing have confirmed that she will pilot a third car with the team. That leaves Dreyer & Reinbold Racing with two open cars, as DRR has already stated that they have purchased two vehicles for the 2018 season. While they’ll use them at Indy for the first time in May, they will show up with two drivers. Expect Sage Karam and JR Hildebrand to be in those rides. If the funding is right, they’ll try to use at least one of them in multiple races after Indy too.
That pushed the list to 30 drivers.
Then, it’s widely speculated that Pippa Mann will return to Dale Coyne Racing. That’s 31 drivers. Also, DCR said that if the funding is right, and it’s close to being that way, that Conor Daly will drive in a fourth car for them too. That’s 32 drivers.
Schmidt Peterson Motorsports will likely roll out a third car, fourth if you count Jack Harvey and the Michael Shank Racing partnership. That’s 33 cars. Also, Rahal/Letterman/Lanigan Racing is close to a deal with Oriol Servia for a third entry, bringing the total to 34. That doesn’t even count the possibility of Buddy Lazier and Lazier Partners Racing coming back again. That too is a strong possibility. That would be 35.
AJ Foyt Racing, Juncos and Harding have all said that they’d like to remain status quo, but if some funding comes around, they too could add a car.
So, we already have what I can count 33-34 drivers ready to be confirmed with the possibility of more.