The IndyCar Series Silly Season world is starting to heat up too. On Friday, Chip Ganassi Racing filled their seat in the No. 10 Honda with Felix Rosenqvist for the 2019 season. He’ll replace the departing Ed Jones who only got one year in that car. With Ganassi remaining as a two car operation and Team Penske and Andretti Autosport having their driver lineups filled, what’s left?
Dale Coyne Racing has at least one seat available as he’s now saying that the prospects of running three full time cars are low. Carlin Racing should have both Max Chilton and Charlie Kimball back but have said that there’s a 70-percent chance of expanding to a three car team. If so, expect Jones to be high on that list.
Harding officially partnered with Steinbrenner Racing and will expand to a two car outfit with Indy Lights drivers Pato O’Ward and Colton Herta piloting those cars.
Ed Carpenter Racing announced in Sonoma that Spencer Pigot will be back and that Carpenter will run all the ovals. He said that he’d like Jordan King back in the same role but King is also wanting to race full time. With seats dwindling, unless he can land with Carlin or Coyne, expect him to come back.
That then just leaves, Juncos, Michael Shank and the possibility of McLaren as the only rides left.
Shank could bring back Jack Harvey but AJ Allmendinger is out there now and the two have a good history together in sports cars. Juncos would like to run one car full time and could have Conor Daly, Rene Binder, Kyle Kaiser and others involved.
McLaren is really anyone’s guess.
Here’s the full run down.
Team Penske (3) – Josef Newgarden, Simon Pagenaud, Will Power. This team is set with no expansion on a full time basis.
Ed Carpenter Racing (2) – Spencer Pigot (FT), Ed Carpenter (ovals only), Road/Street Course seat open
Harding/Steinbrenner Racing (2) – Pato O’Ward, Colton Herta. This team is now set
AJ Foyt Racing (2) – Tony Kanaan, Matheus Leist. This team is set with no plans to add a third car.
Carlin (2-3) – It appears that Max Chilton and Charlie Kimball will be back for a second season. Chances are they’ll expand to a third car. If so, expect Ed Jones to be high on that list.
Juncos (1) – Odds of a second car are extremely slim but they do want to run 1 car full time. The seat is open.
Andretti Autosport (4) – Zach Veach, Alexander Rossi, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Marco Andretti. This team is set as all four drivers are signed. If they expand, it will be a partnership deal.
Chip Ganassi Racing (2) – Scott Dixon, Felix Rosenqvist. Team is set with no plans of expansion.
Schmidt Peterson Motorsports (2) – James Hinchcliffe, Robert Wickens. This team is set with unlikely plans to run a third full time car. Schmidt said the No. 6 is for Wickens for when he is cleared to return. If they need to replace him until he’s ready, they would bring out the No. 7.
Dale Coyne Racing (2-3) – 2 cars definitely with one being Sebastien Bourdais. He will return for a third season with the team. The second seat is open for a lot of drivers. Stoffel Vandoorne, Santino Ferruci, Zachary Claman de Melo, Pietro Fittipaldi, Conor Daly, Ed Jones and others.
Rahal/Letterman/Lanigan Racing (2-3) – Graham Rahal and Takuma Sato will be back. The team is also interested in expanding to a third car. If so, anyone of those drivers on Coyne’s list could be a factor.
McLaren (1-2) – It’s anyone’s guess here. Fernando Alonso could be with them and he may not be. Is Vandoorne an option?
Thom Burns Racing (1) – Rumored that they could return on a larger capacity in 2019 and have Daly still.
Michael Shank Racing (1) – Highly likely they’re back and likely aligned with SPM. Jack Harvey and AJ Allmendinger the top two options.
Dreyer & Reinbold Racing (1) – They bought two cars in hopes they can run more than the Indy 500 in the future. Odds are they return with two cars for Indy but a big possibility one of those cars runs a limited schedule too.
Scuderia Corsa (1) – They told me that they definitely will be back for the 2019 Indy 500. They want to come back on a larger scale too. Is that with RLL?