INDIANAPOLIS – With Rahal/Letterman/Lanigan Racing’s announcement that Jordan King will drive a third entry for them for next May’s 103rd Running of the Indianapolis 500, it further proves that we could have a heck of a Bump Day on our hands for 2019.
Last year, we had 35 entries going for 33 spots. James Hinchcliffe and Pippa Mann were the DNQ’s for this past year’s race. Will we have bumping again next year? If so, how many?
I can honestly make a strong case for 36-38 cars, if not more.
Right now, we have 29 entries. Folks, it not even Thanksgiving yet and we’re four entries shy of a full field. It wasn’t all that long ago that we were in March and early April struggling to get to 30 entries. We’re far from it and have 29 already.
Below is what we have confirmed with what could be left to come.
Team Penske (4) – Will Power, Josef Newgarden, Simon Pagenaud, Helio Castroneves
Ed Carpenter Racing/Scuderia Corsa (3) – Ed Carpenter, Spencer Pigot, Ed Jones
Carlin (2) – (Likely Max Chilton and Charlie Kimball)
AJ Foyt Racing (2) – Matheus Leist, Tony Kanaan
Harding/Steinbrenner Racing (2) – Patricio O’Ward R, Colton Herta R
McLaren (1) – Fernando Alonso (Not confirmed but likely heading in this direction)
Juncos (1) – Definitely will have 1 entry but driver is TBA
Andretti Autosport (4) – Zach Veach, Alexander Rossi, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Marco Andretti
Rahal/Letterman/Lanigan Racing (3) – Graham Rahal, Takuma Sato, Jordan King R
Schmidt Peterson Motorsports/Shank Racing (3) – James Hinchcliffe, Marcus Ericsson R, Jack Harvey
Chip Ganassi Racing (2) – Scott Dixon, Felix Rosenqvist R
Dale Coyne Racing (2) – Sebastien Bourdais, Santino Ferrucci R
Dreyer & Reinbold Racing (1-2) They bought extra equipment last year and showed up with two cars. Their goal is racing in more events than Indy. I can’t see them not showing up next year. Two cars are likely here.
Juncos (1) – They bought another chassis with the hopes of running an additional car in select races. This would be one of them. They ran two cars in 2016 and I would expect them to bring out another car in 2019 too.
Carlin (1) – Trevor Carlin said the odds of running a third car is 70/30. If they bring out a third car on a full time basis, this ups the car count obviously. If they run select races, Indy would be one.
Harding (1) – There are rumors that they could bring out a third car. It all depends on if McLaren brings a second.
McLaren (1) – See above. Juan Pablo Montoya or Gabby Chaves would be great fits for either.
AJ Foyt Racing (1) – They had Belardi and Byrd Racing in a partnership last year. If that deal materializes, they could be in for a reunion. If not, I don’t see why Foyt doesn’t bring out a third car anyways.
Andretti Autosport (1-2) – Just depending on how the McLaren deal works and if they partner will dictate if they bring out additional cars. They’ve ran 5+ for the last few years and likely will in 2019 too.
Dale Coyne Racing (1-2) – Pippa Mann is eyeing another deal. DCR will likely field a fourth car again too.
Schmidt Peterson Motorsports (1) – They have a car set aside for Robert Wickens for when he’s ready. That car will likely run in a new number for Indy. They’ve ran three cars a lot in the past, so with Shank teaming up again, this car is available.
Looking For Partnerships (3)
Belardi Racing (1) – Brian Belardi wants to come back. Does he partner or come in on his own?
Byrd Racing (1) – Same as above.
Thom Burns Racing (1) – They have the itch to come back. I’m hearing they’re close.