IMS has released the official Indy 500 entry list which puts the car count at 40. 28 of the entries have a drivers name attached to the seat, while the rest are listed TBA.
We released our own updated entry list on Friday after the PT and Davey Hamilton press conferences where we listed 29 confirmed car driver combinations, but we got one wrong. Alex Tagliani with Conquest was left off IMS’s version of the list. We heard rumors (from Trackside Online) that Conquest would not be returning for Kansas, but today’s entry list seems far more dire. Alex’s situation was tenuous at best though. His car was sponsored by Northlands who is the event promoter for the Edmonton race. There were newspaper articles indicating that Tags was looking for Edmonton area businesses to sponsor him for the remainder of the season, but it appears that was unsuccessful. Now, Northlands may be able to put their marketing muscle behind keeping Paul Tracy in a seat at KV racing, at least for the Canadian races. PT clearly is the more popular of the Canadian drivers, and maybe this fact has lead Northlands to not continue sponsoring Alex.
As we have seen in the past, 40 entries does not mean 40 cars will attempt to qualify or even that 40 cars will show up at the track. Even the 28 confirmed drivers may not be set in stone, especially in this economy. But a start at Indy guarantees one heck of a payday, so the car owners come out of the woodwork to at least try to put a deal together for May. A one-off at Indy pays good money, unlike the rest of the IndyCar season.
Surprisingly left off the list was a second car for Team 3G. Tomas Scheckter was trying to get his sponsor Rockstar to work with Team 3G, but it appears that deal has fallen apart. And since they didn’t even reserve a spot for a possible resolution on the entry list, it appears this deal can be written off.
Most of the teams that have put in for a TBA car are not a surprise. But there are a few notable exceptions.
Bryan Herta motorsport has been talking about adding an entry for the 500, but until now, they haven’t made much noise about it. Presumably this will be a 3rd car from the vision stable prepared by Herta’s Indy Lights crew. While Bryan may still have the skills to make a run at another 500, we expect this to go to someone who helps with the finances. Since Tomas Scheckter has some past association with Vision and also has possible links to some money, this may be a good fit. We will wait and see.
Roth Racing has entered two cars on the list. We will assume that Marty will be in one of those cars, and that he will try to hire another veteran driver to help him set up the cars. John Andretti helped fill this role last year, but he is otherwise engaged this May. With the talent level a little higher this year, Marty may find it more difficult to get into the show.
Hemelgarn Johnson competed last May with Buddy Lazier, finishing 17th. Notable is that Buddy has ran with Hemelgarn for most of his career. If they can get the funds together, I expect Buddy to be back in this car.
As for the other TBA’s, the helmet-in-hand crowd is huge. In addition to those already mentioned: Milka Duno (most likely for the 4th D&R entry), Darren Manning, Jacques Lazier, Buddy Rice, Oriol Servia, Bruno Juniquiera and many many more would love a shot at Indy.
|AJ Foyt Enterprises||14||Vitor Meira|
|AJ Foyt Enterprises||41||AJ Foyt IV|
|AJ Foyt Enterprises||48||TBA|
|Andretti Green Racing||7||Danica Patrick|
|Andretti Green Racing||11||Tony Kanaan|
|Andretti Green Racing||26||Marco Andretti|
|Andretti Green Racing||27||Hideki Mutoh|
|Bryan Herta Autosport||22||TBA|
|Ganassi/Sam Schmidt||99||Alex Lloyd|
|CURB/Agajanian/Team 3G||98||Stanton Barrett|
|Dale Coyne Racing||18||Justin Wilson|
|Dale Coyne Racing||19||TBA|
|Dreyer & Reinbold Racing||23||TBA|
|Dreyer & Reinbold Racing||24||Mike Conway|
|Dreyer & Reinbold Racing||44||Davey Hamilton|
|Petty/Dreyer & Reinbold||43||John Andretti|
|HVM Racing||13||EJ Viso|
|KV Racing Technology||5||Mario Moraes|
|KV Racing Technology||8||TBA|
|KV Racing Technology||15||Paul Tracy|
|Luczo Dragon Racing||2||Raphael Matos|
|Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing||2||Graham Rahal|
|Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing||6||Robert Doornbos|
|Panther Racing||4||Dan Wheldon|
|Panther Racing||16||Scott Sharp|
|Rahal Letterman Racing||17||TBA|
|Sarah Fisher Racing||67||Sarah Fisher|
|Sarah Fisher Racing||68||TBA|
|Target Chip Ganassi Racing||9||Scott Dixon|
|Target Chip Ganassi Racing||10||Dario Franchitti|
|Team Penske||3||Helio Castroneves|
|Team Penske||6||Ryan Briscoe|
|Penske Racing||12||Will Power|
|Vision Racing||20||Ed Carpenter|
|Vision Racing||21||Ryan Hunter-Reay|