With Alonso’s Signing, A Look Where Full Season And Indy 500 Only Car Counts Sit

INDIANAPOLIS — Fernando Alonso has found a ride for the 104th Running of the Indianapolis 500. The Spaniard will return to McLaren to run their third entry with Arrow McLaren SP for this coming Month of May.

Alonso, will take part in the April 30 test at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. With this deal, this makes 31 confirmed entries already with a 32nd halfway confirmed. Robbie Buhl’s team said that they will debut during the Month of May, which would make 32 teams already.

We have 30 drivers confirmed for Indy with the TBA full time seat at Carlin in the No. 31 Chevrolet the lone full time and Indy only seat open at the moment.

Chilton will run 13 of the 17 races in 2020, including the Indy 500. Basically, all but the ovals with the exception of Indy. Virtually a carbon copy of his schedule last year. Conor Daly ran the races that Chilton didn’t run and would make sense to do so again in 2020.

The other ride is still open and the last full time seat left in the paddock.

With that being said, we will have 24 cars on the grid on a full time basis and upwards of 27+ in other events.

JGS_2019-INDIANAPOLIS-500-141493-1
Simon Pagenaud and Roger Penske high five after winning the 103rd Running of the Indianapolis 500 – IndyCar Media Site

For Indy, Rahal/Letterman/Lanigan Racing is on the hunt for a third driver, Dale Coyne Racing always brings out a third car so that gets us to 34, which means bumping. Dreyer & Reinbold Racing will likely have a second car but that one could be the one that Buhl’s team merges with, which won’t up the car count any since they’re already counted. But, if they don’t merge, then we’re up to 35. Then, there’s the Juncos program. A few years ago, they had two cars, last year they entered with one. Do they come back with one car, two cars or none at all? What about Clauson Marshall?

We’re on pace for 35-37 entries this May.

The 24 full time cars are as follows –

Chevrolet (11)

Team Penske (3) – Josef Newgarden, Will Power, Simon Pagenaud. No plans to expand to a fourth full time car.

McLaren/Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports (2) – Pato O’Ward R, Oliver Askew R

AJ Foyt Racing (2) – Charlie Kimball, Tony Kanaan/Sebastien Bourdais/Dalton Kellett R share the 2nd car

Ed Carpenter Racing (2) – Rinus VeeKay full time seat, Ed Carpenter (ovals)/Conor Daly (road/street courses) for other ride

Carlin (2) – The team will be back with two cars, but other than Max Chilton racing on road/street courses, the ovals for that seat are open. The other ride is a full time entry for all races and is open too.

Honda (13)

Andretti Autosport (5) – All four current drivers will be back as will Colton Herta with the Harding partnership.

Michael Shank Racing (1) – They had to stay in the Honda family, so when Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports bailed to Chevy, it left MSR searching. They landed with Andretti and will have Jack Harvey as their driver.

Chip Ganassi Racing (3) – Scott Dixon, Felix Rosenqvist and Marcus Ericsson are set.

Rahal/Letterman/Lanigan Racing (2) – Graham Rahal and Takuma Sato are back full time.

Dale Coyne Racing (2) – Alex Palou is in and Bourdais out. Santino Ferrucci will return to the team for a second go around in 2020.

Part Time

We do have some part-time rides though that will contest. St. Pete should have 26 cars on the grid while the IndyCar race on the road course at IMS could have upwards of 27, or even more.

Chevrolet (2)

DragonSpeed (1) – The team is back but Ben Hanely right now will run just one race (St. Pete). While he could run more, the team will also run a veteran in select races too.

Dreyer & Reinbold Racing (1) – Sage Karam is likely heading towards a four race deal with the team. Right now, it looks like St. Pete, both races at Indy and Toronto are on his schedule.

Honda (1)

Andretti Autosport (1) – They announced last week that James Hinchcliffe will pilot the No. 29 Honda in both IMS races (road course, ‘500) as well as at Texas in June.

Indy Only Rides

Chevrolet (5-6)

Team Penske (1) – They’ll run Scott McLaughlin in the No. 2 Chevrolet for the AMR Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Helio Castroneves in the No. 3 Chevrolet for the Indianapolis 500.

Ed Carpenter Racing (1) – Conor Daly will pilot a third car for the Indy 500 only program.

AJ Foyt Racing (1) – Dalton Kellett will run the third car for the Indy 500 only. Likely will be the No. 41 Chevrolet too.

Dreyer & Reinbold Racing (1) – They’ve showed up to Indy the last two years now with two cars for Sage Karam and JR Hildebrand. They’ll do so again as a two car outfit but Karam’s teammate is unknown.

McLaren/Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports (1) – Fernando Alonso was announced as their Indy only entry in late February.

Juncos (1-2) – They have multiple chassis still but no word yet on if they use them at more races than Indy in 2020. Spencer Pigot has to be the top play with his past success with Juncos and he can run IMSA for them too. I’d like to see Pigot and Kyle Kaiser in a two-car Juncos effort but it’s not my money.

Honda (2)

Dale Coyne Racing (1) – They likely are going to bring out a third car again but the driver at the moment is unknown.

Rahal/Letterman/Lanigan Racing (1) – They have said that they’d run a third car at Indy too and can be picky at this point on who teams up with them. Last year, it was Jordan King.

Citrone/Buhl Autosport (1) – They don’t have an engine manufacturer or driver yet, but all signs are coming to those being shored up soon.

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