Looking For a Few Good Oval Drivers; Ferrari Says No

The full time grid for the 2021 NTT Indycar Series is pretty much set with 24 cars. Andretti Autosport will field one less car, but an additional car at Team Penske and another entry at Chip Ganassi Racing gives the field a net gain of one car. Two teams are still looking for someone to drive the oval portion of the schedule.

Dale Coyne Racing with rick Ware will Romain Grosjean in the 51 for the road and street courses. The team has not announced who will drive at Texas and in the Indianapolis 500. Grosjean has not ruled out driving at Gateway. Carlin Racing needs a driver for Texas and Gateway.

Cody Ware will probably drive some ovals for Coyne/Ware, but whether he is in the 51 or the part time 52 remains to be seen. It is possible that Santino Ferrucci returns to the team for the 500. In Ferrucci’s two Indianapolis appearances with Coyne, he has finished 7th and 4th.

Carlin Racing has the same situation as 2020. max Chilton will drive the road and street races as well as the 500. Conor Daly may return to drive for the team at Texas and Gateway. Daly will drive the number 20 for Ed Carpenter on the road and street races. Last year Daly won the pole at Iowa for Carlin. He earned four top 10s in his five races with Carlin.

In addition to the 24 full time entries, races other than the 500 will have additional cars. Helio Castroneves will run six races for Meyer Shank Racing. Dale Coyne with Rick Ware Racing said they will have a third car at 4-5 races besides Indianapolis. Dreyer and Reinbold may also enter some events.

The full time Grid (Road/street only drivers in bold, oval only drivers in italics:

A. J. Foyt Racing:

Sebastien Bourdais

Dalton Kellett

Andretti Autosport:

Alexander Rossi

Colton Herta

Ryan Hunter-Reay

James Hinchcliffe

Arrow McLaren SP:

Pato O’Ward

Felix Rosenqvist

Carlin Racing:

Max Chilton (road/street/ Indianapolis 500)

Chip Ganassi Racing:

Scott Dixon

Marcus Ericsson

Alex Palou

Jimmie Johnson

Tony Kanaan

Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan

Ed Jones

Dale Coyne Racing with Rick Ware Racing

Romain Grosjean

Ed Carpenter Racing

Rinus VeeKay

Conor Daly

Ed Carpenter

Meyer Shank Racing:

Jack Harvey

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing:

Graham Rahal

Takuma Sato

Team Penske:

Josef Newgarden

Will Power

Simon Pagenaud

Scott McLaughlin

Ferrari Stays Home

In an announcement which surprised absolutely no one, Ferrari will not be the third OEM for Indycar. I never thought the Italian company was serious about their negotiations. Ferrari has a history of entertaining and exploring options as leverage to get what they really want.

Indycar is talking to other companies about becoming the elusive third OEM. Will there be one for 2023? The time window is closing rapidly. A third engine would pull some of the burden off of Chevrolet and Honda, especially for the Indianapolis 500. It will not necessarily create an expanded grid. This is a topic to explore whent the third OEM becomes a reality.

Back in a couple of days with a deep plunge into 500 history.