It’s great to be back. Many things have intruded on my writing time- health issues, home repair issues, yard work. I think things have settled down and I can get back to this fun project. I have missed this greatly.
We now have a nearly complete Indycar lineup for the entire season. There are a scattered few left including one unconfirmed seat.
The biggest and best news was Conor Daly and Carlos Munoz signing with A. J. Foyt Racing. Munoz will drive the 14 and Daly the 4. Foyt has used the number 4 occasionally. I am glad the 41 is gone. It is such a strange number. Will the team be better? They should. Daly usually makes a team better. Munoz will get more attention on a smaller team. I think Munoz has a great chance to win a race next season. Daly might steal one. Last year Conor got to the front on strategy and was able to have the pace to stay there. Chevrolet power should help both start closer to the front.
The other good news item is J. R. Hildebrand returning full time for Ed Carpenter Racing in the 21 car. Hildebrand puts another former Indy lights champion in the field. J. R. has run well in the 500 the last couple of years. It’s great to have him back full time. Still no word on who will drive the 20 car on road and street courses. Not sure if Spencer Pigot is still under consideration.
Perhaps the biggest surprise in this fall full of surprises is Dale Coyne having both of his cars assigned before the end of the year. Ed Jones, this year’s Indy Lights champ, joins Sebastian Bourdais. in the Coyne stable. This will be an interesting team to watch.
Our scorecard of open seats now looks like this:
0.5- Car 20, Ed Carpenter Racing
1 – Car 8 at Ganassi. I understand Max Chilton is negotiating a contract to keep the ride.
1- Car 26 at Andretti. Takuma Sato, though likely, not confirmed yet.
1- Car 11 at KV or KV/Carlin? This is still questionable whether they will field a team other than for the 500.
There are a lot of drivers looking to get these open seats. Some possibilities: R. C. Enerson, Spencer Pigot, Zach Veach, Oriol Servia likely part time with Schmidt in a third car); Jack Harvey, and Kyle Kaiser. Enerson did an impressive job For Dale Coyne in the last three races of the season. I think he will get one of the openings.
Next week, I’ll reveal my 2017 tentative race schedule. Anyone guessing what races I’m attending in May gets a free grandstand seat any practice day during the month. You just pay track admission and the seat is on me.