2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season preview and entry list
The 23rd season of the IndyCar Series and the 97th season of the American open-wheel racing championship will kick-off this weekend at the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida, a place which will host the season-opening race for the eighth consecutive year since 2011.
The season features 17 races, the same number as in 2017, but with one change on a calendar. The iconic Watkins Glen International has been dropped from a calendar and replaced by Portland International Raceway. Six races will take place on the ovals, six on road courses and five on the street circuits.
2018 IndyCar Series calendar
|1||March 11||Firestone Grand Prix of St.Petersburg||Streets of St.Petersburg||St.Petersburg, Florida|
|2||April 7||Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix||ISM Raceway||Avondale, Arizona|
|3||April 15||Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach||Streets of Long Beach||Long Beach, California|
|4||April 22||Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama||Barber Motorsports Park||Leeds, Alabama|
|5||May 12||IndyCar Grand Prix||Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course||Speedway, Indiana|
|6||May 27||102nd Indianapolis 500||Indianapolis Motor Speedway||Speedway, Indiana|
|7||June 2||Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix Race 1||Belle Isle Park||Detroit, Michigan|
|8||June 3||Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix Race 2||Belle Isle Park||Detroit, Michigan|
|9||June 9||DXC Technology 600||Texas Motor Speedway||Fort Worth, Texas|
|10||June 24||Kohler Grand Prix||Road America||Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin|
|11||July 8||Iowa Corn 300||Iowa Speedway||Newton, Iowa|
|12||July 15||Honda Indy Toronto||Exhibition Place||Toronto, Ontario|
|13||July 29||Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio||Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course||Lexington, Ohio|
|14||August 19||ABC Supply 500||Pocono Raceway||Long Pond, Pennsylvania|
|15||August 25||Bommarito Automotive Group 500||Gateway Motorsports Park||Madison, Illinois|
|16||September 2||Grand Prix of Portland||Portland International Raceway||Portland, Oregon|
|17||September 16||Grand Prix of Sonoma||Sonoma Raceway||Sonoma, California|
On the grid, twenty-two cars are announced for the full season, two more cars on a part-time schedule while at Indianapolis 500 we will see 33 cars again. Defending champion Josef Newgarden will drive the #1 Dallara DW12-Chevrolet for Team Penske. Roger Penske’s mega-team increases its operations to three cars for the full-time entries (#1 Josef Newgarden, #12 Will Power, #22 Simon Pagenaud) plus Helio Castroneves in two races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the #3 Chevrolet.
Chip Ganassi Racing reduced its line-up from four to two cars, retaining Scott Dixon in the #9 Honda and adding Ed Jones to #10 Honda. Three last year’s CGR drivers landed to rival teams – Tony Kanaan joined AJ Foyt Racing to drive the #14 Chevrolet while Max Chilton and Charlie Kimball will be teammates in Carlin.
One more great transfer is a move of Indy 500 winner Takuma Sato from Andretti Autosport to Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing. Andretti replaced Sato with rookie Zach Veach.
Nine rookies on the grid
When talking about rookies, three of them will race full season – Zach Veach for Andretti, Indy Lights graduate Matheus Leist for AJ Foyt and former DTM driver Robert Wickens for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports. Six more rookies are announced on a part-time schedule, including 2017 Indy Lights champion Kyle Kaiser who will share the #32 Juncos Racing Chevrolet with Austrian Rene Binder.
Two rookies Zachary Claman DeMelo and Pietro Fittipaldi will share the #19 Dale Coyne Racing Honda while Briton Jordan King came from Formula 2 and joined Ed Carpenter Racing to drive the #20 Chevrolet at street circuits and road courses. As usual, a team owner Ed Carpenter will drive the #20 at ovals. Jack Harvey is one more Briton on the rookie list, announcing six rounds in the #60 Michael Shank Racing Honda.
There will be two female drivers at Indianapolis 500. A regular Indy 500 competitor Pippa Mann (#63 Dale Coyne Honda) will be joined by Danica Patrick in Ed Carpenter’s Chevrolet. Patrick will attend Indianapolis Motor Speedway as a part of her farewell tour after she raced at Daytona 500 for the last time. Her last IndyCar Series and Indy 500 starts were in 2011.
2018 IndyCar Series entry list
|Team Penske||Chevrolet||1||Josef Newgarden|
|Team Penske||Chevrolet||3||Helio Castroneves (Indianapolis)|
|Team Penske||Chevrolet||12||Will Power|
|Team Penske||Chevrolet||22||Simon Pagenaud|
|A.J. Foyt Enterprises||Chevrolet||4||Matheus Leist|
|A.J. Foyt Enterprises||Chevrolet||14||Tony Kanaan|
|Schmidt Peterson Motorsports||Honda||5||James Hinchcliffe|
|Schmidt Peterson Motorsports||Honda||6||Robert Wickens|
|Schmidt Peterson Motorsports||Honda||TBA||Jay Howard (Indy 500)|
|Chip Ganassi Racing||Honda||9||Scott Dixon|
|Chip Ganassi Racing||Honda||10||Ed Jones|
|Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing||Honda||15||Graham Rahal|
|Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing||Honda||30||Takuma Sato|
|Dale Coyne Racing||Honda||18||Sebastien Bourdais|
|Dale Coyne Racing||Honda||19||Zachary Claman DeMelo, Pietro Fittipaldi|
|Dale Coyne Racing||Honda||63||Pippa Mann (Indy 500)|
|Ed Carpenter Racing||Chevrolet||20||Jordan King, Ed Carpenter|
|Ed Carpenter Racing||Chevrolet||21||Spencer Pigot|
|Ed Carpenter Racing||Chevrolet||13||Danica Patrick (Indy 500)|
|Dreyer & Reinbold Racing||Chevrolet||24||Sage Karam|
|Andretti Autosport||Honda||25||Stefan Wilson (Indy 500)|
|Andretti Autosport||Honda||26||Zach Veach|
|Andretti Autosport||Honda||27||Alexander Rossi|
|Andretti Autosport||Honda||28||Ryan Hunter-Reay|
|Andretti Autosport||Honda||29||Carlos Munoz (Indy 500)|
|Andretti Herta Autosport with Curb Agajanian||Honda||98||Marco Andretti|
|Juncos Racing||Chevrolet||32||Rene Binder, Kyle Kaiser|
|Harding Racing||Chevrolet||88||Gabby Chaves|
|Michael Shank Racing||Honda||60||Jack Harvey|
|Lazier Partners Racing||TBA||TBA||Buddy Lazier (Indy 500)|