2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season preview and entry list

  • Josef Newgarden, 2018 IndyCar Series
  • Josef Newgarden, 2018 IndyCar Series
  • 2018 IndyCar Series
  • Josef Newgarden, 2018 IndyCar Series

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

RoundDateRace nameTrackLocation
1March 11Firestone Grand Prix of St.PetersburgStreets of St.PetersburgSt.Petersburg, Florida
2April 7Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand PrixISM RacewayAvondale, Arizona
3April 15Toyota Grand Prix of Long BeachStreets of Long BeachLong Beach, California
4April 22Honda Indy Grand Prix of AlabamaBarber Motorsports ParkLeeds, Alabama
5May 12IndyCar Grand PrixIndianapolis Motor Speedway road courseSpeedway, Indiana
6May 27102nd Indianapolis 500Indianapolis Motor Speedway Speedway, Indiana
7June 2Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix Race 1Belle Isle ParkDetroit, Michigan
8June 3Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix Race 2Belle Isle ParkDetroit, Michigan
9June 9DXC Technology 600Texas Motor SpeedwayFort Worth, Texas
10June 24Kohler Grand PrixRoad AmericaElkhart Lake, Wisconsin
11July 8Iowa Corn 300Iowa SpeedwayNewton, Iowa
12July 15Honda Indy TorontoExhibition PlaceToronto, Ontario
13July 29Honda Indy 200 at Mid-OhioMid-Ohio Sports Car CourseLexington, Ohio
14August 19ABC Supply 500Pocono RacewayLong Pond, Pennsylvania
15August 25Bommarito Automotive Group 500Gateway Motorsports ParkMadison, Illinois
16September 2Grand Prix of PortlandPortland International RacewayPortland, Oregon
17September 16Grand Prix of SonomaSonoma RacewaySonoma, California
Josef Newgarden 2018 IndyCar Series

Josef Newgarden will defend his title in the #1 Chevrolet

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.

IndyCar Series 2018

Drivers during an autograph session at IndyCar Open test at IMS Raceway

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

TeamEngineCar numberDrivers
Team PenskeChevrolet1Josef Newgarden
Team PenskeChevrolet3Helio Castroneves (Indianapolis)
Team PenskeChevrolet12Will Power
Team PenskeChevrolet22Simon Pagenaud
A.J. Foyt EnterprisesChevrolet4Matheus Leist
A.J. Foyt EnterprisesChevrolet14Tony Kanaan
Schmidt Peterson MotorsportsHonda5James Hinchcliffe
Schmidt Peterson MotorsportsHonda6Robert Wickens
Schmidt Peterson MotorsportsHondaTBAJay Howard (Indy 500)
Chip Ganassi RacingHonda9Scott Dixon
Chip Ganassi RacingHonda10Ed Jones
Rahal Letterman Lanigan RacingHonda15Graham Rahal
Rahal Letterman Lanigan RacingHonda30Takuma Sato
Dale Coyne RacingHonda18Sebastien Bourdais
Dale Coyne RacingHonda19Zachary Claman DeMelo, Pietro Fittipaldi
Dale Coyne RacingHonda63Pippa Mann (Indy 500)
Ed Carpenter RacingChevrolet20Jordan King, Ed Carpenter
Ed Carpenter RacingChevrolet21Spencer Pigot
Ed Carpenter RacingChevrolet13Danica Patrick (Indy 500)
CarlinChevrolet23Charlie Kimball
CarlinChevrolet59Max Chilton
Dreyer & Reinbold RacingChevrolet24Sage Karam
Andretti AutosportHonda25Stefan Wilson (Indy 500)
Andretti AutosportHonda26Zach Veach
Andretti AutosportHonda27Alexander Rossi
Andretti AutosportHonda28Ryan Hunter-Reay
Andretti AutosportHonda29Carlos Munoz (Indy 500)
Andretti Herta Autosport with Curb AgajanianHonda98Marco Andretti
Juncos RacingChevrolet32Rene Binder, Kyle Kaiser
Harding RacingChevrolet88Gabby Chaves
Michael Shank RacingHonda60Jack Harvey
Lazier Partners RacingTBATBABuddy Lazier (Indy 500)

Photos: Shawn Gritzmacher, Chris Owens/indycar.com,

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