2019 NTT IndyCar Series season preview and entry list
The 2019 IndyCar Series would be the 98th season of the North American open-wheel championship and the 24th season under the IndyCar name. After many years with Verizon as naming partner, the 2019 season gets Japanese company NTT as a new naming sponsor.
The 2019 schedule features 17 races, the same number as in 2018, with five races at ovals, five at street circuits and seven at road courses. On the list of ovals, there is no more ISM Raceway.
The IndyCar Classic at the Circuit of the Americas is the completely new race while Laguna Seca is replacing Sonoma Raceway as a venue of season’s finale. The open-wheelers are returning to Laguna Seca for the first time since 2004 Champ Car season.
2019 IndyCar Series calendar
|1||March 10||Firestone Grand Prix of St. Peterssburg||Streets of St.Petersburg||St.Petersburg, Florida|
|2||March 24||IndyCar Classic||Circuit of the Americas||Austin, Texas|
|3||April 7||Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama||Barber Motorsports Park||Leeds, Alabama|
|4||April14||Grand Prix of Long Beach||Streets of Long Beach||Long Beach, California|
|5||May 11||IndyCar Grand Prix||Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course||Speedway, Indiana|
|6||May 26||103rd Indianapolis 500||Indianapolis Motor Speedway||Speedway, Indiana|
|7||June 1||Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix Race 1||Belle Isle Park||Detroit, Michigan|
|8||June 2||Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix Race 2||Belle Isle Park||Detroit, Michigan|
|9||June 8||DXC Technology 600||Texas Motor Speedway||Fort Worth, Texas|
|10||June 23||Kohler Grand Prix||Road America||Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin|
|11||July 14||Honda Indy Toronto||Exhibition Place||Toronto, Ontario|
|12||July 20||Iowa 300||Iowa Speedway||Newton, Iowa|
|13||July 28||Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio||Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course||Lexington, Ohio|
|14||August 18||ABC Supply 500||Pocono Raceway||Long Pond, Pennsylvania|
|15||August 25||Bommarito Automotive Group 500||Gateway Motorsports Park||Madison, Illinois|
|16||September 16||Grand Prix of Portland||Portland International Raceway||Portland, Oregon|
|17||September 22||Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey||WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca||Monterey, California|
On the list of drivers, the same old names would fill the grid with some exciting newcomers among rookies. Scott Dixon is the defending champion but he will not drive the #1 car, retaining the number 9 on Chip Ganassi Racing’s Honda. Dixon’s teammate in the #10 CGR Honda will be Swedish driver Felix Rosenqvist who most recently raced successfully in the Formula E and Japanese Super GT Series.
Andretti Autosport will have four full-time entries on the grid with the same drivers (Zach Veach, Alexander Rossi, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Marco Andretti), similar to Team Penske which would have three full-time drivers (Josef Newgarden, Will Power, Simon Pagenaud). Both teams will run additional cars at Indianapolis for Conor Daly and Helio Castroneves.
Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, AJ Foyt Enterprises, RLL Racing, Carlin and Ed Carpenter Racing also retained drivers from the previous season, with some additions to their line-ups. Due to Robert Wickens’ uncertain comeback after his horrific crash at Pocono last year, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports leaves the door opened for him but also signed former Formula 1 driver Marcus Ericsson as a teammate to James Hinchcliffe. SPM will also run a car with Meyer Shank Racing in ten rounds for Jack Harvey.
AJ Foyt will have Brazilian pair of Tony Kanaan and Matheus Leist in his team again. Graham Rahal and Takuma Sato stayed with RLL Racing for the full season while Jordan King will join the team at Indianapolis 500. Ed Carpenter Racing announced a similar schedule as before, with Spencer Pigot as a full-time driver and team owner Ed Carpenter sharing the second car with Ed Jones.
Carlin will run two cars for Max Chilton and Charlie Kimball but Kimball will share the #23 Chevrolet with rookie RC Enerson. Two full-time rookies are Colton Herta in the #88 Honda of Harding-Steinbrenner Racing and Santino Ferrucci in the #19 Honda of Dale Coyne Racing. The Briton Ben Hanley will also drive for the Rookie of the Year award in five rounds with DragonSpeed’s #81 Chevrolet.
Two interesting entries for Indianapolis 500 only are Pippa Mann and Fernando Alonso. The only female racer will drive the #39 Chevrolet for Clauson-Marshall Racing. The Spanish racing legend will chase the Triple Crown in the #66 Chevrolet of McLaren Racing.
2019 IndyCar Series entry list
|Team Penske||Chevrolet||2||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|
|Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports||Honda||5||James Hinchcliffe|
|Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports||Honda||6||Robert Wickens|
|Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports||Honda||7||Marcus Ericsson|
|Meyer Shank Racing with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports||Honda||60||Jack Harvey|
|Chip Ganassi Racing||Honda||9||Scott Dixon|
|Chip Ganassi Racing||Honda||10||Felix Rosenqvist|
|Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing||Honda||15||Graham Rahal|
|Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing||Honda||30||Takuma Sato|
|Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing||Honda||42||Jordan King (Indy 500)|
|Dale Coyne Racing||Honda||18||Sebastien Bourdais|
|Dale Coyne Racing||Honda||19||Santino Ferrucci|
|Clauson-Marshall Racing||Chevrolet||39||Pippa Mann (Indy 500)|
|Ed Carpenter Racing||Chevrolet||20||Ed Carpenter, Ed Jones|
|Ed Carpenter Racing||Chevrolet||21||Spencer Pigot|
|Carlin||Chevrolet||23||Charlie Kimball, RC Enerson|
|Dreyer & Reinbold Racing||Chevrolet||24||Sage Karam (Indy 500)|
|Andretti Autosport||Honda||25||Conor Daly (Indy 500)|
|Andretti Autosport||Honda||26||Zach Veach|
|Andretti Autosport||Honda||27||Alexander Rossi|
|Andretti Autosport||Honda||28||Ryan Hunter-Reay|
|Andretti Herta Autosport with Curb Agajanian||Honda||98||Marco Andretti|
|Juncos Racing||Chevrolet||32||Kyle Kaiser (COTA)|
|McLaren Racing||Chevrolet||66||Fernando Alonso (Indy 500)|
|Harding Steinbrenner Racing||Honda||88||Gabby Chaves|
Photos: IndyCar Series,