2015 Indianapolis 500 entry update, Round 1

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With the first race of the Verizon IndyCar Series season in the books, the next round of entry list stories you tend to focus on from that point is the Indianapolis 500 and the month of May.

Here’s where things stand at the moment, one month out from the opening day of oval aero kit testing on May 3, with confirmed and expected entries:

CHEVROLET (16-17)

  • Team Penske (4): 1-Will Power, 2-Juan Pablo Montoya-W, 3-Helio Castroneves-W, 22-Simon Pagenaud. Four is plenty for Team Penske, as the team seeks its first ‘500 win since 2009.
  • KV Racing/KVSH Racing (3-4): 4-Stefano Coletti-R, 11-Sebastien Bourdais, 82-Bryan Clauson. Bourdais is a KVSH entry, Clauson a Byrd Racing with KVSH entry in his ‘500 return, and Coletti a KV entry. Team ran four cars last year and could do so again, although there’s only three confirmed cars right now.
  • Chip Ganassi Racing Teams (4): 8-Sage Karam, 9-Scott Dixon-W, 10-Tony Kanaan-W, 83-Charlie Kimball.  Karam has not yet been confirmed beyond St. Petersburg, but would figure to race CGR’s fourth car for the month of May.
  • CFH Racing (3): 20-Ed Carpenter, 21-Josef Newgarden. The team will add a third car beyond the all-American pairing of Carpenter and Newgarden, who will be in the renumbered No. 21 entry. JR Hildebrand is the leading candidate to drive, and was spotted in the team’s pit at St. Petersburg.
  • Dreyer & Reinbold Racing (1): 24-TBA. The Dennis Reinbold-led team is expected to join the party once again, albeit with a different car number (22 has since gone to Team Penske for Pagenaud) and with an Indianapolis 500 veteran set to make his team return.
  • Lazier Partners Racing (1): 91-Buddy Lazier-W. The 1996 Indianapolis 500 champion is expected to return with his family operation for the third consecutive year, although the program has not been formally announced.

HONDA (15-17)

  • Schmidt Peterson Motorsports (3): 5-James Hinchcliffe, 7-James Jakes. “Team James” will have another teammate for the month of May, but per the Indianapolis Star‘s Curt Cavin, it won’t be 1995 Indianapolis 500 champion Jacques Villeneuve.
  • A.J. Foyt Enterprises (2): 14-Takuma Sato, 41-Jack Hawksworth. Foyt’s usually been a team that adds a second car for the month of May but with Hawksworth now added for the full season, this year won’t have an extra car.
  • Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (1-2): 15-Graham Rahal. Right now, RLL would be the only single-car lineup for the month of May, and it stands to reason the team would add a second as they have in past years. There’s been no word on whether that will happen, though.
  • Dale Coyne Racing (2-3): 18-Carlos Huertas, 19-TBA. Ever the survivor, Dale Coyne has expanded to three cars each of the last two Indianapolis 500s. Provided the i’s are dotted and t’s crossed, he’d likely do so again for race veteran Pippa Mann. It’s the second car – one driven by Francesco Dracone in the opening four races – that has the driver question mark at this juncture.
  • Andretti Autosport (5): 25-Justin Wilson, 26-Carlos Munoz, 27-Marco Andretti, 28-Ryan Hunter-Reay-W, 29-Simona de Silvestro. Michael Andretti’s squad will have at least five cars, with de Silvestro confirmed Thursday alongside the previously announced four. While some talk of a potential sixth emerged at St. Petersburg, since multiple names have been floated in connection with an Andretti seat, another extra car is highly unlikely at this juncture.
  • Bryan Herta Autosport (2): 97-Jay Howard, 98-Gabby Chaves-R. Announced in November, Howard would be making his IndyCar return for the first time in four years as BHA expands to two cars for the month of May.

IndyCar teams with NASCAR on IMS road course doubleheader in 2021

IndyCar NASCAR doubleheader 2021
Jamie Squire/Getty Images
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The NTT IndyCar Series will be sharing Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the NASCAR Cup Series in a race weekend doubleheader for the second consecutive season, but both series will be on the road course in August 2021.

IMS announced Wednesday that IndyCar will hold an Aug. 14, 2021 race on its 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. It’ll be a day before NASCAR’s premier series runs the same layout for the first time after the Brickyard 400 was contested on the 2.5-mile oval for the first time in 27 years.

This season’s rescheduling of the IndyCar GMR Grand Prix to July 4, 2019 (a day before the Brickyard 400) led to the first NASCAR-IndyCar doubleheader weekend. The Xfinity Series also raced on the IMS road course for the first time July 4 after the IndyCar race ended.

INDYCAR AT IMS THIS WEEKEND: Harvest GP schedule, entry lists

IndyCar will be holding its second race weekend this year at the IMS road course Friday and Saturday with the Harvest GP.

“Our first NASCAR-INDYCAR weekend was a big success last July, with positive feedback from
our loyal fans who watched the races on NBC and from the drivers, teams and participants
involved,” IMS president Douglas Boles said in a statement. “The Xfinity Series’ debut on the IMS road course provided exactly the kind of thrilling action from the green to checkered flags that we anticipated, so we know the teams and drivers of the Cup Series will put on a great show as they turn left and right for the first time at IMS.

“We can’t wait to welcome back fans to see NASCAR and INDYCAR together during this
exciting weekend as we add another memorable chapter in the long, storied history of the
Indianapolis Motor Speedway.”

It also will mark the first NASCAR Cup-IndyCar doubleheader with a crowd as fans weren’t permitted at IMS in July because of the novel coronvavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Over the course of Wednesday, NASCAR is releasing its 36-race slate for next season. IndyCar has yet to release its full 2021 schedule.