Andretti Autosport reveals its 2016 liveries

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Andretti Autosport is complementing the past with its future for its 2016 liveries, on its four Verizon IndyCar Series and three Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires cars.

The team release explaining why and how is below:

Photo: Andretti Autosport
Photo: Andretti Autosport

The Andretti Autosport IndyCar team Ryan Hunter-Reay, Marco Andretti, Alexander Rossi and Carlos Muñoz head to Phoenix International Raceway this week as part of the Verizon IndyCar Series official pre-season open test and Phoenix “Prix View” event. While not the first outing of the year for the Indianapolis-based team’s Verizon IndyCar Series squad, the two-day training session will mark the debut of the drivers’ 2016 paint schemes.

While each driver will continue to carry the colors of their respective primary sponsors, the team’s liveries tie together for the 2016 season with a nod to the history of the Andretti Autosport foundation. Each of the team’s Honda-powered machines will don a unified color stripe, starting at the forward cockpit and running through the rear of the car.

This element of the car liveries was inspired by the livery of Mario Andretti’s 1972 Indy car, which later became the inspiration for the helmet design worn by all three generations of the Mario’s lineage – and still carried by Marco today. The unified look will also carry through to the Indy Lights machines of Shelby Blackstock, Dalton Kellett and Dean Stoneman, all on track today at Phoenix International Raceway.

“As we enter a historic season of Indy car racing, with the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500, I’m proud to be able to bring this design element into our field of cars,” said Andretti Autosport owner Michael Andretti. “My father was an inspiration to me in my career, and remains an inspiration and major supporter to our industry. To carry a little history with us is something special.”

Race fans and media are invited to the “Prix View” Inaugural Testing Event at Phoenix International Raceway on Feb. 27. The event will feature nearly the entire field of drivers and teams as they prepare for the 2016 season and the Verizon IndyCar Series return to Phoenix with an April 2 race date. The free access test day will feature two on-track practice windows along with a driver autograph session. Visit PhoenixRaceway.com for more information and follow the weekend on social media with #PrixView.

The green flag will fall on the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series championship on March 13 with the opening round of competition on the streets of St. Petersburg, Fla. broadcast live on ABC. Andretti Autosport will field four full season Verizon IndyCar Series entries with Andretti (No. 27 Snapple Honda), Hunter-Reay (No. 28 DHL Honda), Muñoz (No. 26 Honda) and Rossi (No. 98 Honda).

Additionally, Andretti is currently slated to have three full season entries in Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires with Blackstock (No. 51 Starstruck Mazda), Kellett (No. 28 K-Line Mazda) and Stoneman (No. 27 Stellrecht Mazda) while a fourth entry remains in the works. Keep up to date on all things Andretti via Twitter with @FollowAndretti.

Jimmie Johnson won’t race full time in 2023; leaves open possibility of returning at Ganassi

Jimmie Johnson race 2023
Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images
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Though he remains uncertain of his plans for next year, Jimmie Johnson won’t race full time in 2023, scaling back his schedule after running a full 17-race NTT IndyCar Series season.

“This was a difficult choice for me, but in my heart, I know it’s the right one,” Johnson said in a statement Monday morning. “I’m not exactly sure what the next chapter holds, but if an opportunity comes along that makes sense, I will consider it. I still have a bucket list of racing events I would like to take part in. Competing at this level in IndyCar has been such a great experience.

“I couldn’t have asked for a better team to race for than Chip Ganassi and Chip Ganassi Racing. Everyone worked extremely hard for the last two seasons, pushing to get the best performances out of me every single week. The support from my crew and teammates Dario (Franchitti), Scott (Dixon), Tony (Kanaan), Marcus (Ericsson) and Alex (Palou) went above and beyond anything I could have ever asked for.”

WHAT’S NEXT FOR JIMMIE JOHNSON: An analysis of his racing options for the 2023 season

Driving the No. 48 Dallara-Honda for Chip Ganassi Racing, Johnson ranked 21st in the 2022 points standings with a career-best fifth place July 24 at Iowa Speedway.

After running only road and street courses for Ganassi in 2021, the seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion added ovals this year. In his Indy 500 debut, he qualified 12th and finished 28th after a late crash.

“I do have a desire to go back (to IndyCar), it’s just at this point, I know what’s required to do a full schedule, and I don’t have that in me,” Johnson told AP. “I don’t have that passion that I need for myself to commit myself to a full season.”

That leaves open the concept of Johnson returning part time with Ganassi, perhaps exclusively on ovals.

“We are fully supportive of Jimmie,” team owner Chip Ganassi said in a statement. “He has been a valued member of our team and if we can find a way to continue working together, we would like to do so.”

During IndyCar’s season finale race weekend, Johnson told reporters Sept. 9 that he planned to explore his options with wife Chandra and daughters Evie and Lydia. Johnson told the Associated Press that his family is considering living abroad for a year or two, and he has toyed with the idea of running in the World Endurance Championship sports car series because of its international locales.

Johnson hasn’t ruled out IndyCar, IMSA sports cars or even a cameo in NASCAR next year. Since retiring from full-time NASCAR after the 2020 season, he has entered the endurance races of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in the No. 48 Ally Cadillac (including Saturday’s Petit Le Mans season finale). Johnson also wants to race in the 24 Hours of Le Mans and is a prime candidate for the Garage 56 entry (a joint project of NASCAR and Hendrick Motorsports).

Johnson told the AP he is interested in becoming the latest driver to try “The Double” and run both the Coca-Cola 600 and Indy 500 on the same day (the most recent was Kurt Busch in 2014).

“You know me and endurance sports, and ‘The Double’ sounds awesome,” Johnson, a four-time Coke 600 winner, told AP. “I’ve always had this respect for the guys who have done ‘The Double.’ I would say it is more of a respect thing than a bucket-list item, and I’d love to put some energy into that idea and see if I can pull it off.”

It is less likely that he would return to IMSA’s endurance events because its top prototype series is being overhauled, limiting the amount of inventory available for the new LMDh cars in the rebranded GTP division.

Johnson has confirmed that he would retain primary sponsor Carvana, which has backed him in IndyCar the past two years. He revealed his decision Monday during the last episode of “Reinventing the Wheel,” Carvana Racing’s eight-part docuseries about his 2023 season.

“I’m thankful for the partnership with a company like Carvana for allowing me to take this journey in IndyCar, for seeing the value in our partnership and being open to future opportunities together,” Johnson said. “They have truly showed me that there are no finish lines in life. Along with Carvana, The American Legion, Ally, cbdMD and Frank August were there every step of the way, and I couldn’t have done it without all of them. Most importantly — and the true rockstars in all of this –my family, Chani, Evie and Lydia. They have always allowed me to chase my dreams, and we are all just really excited about what the future holds for all of us. I have enjoyed every minute of these last two years.”

Said Carvana co-founder Ryan Keeton: “During the past two years, Jimmie Johnson has been so amazing to collaborate with. Our team admires his passion, hard work and commitment to continuous improvement while also having fun, and we look forward to continuing to support him next year in this new chapter.”