Once i’s are dotted, t’s are crossed and contracts are signed off on, it looks set that A.J. Foyt Enterprises will return to Chevrolet power and aero kits for the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series season.
Chevrolet/GM tend to announce deals only when they are finalized.
Initially reported by NBCSN contributor Robin Miller for RACER.com and then picked up on by the other regulars in the IndyCar media sphere, Foyt is set to switch from Honda to Chevrolet next year, and it makes sense on multiple fronts.
For one, A.J. Foyt and Chevrolet have a long history together, even though they haven’t been together in IndyCar since 2005. Honda stepped up as sole supplier in 2006 but Foyt stuck with Honda from 2012 when engine competition returned to the series.
Second, with Chip Ganassi Racing’s move from Chevrolet to Honda, invariably at least one or two teams would need to switch the other way for a balance of power – not balance of performance – between the two manufacturers.
With a Foyt move, once official, it would bring the number of Chevrolet entries up to nine, four from Team Penske, two apiece from Foyt and Ed Carpenter Racing, and one from KVSH Racing provided all entries return in 2017.
Third, it makes Foyt’s team an attractive landing spot with neither of its seats set for next year. Takuma Sato and Jack Hawksworth competed for the team this year but for about a month, it’s been rumored one if not both of those drivers will be set to leave at year’s end.
A mix of veterans and intriguing youngsters have been mentioned in consideration for the two seats at the A.J. Foyt-owned, Larry Foyt-led team, which last won a race in 2013 with Sato at Long Beach.