INDYCAR

Marco Andretti confirmed in No. 98 Andretti-Herta IndyCar entry

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Andretti Autosport and Bryan Herta Autosport have confirmed an extension of their partnership in the Verizon IndyCar Series through the 2018 season, with Marco Andretti stepping into the No. 98 Honda entry.

Andretti and Herta started working together in 2016 upon Alexander Rossi’s arrival in the series, highlighted by a famous victory in the 100th Indianapolis 500.

Rossi continued in the No. 98 Andretti-Herta entry through 2017, taking one race win and two further podium finishes, with the American driver signing a new multi-year deal with Andretti earlier this year.

Herta stepped back from his hands-on involvement in the No. 98 entry to call strategy for Marco Andretti, combining for five top-10 finishes across the course of the season.

Andretti will now transfer over to the No. 98 Andretti-Herta entry for the 2018 season to work closer with the team, while Rossi will move in the opposite direction, racing in the No. 27 Andretti car.

“I’m thrilled to be continuing the partnership with Andretti Autosport. The relationship has worked really well both on and off the track for us and our partners,” Herta said.

“I’m looking forward to moving back onto the No. 98 timing stand with Marco and can’t wait to get the 2018 season started.”

“I’m very much looking forward to being in the Andretti-Herta entry. My goal is to bring the No. 98 another Indy 500 win along with many other victories,” added Andretti.

“Working with Bryan has been refreshing – he is very committed to getting me all the tools I need to get back into victory circle. He believes in my talent and is dedicated to turn that into results.”

The deal confirms a four-car full-season entry for Andretti across the two teams, with Ryan Hunter-Reay and newcomer Zach Veach joining Rossi and Andretti.

Hildebrand enters Indy 500 with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing

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INDIANAPOLIS — J.R. Hildebrand will race in the Indianapolis 500 with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing in a second entry dedicated to the late Dan Gurney.

Hildebrand will pilot the No. 48 as a nod to the number used by Gurney, a racer, car builder and team owner who died in 2018. Hildebrand will be teammates with Sage Karam and his car will be sponsored by Salesforce.com.

Hildebrand has eight previous Indy 500 starts and was leading on the final lap as a rookie in 2011 when he crashed in the final turn. Dan Wheldon slipped past for the victory and Hildebrand finished second.

Hildebrand also drove for DRR last season.

DRR is also fielding the #24 Chevrolet in this year’s Indy 500 for Sage Karam.