McLaren considering Kyle Busch for Indy 500; team hires veteran executive Brian Barnhart

Kyle Busch McLaren Indy
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Arrow McLaren SP is interested in an Indy 500 entry for Kyle Busch as the NTT IndyCar Series team shores up its executive ranks in the wake of its president leaving.

The head of McLaren Racing held a town hall Thursday at its IndyCar shop to introduce new hire Brian Barnhart and quell any concerns over this week’s sudden departure of Taylor Kiel.

Zak Brown did not give a title for Barnhart, an industry veteran who spent the past season as strategist for Alexander Rossi at Andretti Autosport. Rossi will be part of Arrow McLaren SP’s expanded three-car lineup next season, and Barnhart will report to Brown.

Brown told The Associated Press he was still finalizing the structure of the IndyCar arm’s senior management team and “hiring like crazy” in advance of the additional third car. McLaren is also building a state-of-the-art shop in Indianapolis designed to be similar to its Formula One factory in England.

And the team is in serious conversation about running a fourth Indianapolis 500 entry for two-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Busch, who has wanted to race the Brickyard in May for several years. The effort likely would be backed by Menards as Busch, who last week left Toyota and Joe Gibbs Racing after 15 years to sign with Richard Childress Racing, has permission to compete in the Indy 500 with a Chevrolet team.

Busch is a Las Vegas native and Arrow McLaren SP was founded by longtime Las Vegas resident Sam Schmidt. Busch’s older brother, Kurt, was the most recent NASCAR driver to run both the Indy 500 and Coca-Cola 600 on the same day. Kurt Busch was the 2014 Indy 500 rookie of the year with a sixth-place finish for Andretti Autosport.

It’s been a hectic season for McLaren – and Brown – as the organization has tried to shore up its lineups across several series with the best talent possible. It led to a dispute in Formula One with rival team Alpine for the rights to Oscar Piastri, which McLaren won, and a $15 million buyout of Daniel Ricciardo to open a seat for Piastri.

Then there was a prolonged legal battle in IndyCar for the rights to 2021 champion Alex Palou, who ultimately will remain with Chip Ganassi Racing for the final season of his contract. But he was permitted to test the F1 car for McLaren last week and is expected to make a full move to McLaren in 2024 when his Ganassi deal is done.

Now the team has lost Kiel, who joined the organization nearly 15 years ago when Sam Schmidt Motorsports was an Indy Lights team.

“It’s been an honor to work for Arrow McLaren SP for more than a decade. As I step away, I am most proud of growing this team into a powerhouse able to fight for championships and wins each week. I now look forward to spending time with my own growing family and whatever’s next!” Kiel posted on social media in the shock announcement.

Though he was vague on what his next move is, it is widely believed that Kiel will be introduced at Ganassi as soon as his non-compete clause expires. It is unclear what Kiel’s role would be. Mike Hull, his stepfather, has been with Ganassi for more than three decades and as managing director essentially runs the organization.

McLaren has said only about Kiel: “Taylor Kiel is stepping down as Arrow McLaren SP President after two seasons. As the team grows to three cars for the 2023 NTT IndyCar Series season, announcements on team management will be made in due course.”

Barnhart, meanwhile, is the former president of race operations and race director of IndyCar. He joined Harding Racing in 2017, which then evolved into Harding Steinbrenner Racing and was then absorbed by Andretti Autosport.

Max Verstappen is PointsBet favorite to score sixth staight in 2022 Singapore Grand Prix

PointsBet 2022 Singapore odds
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Max Verstappen is the PointsBet Sportsbook odds favorite to win the 2022 Singapore Grand Prix on the Marina Bay Street course to stretch his current win streak to six consecutive. He shows odds of -200 this week.

Formula 1 did not compete in Singapore in 2020 or 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but Verstappen has podium finishes in his last two attempts on this track. he was second in 2018 and third in 2019. In the first 15 races of this season, he has failed to stand on the podium only twice and has an average finish of 2.73.

With minus odds, the way to determine a payout is by subtraction. In order for a bettor to earn $100, he must wager $200 this week; with that wager, he will get back his initial stake and winnings of $100.

For bettors more comfortable with fractional odds, a bet of +300 is the same as 3/1.

Charles Leclerc is ranked second this week with +400 odds. He has two previous Singapore GP starts to his credit with a best of second in 2019. He is coming off back-to-back podium finishes with a third in the Dutch GP and a second at Monza.

Ranked third is Carlos Sainz, Jr. with a line of +1100. He has top-five finishes in four of his last five starts, but only one of these, a third in the Belgian GP, was on the podium. Sainz is one of four winners other than Verstappen this season. His victory came in the British GP.

Lewis Hamilton shows a line of +1200. His last win came last fall in the Saudi Arabian GP and the Mercedes team has struggled to contend for victory in 2022. They are improving, however, with eight top-fives in the last nine races. Hamilton has two wins in his last three Singapore starts, which came in 2017 and 2018.

Rounding out the top five is Hamilton’s teammate George Russell at +1800. He has not won, but has shown remarkable consistency with top-fives in all but one race. Notably, his only bad finish came in his home GP in England. Russell has one previous start at Marina Bay; he finished last in the 2019 race. He finished fourth in 2019 as part of a four-race streak of top-fives.

The most recent Singapore GP winner from 2019, Sebastian Vettel is a longshot at +50000.

PointsBet is our Official Sports Betting Partner, and we may receive compensation if you place a bet on PointsBet for the first time after clicking our links.

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