By: Tanner Watkins
February 14, 2020 | 8:00 AM
Good afternoon to all of our IndyCar friends! It is a chilly day in the nation’s heartland, but on this cold February Wednesday, our minds are firmly planted on May.
Last Friday marked 100 days until the 104th running of the Indianapolis 500, and a slate of festivities will ring in the next edition of the Greatest Spectacle in Racing. So what better time to take a look at the Indianapolis 500 field as it currently stands?
Below we will lay out the “500” field as of February 19 – with what we know (drivers and teams announced), what we expect (given the history of teams and their entries), and the entries that are up in the air – possibilities that may need a little luck to see the Speedway in three months.
So let’s get right down to it: Here are the entries that have already been formally announced thus far.
A.J. Foyt Racing
1. Charlie Kimball (No. 4 Chevrolet)
2. Tony Kanaan (No. 14 Chevrolet)
3. Dalton Kellett (No. TBA Chevrolet)
4. Zach Veach (No. 26 Honda)
5. Alexander Rossi (No. 27 Honda)
6. Ryan Hunter-Reay (No. 28 Honda)
7. James Hinchcliffe (No. 29 Honda)
8. Colton Herta (No. 88 Honda)
9. Marco Andretti (No. 98 Honda)
Arrow McLaren SP
10. Patricio O’Ward (No. 5 Chevrolet)
11. Oliver Askew (No. 7 Chevrolet)
12. Driver TBA (No. TBA Chevrolet)
13. Max Chilton (No. 59 Chevrolet)
14. Driver TBA (No. 31 Chevrolet)
Chip Ganassi Racing
15. Marcus Ericsson (No. 8 Honda)
16. Scott Dixon (No. 9 Honda)
17. Felix Rosenqvist (No. 10 Honda)
Dale Coyne Racing
18. Santino Ferrucci (No. 18 Honda)
19. Alex Palou (No. 55 Honda)
Dreyer & Reinbold Racing
20. Sage Karam (No. 24 Chevrolet)
Ed Carpenter Racing
21. Ed Carpenter (No. 20 Chevrolet)
22. Rinus VeeKay (No. 21 Chevrolet)
23. Conor Daly (No. TBA Chevrolet)
Meyer Shank Racing
24. Jack Harvey (No. 60 Honda)
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
25. Graham Rahal (No. 15 Honda)
26. Takuma Sato (No. 30 Honda)
27. Josef Newgarden (No. 1 Chevrolet)
28. Helio Castroneves (No. 3 Chevrolet)
29. Will Power (No. 12 Chevrolet)
30. Simon Pagenaud (No. 22 Chevrolet)
Announced without Driver
31. DragonSpeed (No. 81 Chevrolet)
Announced without Team
32. James Davison
Sitting on February 14 with nearly an entire field of drivers and/or teams announced for the Indianapolis 500 is a fantastic sign of the event’s health heading into the new decade.
Many of the pairings announced above contain partial or full-season entries, plus the already announced Indy-only entries for teams such as A.J. Foyt Racing, Arrow McLaren SP, Ed Carpenter Racing, and Team Penske.
These entries are consistent and expected, but the real fun at Indianapolis begins when you dream of the possible. This is where we get to be a little creative with free agents, one-off teams, and ever-expanding mega-teams.
Unannounced but Expected
33. Dreyer and Reinbold Racing (Second Entry)
This entry is slated for J.R. Hildebrand to return for his 10th Indianapolis 500 start, but the particulars of this deal have yet to be finalized.
One variable to consider: After being shut out by Andretti Autosport (read: Honda) and Ed Carpenter Racing, Fernando Alonso needs a Chevrolet team to dance with if he wants to compete in this year’s “500.” Dreyer & Reinbold are often competitive at Indianapolis, and given the rides remaining in the Chevy stable, DRR would give Alonso the best shot for 2020.
34. Juncos Racing (Single Entry)
While Juncos Racing has silenced their sports car efforts, the team is expected to return for their fourth Indianapolis 500 foray in 2020. Kyle Kaiser has been Ricardo Juncos’ favorite pilot to this point, but the team will be listening to a variety of candidates for this May’s seat.
35. Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (Third Entry)
This is perhaps the most wide-open entry left on the market. James Hinchcliffe and his Genesys sponsorship would have worked well here, but there are still a host of free agents with recent Indy 500 starts that should also be vying for this expected entry: Sebastien Bourdais, Oriol Servia, Carlos Munoz, Ed Jones, and Stefan Wilson – just to name a few.
After a review of the categories listed above, we arrive at 35 entries with a legitimate chance to see the track in May. If all come to fruition, we would match the entry total from last year if there is one wild-card that comes out of the weeds.
It would take some luck to eclipse the 36-entry total, but if a 37th entry shows up it would be the highest total competing for the “500” since the 2011 race – which featured 42 unique pairings.
So while the Indianapolis wind chill hovers in the low double-digits today, we just saw the 500 Mile Race countdown dip into double-digits, signaling the fact that spring is just around the corner – as well as another edition of the Greatest Spectacle in Racing.
Header image by Karl Zemlin/INDYCAR.