Offseason Central


Indianapolis Motor Speedway at sunrise.

2018 IndyCar Grid    |    2018 Preseason Testing Schedule    |    Mazda Road to Indy

Welcome to the “Offseason Central” portal!

From here, you can keep up to date with all things offseason regarding the Verizon IndyCar Series.  Check out our up-to-date grid lineup as we try to forecast and inform you of the faces and places you will see drivers in 2018.  Additionally, we have a page that will include information on the Mazda Road to Indy!

During the offseason Open-Wheels additionally covered the Mazda Road to Indy Shootout, an event that pits 17 drivers against themselves in a race for the $200,000 USF2000 championship scholarship.  Check out our dedicated page that features driver spotlight stories, the complete line-up of competitors and a recap from the most important offseason weekend for the Mazda Road to Indy ladder series.

Here you can check out full results from the annual Chris Griffis Memorial Test from IMS in October and the latest headlines on driver and team movement.

As always, stay tuned to Open-Wheels as we create original pieces on driver movement, new relationships and team expectations as the 2018 season draws nearer and nearer.

When the Indianapolis 500 grid picture begins to clarify then this page will transform into a “Month of May” portal, complete with the up-to-date entry list, daily trackside reports and original content – all to be found in one place.

Thank you once again for vising, and we hope to see you again soon!

Familiar Faces, New Places

Tony Kanaan
A.J. Foyt Racing, #14

IndyCar veteran of 21 years, Tony Kanaan, joined A.J. Foyt Racing with a formal announcement made on October 5, 2017.  TK gets the opportunity to drive for his hero in Foyt, and A.J. gets a driver with an Indianapolis 500 win under his belt – something that Big Tex would like to grab as a team owner in 2018.  Read more…

Matheus Leist
A.J. Foyt Racing, #4

The addition of three-time Indy Lights winner Matheus Leist makes A.J. Foyt Racing the “Team Brazil” of IndyCar.  The wire-to-wire victor of this past May’s Freedom 100, Leist’s Indianapolis success certainly played a role in A.J.’s selection of the 19-year-old.  Could he surprise as Rookie of the Year next May for the Indianapolis 500?  Read more…


Zach Veach
Andretti Autosport, #26

After appearances with Ed Carpenter Racing (Barber) and A.J. Foyt Racing (Indianapolis 500), Zach Veach returns to the team he spent multiple seasons with in the Mazda Road to Indy – Andretti Autosport.  Veach will compete in the Verizon IndyCar Series full-time in 2018, his official rookie season.  Read more…

Carlin Racing drivers Charlie Kimball and Max ChiltonMax Chilton, #59
Charlie Kimball, #23
Carlin Racing

After a couple months of rumors and speculation, it was formally announced on December 12 that Indy Lights, Formula 2, Formula 3 and Formula 4 team Carlin Racing would join the Verizon IndyCar Series and compete full-time in 2018.  The outfit will hire drivers Max Chilton and Charlie Kimball to lead the two-car effort and Chevrolet will power the new team.  Read more…


Ed Jones
Chip Ganassi Racing, #10

The 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series rookie of the year winner shocked the open-wheel world when he abruptly jumped ship from Dale Coyne Racing to the vacant #10 car at Chip Ganassi Racing.  Previously earmarked for Brendon Hartley, it is Jones that will be Scott Dixon’s teammate for 2018 as CGR downsizes to two team cars.  Read more…


Pietro Fittipaldi
Dale Coyne Racing, #19

A third-generation Fittipaldi to enter the IndyCar ranks, Pietro Fittipaldi will be one part of the two-man Dale Coyne Racing No. 19 entry sponsored by Paysafe and Telmex.  In a seven-race deal, Fittipaldi will race at ISM Raceway in April, both events at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in May – including the 102nd Indianapolis 500, Texas in June, the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in July, and then Portland and Sonoma in September.


Zachary Claman DeMeloZachary Claman DeMelo
Dale Coyne Racing, #19

As part two of the Dale Coyne Racing two-step, Zachary Claman DeMelo is expected to compete in 10 Verizon IndyCar Series events in 2018.  Even though he is without a confirmed ride for the 102nd Indianapolis 500, expect Claman DeMelo to be paired with fellow DCR drivers Sebastien Bourdais, Pietro Fittipaldi and Pippa Mann in a four-car Coyne assault on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.


Jordan KingJordan King
Ed Carpenter Racing, #20

Jordan King will pilot Ed Carpenter Racing’s No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet at all road and street course events for the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season.  King, 23, joins the Indianapolis-based team after weeks of rumors connecting former Formula One driver Esteban Gutierrez to the Carpenter seat.  As King will handle the driving duties at all road and street course races, team owner Ed Carpenter will be at the helm for all oval race events.  Read more…


Rene BinderRene Binder
Juncos Racing, #32

Rene Binder has been signed by Juncos Racing to compete in four races on the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series Schedule.  Binder, 26, will get his first opportunity right out of the gate, making his debut at the season opener on the street course at St. Petersburg on March 11. The Austrian native has also been signed to drive for the team in April at Barber Motorsports Park, as well as in July on the streets of Toronto and August at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.  Read more…


Takuma Sato
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

With RLL expanding to two teams full-time in 2018, it created an opportunity for the defending Indianapolis 500 champion to reunite with the team that he nearly won with in a one-off appearance at Indy in 2012.  Takuma Sato is fresh off a career-best season at Andretti Autosport, aiming to continue an upward trajectory in his ninth season of IndyCar competition.  Read more…


Robert Wickens
Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, #7

After the departure of Mikhail Aleshin, Sam Schmidt has tabbed DTM stud Robert Wickens to join friend James Hinchcliffe at SPM.  “Team Canada” will be one of the more interesting two-car driver lineups, and Wickens should adapt well to IndyCar competition in 2018.  Read more…