By: Tanner Watkins
May 13, 2019 | 4:30 PM
The entry list for this month’s 103rd Indianapolis 500 is finally found a driver for each of the 36 cars entered. Oriol Servia has been confirmed to drive the No. 77 Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda in partnership with Chicago-based Team Stange Racing.
Monday’s announcement comes on the eve of Indianapolis 500 practice beginning tomorrow.
“I work and prepare all year for this race, so it’s kind of ironic that we are actually announcing a program this late,” Servia commented. “I am proud to represent Lucas Oil again, and couldn’t be more excited to introduce the world to MotoGator and Team Stange, which you will hear a lot more very soon.”
One of the more affluent and respected drivers in the IndyCar paddock, Servia brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the fray for Arrow SPM but also the first-time partners of Team Stange Racing.
Founded in 2012 by businessman John Stange, Jr., Team Stange Racing is making its initial foray into the Indianapolis 500 this year with plans to participate in select races for 2020. The group cut its teeth in stock car racing, finishing as well as fourth in the 2016 Daytona 200 in the Menards ARCA Series.
For Stange Jr., the decision to take a chance on this year’s “500” is the first step towards a full-time entry down the road.
“I am so pleased to announce this great partnership with Arrow SPM today as Team Stange Racing makes its entry into IndyCar racing,” stated Stange, Jr. “We are so blessed to partner with a company like MotoGator who is committed to building a winning IndyCar program with TSR.
“Once we developed our plan, we knew that we wanted to launch at the world’s greatest race with so much history and it being so special to me personally. The second thing to do was to partner with a quality team that we could align and grow with as we build our team to compete in the NTT IndyCar Series eventually full time in 2021/22.”
Servia will attempt to qualify for this year’s “500” after accumulating 10 starts in the Greatest Spectacle in Racing to date. The Spaniard’s best finish in the Indy 500 came back in 2012 when he placed fourth, but Servia was particularly proud of his performance last year and feels he has something more to offer in 2019.
“At last year’s 500, I did perhaps the best driving I’ve ever done and came really close,” said Servia. “I’m here to finish that job, and I know for a fact that everyone on this program has worked really hard preparing this event with the same aim. It may look like we are arriving almost late to the game, but we are arriving ready!”
Practice for the 103rd Indianapolis 500 opens tomorrow, May 14 with full-time NTT IndyCar Series drivers participating from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM, then rookies and veteran refresher programs will run from 1:00 to 3:00 PM before the entire field takes to the track from 3:00 to 6:00 PM.
Stay tuned to Open-Wheels for further coverage this month of May.
Header image by Joe Skibinski/INDYCAR.
Open-Wheels coverage of the 2019 month of May at Indianapolis is presented by Driven 2 Save Lives. Driven 2 Save Lives, an entity of the Indiana Donor Network, is a program that utilizes motorsports as a platform to encourage race fans to become organ donors. Currently, there are 114,000 individuals that are waiting for a life-saving organ transplant. Register as an organ, tissue, and eye donor at Driven2SaveLives.org/register and follow Driven2SaveLives on Facebook and Twitter.