Commentary

2021 NTT IndyCar Series Silly Season Synopsis Part 3

By: Ashley McCubbin

This past month saw some more revelations about the 2021 driver line-up, with more drivers finding their seat for the upcoming season.

As teased in the second partAndretti Autosport confirmed James Hinchcliffe will be back with the team in 2021, going full-time as a result of a pair of marketing partners allowing for it to happen. The Canadian only ran six events last year after finding himself rideless at the end of 2019 due to a shift in dynamics at Arrow McLaren SP.

Ed Jones also gets the full-time nod, reuniting with Dale Coyne Racing after spending the 2020 campaign outside of open-wheel competition. He ran his rookie campaign for Coyne, before a season with Chip Ganassi Racing and 2019 with Ed Carpenter doing the road courses. His best results came in 2018 with a pair of podium performances.

Coyne also confirmed they will enter a second entry full-time in conjunction with Rick Ware Racing, which is known for their NASCAR endeavors, running multiple teams in both Cup and Xfinity with limited success. They’ll hope to do better in open-wheel with an experienced rookie behind the wheel in former Formula 1 driver Romain Grosjean taking the controls. Grosjean was left outside of F1 following Haas F1 Team taking a youthful approach for the future, allowing him to join an experienced rookie list including Jimmie Johnson and Scott McLaughlin.

Experience seemed to be the name of phase three, with Charlie Kimball confirming he will run the Indianapolis 500 and Indy Grand Prix for A.J. Foyt Racing. He competed for them in 2021, but was lost in the shuffle with Dalton Kellett and Sebastien Bourdais being offered full-time rides. Kimball showed poise last season, scoring his best finish of 2020 in the season finale with an eighth.

IndyCar Grid

  • Chip Ganassi Racing
    • Jimmie Johnson road and street courses; Tony Kanaan ovals
    • Scott Dixon full schedule
    • Marcus Ericsson
    • Alex Palou
  • Arrow McLaren SP
    • Felix Rosenqvist
    • Pato O’Ward
    • Juan Pablo Montoya (Indianapolis 500)
  • Mayer Shank Racing
    • Jack Harvey
    • Helio Castroneves – six races
  • Team Penske
    • Josef Newgarden
    • Will Power
    • Simon Pagenaud
    • Scott McLaughlin
  • A.J. Foyt Racing
    • Dalton Kellett
    • Sebastian Bourdais
    • Charlie Kimball – Indy GP and Indy 500
  • Andretti Autosport
    • Alexander Rossi
    • Colton Herta
    • Ryan Hunter-Reay
    • James Hinchcliffe
    • Marco Andretti – Indianapolis 500, possible select other dates
  • Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
    • Graham Rahal
    • Takuma Sato
  • Ed Carpenter Racing
    • Rinus Veekay
    • Ed Carpenter ovals, Conor Daly road/street courses
  • Carlin Racing
    • Max Chilton (?)
  • Paretta Autosport
    • Simona de Silvestro
  • Dale Coyne Racing
    • Ed Jones
    • Romain Grosjean (with Rick Ware Racing)

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