Indy 500: Way-too-early look at the entry list for 2021

Indy 500, IndyCar - Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
Indy 500, IndyCar - Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports /

With the offseason between the 2020 and 2021 IndyCar seasons well underway, let’s take a way-too-early look at the entry list for the 105th running of the Indy 500.

It’s not often that you can say that not even four months removed from the most recent Indy 500, the next one is just over five months away. In fact, that has never been the case until now.

This year’s Indy 500 was postponed from Sunday, May 24 to Sunday, August 23 as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, marking the first time in the race’s 104-year history that it had been held outside of May (excluding the six years it was canceled due to World Wars I & II).

Next year’s Indy 500 is still on the schedule for the traditional Memorial Day Sunday date of May 30, with fans expected to attend in at least some capacity greater than the 0% we unfortunately saw in August.

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We are already seeing multiple driver confirmations made for the 2021 season, including a number of full-time drivers, a number of part-time drivers and one driver recently confirmed just for the Indy 500 itself.

So let’s take a way-too-early look at the entry list for the 105th running of the 200-lap race around the four-turn, 2.5-mile (4.023-kilometer) Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval in Speedway, Indiana.

In total, 21 drivers have been confirmed for this race thus far. The field traditionally sees 33 cars.

A.J. Foyt Enterprises

  • #14 Chevrolet – Sebastien Bourdais (full-time)

Andretti Autosport

  • #26 Honda – Colton Herta (full-time)
  • #27 Honda – Alexander Rossi (full-time)
  • #28 Honda – Ryan Hunter-Reay (full-time, pending official confirmation)

Arrow McLaren SP

  • #5 Chevrolet – Pato O’Ward (full-time)
  • #7 Chevrolet – Felix Rosenqvist (full-time)
  • #TBD Chevrolet – Juan Pablo Montoya (Indy 500 only)

Chip Ganassi Racing

  • #8 Honda – Marcus Ericsson (full-time)
  • #9 Honda – Scott Dixon (full-time)
  • #10 Honda – Alex Palou (full-time)
  • #48 Honda – Tony Kanaan (ovals only)

Ed Carpenter Racing

  • #20 Chevrolet – Ed Carpenter (ovals only)
  • #21 Chevrolet – Rinus VeeKay (full-time)

Meyer Shank Racing

  • #06 Honda – Helio Castroneves (six-race deal)
  • #60 Honda – Jack Harvey (full-time)

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

  • #15 Honda – Graham Rahal (full-time)
  • #30 Honda – Takuma Sato (full-time)

Team Penske

  • #2 Chevrolet – Josef Newgarden (full-time)
  • #12 Chevrolet – Will Power (full-time)
  • #22 Chevrolet – Simon Pagenaud (full-time)
  • #TBD Chevrolet – Scott McLaughlin (full-time)

Two full-time teams, Dale Coyne Racing and Carlin, have not made any driver confirmations for the 2021 season.

Dale Coyne Racing tend to run two full-time entries with an additional Indy 500 entry while Carlin have run multiple entries in the past but went with just one in 2020.

Other than that, the full-time lineup is pretty much set aside from A.J. Enterprises and Andretti Autosport. A.J. Foyt Enterprises have not yet confirmed whether their second full-time entry will be driven by one or multiple drivers and whether or not they will run a third entry in the Indy 500 like they did in 2020.

Andretti Autosport have not confirmed the extent of their partnership with the Harding Steinbrenner team after announcing that Colton Herta is set to move to the #26 Honda from the #88 Andretti Harding Steinbrenner Autosport Honda. James Hinchcliffe is expected to drive full-time for the team.

In addition to no official word from the team on the status of Ryan Hunter-Reay’s contract to drive the #28 Honda despite a report saying that confirmation is on the horizon, it has also not been confirmed whether or not Marco Andretti will return behind the wheel of the #98 Andretti Herta Autosport w/ Marco Andretti & Curb-Agajanian Honda. Andretti Autosport have also generally run an extra Indy 500 car in the past.

If you assume three Dale Coyne Racing cars, one Carlin car, two additional A.J. Foyt Enterprises cars and three additional Andretti Autosport cars, that would bring the provisional entry list total to 30.

While DragonSpeed won’t be back in 2021, expect Dreyer & Reinbold Racing to field two cars like they usually do as well. Ed Carpenter Racing and Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing will also likely field an additional car like they usually do, and that would bring the field to 34 cars (and bumping), but this is all still early speculation.

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The 105th running of the Indy 500 is set to be broadcast live on NBC from Indianapolis Motor Speedway beginning at 11:00 a.m. ET on Sunday, May 30, 2021.