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

Indy 500, IndyCar (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
Indy 500, IndyCar (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images) /

2021 is upon us, and the 105th running of the Indy 500 is under five months away. Let’s take a way-too-early look at the entry list for IndyCar’s greatest race.

When the checkered flag flew at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on the evening of Sunday, August 23, we knew we had just 40 weeks to go until the next running of the Indy 500 was scheduled to take place, marking the shortest span between two editions of the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing” since it was first run in 1911.

The 104th running of the race was pushed back nearly three months from Sunday, May 24, and no fans were allowed to be in attendance to see Takuma Sato win the race for the second time in the last four years.

So we entered Indy 500 withdrawal with only just over nine months to go until the 105th running of the race on Sunday, May 30, 2021 as opposed to the usual 12.

More from IndyCar

The only thing negative about this is that we’d usually be far beyond the halfway point between races at this point. Instead of having 222 days down, we have just 133 down (19 weeks) with 147 (21 weeks) to go.

Nevertheless, there have been several confirmations about the 2021 driver lineup made in recent weeks and months, and a number of announcements have been made regarding the Indy 500 in particular.

Let’s take our first look at the entry list for the 105th running of the 200-lap race around the four-turn, 2.5-mile (4.023-kilometer) oval in Speedway, Indiana in the new year.

Full-time drivers

A.J. Foyt Enterprises

  • #4 Chevrolet – Dalton Kellett
  • #14 Chevrolet – Sebastien Bourdais

Andretti Autosport

Arrow McLaren SP

  • #5 Chevrolet – Pato O’Ward
  • #7 Chevrolet – Felix Rosenqvist

Chip Ganassi Racing

  • #8 Honda – Marcus Ericsson
  • #9 Honda – Scott Dixon
  • #10 Honda – Alex Palou

Ed Carpenter Racing

  • #21 Chevrolet – Rinus VeeKay

Meyer Shank Racing

  • #60 Honda – Jack Harvey

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

  • #15 Honda – Graham Rahal
  • #30 Honda – Takuma Sato

Team Penske

  • #2 Chevrolet – Josef Newgarden
  • #12 Chevrolet – Will Power
  • #22 Chevrolet – Simon Pagenaud
  • #TBD Chevrolet – Scott McLaughlin

Part-time drivers

Chip Ganassi Racing

  • #48 Honda – Tony Kanaan (ovals only)

Ed Carpenter Racing

  • #20 Chevrolet – Ed Carpenter (ovals only)
  • #TBD Chevrolet – Conor Daly (road and street courses plus Indy 500)

Meyer Shank Racing

  • #06 Honda – Helio Castroneves (six-race deal)

Indy 500-only drivers

Arrow McLaren SP

  • #TBD Chevrolet – Juan Pablo Montoya

This means there have been 23 drivers confirmed for this race, of whom 18 are full-time drivers, four are part-time drivers and one is an Indy 500-only driver.

We expect that there will end up being more than 33 entries, and thus bumping, based on what has not yet been confirmed.

A.J. Foyt Enterprises should run an Indy 500-only car like usual. Andretti Autosport still need to confirm two full-time drivers, and they should also run an Indy 500-only car like usual. Carlin should run at least one car in the Indy 500, and Dale Coyne Racing have not confirmed either one of their two full-time drivers; they also typically run an additional Indy 500-only car.

That would bring the total to 31 right there.

Dreyer & Reinbold Racing will likely again field two cars, and Rahal Letterman Lanigan should run an Indy 500-only car like they usually do. Then factor in the fact that there are rumors Team Penske will be fielding a fifth entry for the first time since 2017, and that takes the total up to 35.

Everything beyond the current confirmed 23 is speculation, but it does appear that we should see bumping for the first time since 2019.

Next. Top 10 IndyCar drivers of all-time. dark

The 105th running of the Indy 500 is scheduled to take place on Sunday, May 30, with live coverage from Indianapolis Motor Speedway set to be provided by NBC beginning at 11:00 a.m. ET.