IndyCar: Dale Coyne Racing set for another announcement

Santino Ferrucci, Dale Coyne Racing, IndyCar - Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports
Santino Ferrucci, Dale Coyne Racing, IndyCar - Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports /

Dale Coyne Racing team owner Dale Coyne confirmed that the team plan to make their second driver announcement for the 2021 IndyCar season next week.

If all goes according to plan, Dale Coyne Racing will solidify their driver lineup for the 2021 IndyCar season by next week, according to team owner Dale Coyne.

After announcing that Ed Jones is set to replace the NASCAR Xfinity Series-bound Santino Ferrucci behind the wheel of the #18 Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan Honda, Coyne stated that the team aim to confirm their second driver sometime next week.

“We hope to announce our other driver next week,” he said.

This second seat is vacant following the departure of Alex Palou, who left the #55 Dale Coyne Racing with Team Goh Honda for Chip Ganassi Racing to replace Felix Rosenqvist behind the wheel of the #10 Honda.

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This seat, which was the #19 Honda before the arrival of Palou and Team Goh last year, has been a hot commodity for free agents this offseason. Coyne went on to say that he had been in contact with “a hundred drivers” regarding competing for the team in the upcoming 17-race season.

“You all could make a list of a hundred drivers, we’ve talked to probably every one of them this winter,” he said. “Employed, unemployed, America, Europe, every country. It’s been kind of amazing. … Hopefully we get all that buttoned up and make an announcement next week and then get out to testing in February.”

Three drivers in particular have been highlighted as candidates to end up alongside Jones. Former Haas Formula 1 driver Romain Grosjean is considered the frontrunner, while Charlie Kimball, who won’t be back with A.J. Foyt Enterprises this year, and Pietro Fittipaldi, who competed in select races for the team in 2018, have also been discussed.

“Obviously Romain is a good driver,” Coyne said. “We’d love to have him. We’re working on a few other ones as well.”

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The Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama Presented by AmFirst is scheduled to kick off the 2021 IndyCar season at Barber Motorsports Park on Sunday, April 18 following multiple schedule changes caused by the coronavirus pandemic.