IndyCar: Final open Indy 500 seat filled just before practice begins

All 34 cars on the entry list for the 108th running of the Indy 500 now have confirmed drivers leading into practice week.
Callum Ilott, Arrow McLaren, IndyCar
Callum Ilott, Arrow McLaren, IndyCar / Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

As had long been anticipated, Arrow McLaren officially named Callum Ilott the driver of the No. 6 Chevrolet for the 108th running of the Indy 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Ilott is set to get back behind the wheel of the car when practice starts later this week (scheduled for Tuesday, weather permitting).

Entering the season, David Malukas was set to drive the No. 6 Chevrolet full-time, but he injured his wrist in an offseason mountain biking accident. He was initially expected to miss only the season's first two races, but his recovery has been taking a lot longer than expected.

After he missed four races and it was obvious that he was still nowhere near being ready return, Arrow McLaren made the difficult decision to cut ties. A clause in Malukas' contract allowed them to do so.

Callum Ilott set for Indy 500 return, future uncertain

Ilott and Theo Pourchaire had each driven the No. 6 Chevrolet in two of those four races, and Pourchaire has since competed in a third at the Indianapolis road course this past weekend. He has also been named the full-time driver of the car beginning with the race after the Indy 500 on the streets of Detroit, Michigan.

But Ilott's past oval experience, plus the fact that he took part in last month's oval test at the four-turn, 2.5-mile (4.023-kilometer) Speedway, Indiana oval in place of Malukas, ultimately led to him getting the nod to drive the No. 6 Chevrolet.

Ilott has made two career Indy 500 starts, both with Juncos Hollinger Racing. He crashed out as a rookie in 2022 but bounced back in 2023 by leading five laps, despite qualifying 27th. He went on to finish in 12th place, three positions shy of his career-best oval finish at Texas Motor Speedway.

The addition of Ilott to Arrow McLaren's Indy 500 roster sees the 25-year-old Briton join full-time drivers Pato O'Ward and Alexander Rossi, as well as 2021 NASCAR Cup Series champion Kyle Larson, who is attempting to become just the second driver to run all 1,100 miles of the Memorial Day Double.

With Pourchaire set to drive the No. 6 Chevrolet full-time after the Indy 500, Ilott's future in the series is uncertain. A good result at Indianapolis could go a long way toward changing that.

There are 34 drivers going for 33 spots in this year's Indy 500, meaning that like last year, one driver will be left on the outside looking in after Bump Day.

Next. IndyCar change made that should have been made weeks ago. IndyCar change made that should have been made weeks ago. dark

Indy 500 practice is scheduled to start on Tuesday, May 14. Qualifying is scheduled to take place on Saturday, May 18 and Sunday, May 19. The race itself is set to be broadcast live on NBC from Indianapolis Motor Speedway beginning at 11:00 a.m. ET on Sunday, May 26. Start a free trial of FuboTV and don't miss it!