IndyCar: One notable omission from the Indy 500 open test

Just 34 cars are slated to take part in this week's two-day open test at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in preparation for the Indy 500.
R.C. Enerson, Abel Motorsports, Indy 500, IndyCar
R.C. Enerson, Abel Motorsports, Indy 500, IndyCar / SOPA Images/GettyImages

IndyCar drivers and teams are set to participate in a two-day open test at Indianapolis Motor Speedway this coming week in preparation for next month's 108th running of the Indy 500.

The two-day test session is scheduled to take place on Wednesday, April 10 and Thursday, April 11 at the four-turn, 2.5-mile (4.023-kilometer) Speedway, Indiana oval.

All full-time entries are set to be present at this test, though two teams have not yet confirmed drivers for all of their entries.

The status of Arrow McLaren's David Malukas remains unknown as he continues to recover from wrist surgery, so the driver of the No. 6 Chevrolet has not yet been confirmed. As for Dale Coyne Racing's second entry, the No. 51 Honda still doesn't have a confirmed driver for next month's 200-lap race.

Indy 500 open test: One notable omission

But aside from those two entries, there is still one notable omission from the list of expected participants in this week's test. There are expected to be 35 cars vying for 33 spots in this year's Indy 500 field, but the list consists of only 34 entries, as Abel Motorsports' No. 50 Chevrolet is not present.

It has long been reported that Abel Motorsports plan to return to the Indy 500 with R.C. Enerson behind the wheel of the No. 50 Chevrolet for a second straight year after defying the odds just to qualify last year.

While Enerson himself said before the season that those plans haven't changed, there has still not been any formal confirmation, with the latest report coming just a few weeks ago from indicating that the entry is still a work in progress.

For a small team such as Abel Motorsports, missing out on a two-day open test could prove detrimental if they indeed decide to compete during the month of May.

That being said, the team missed last year's April test session as well, and Enerson went on to qualify on the inside of the 10th row in 28th place, surprisingly avoiding any Bump Day drama. He was forced to retire from the event on lap 76 due to mechanical issues.

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Wednesday's portion of the test is set to consist of veteran drivers from 11:00 a.m. ET to 1:00 p.m. ET, a Rookie Orientation Program and refresher tests from 1:00 p.m. ET to 3:00 p.m. ET, and all drivers from 3:00 p.m. ET to 6:00 p.m. ET. Thursday's portion is set to consist of all drivers from 10:00 a.m. ET to 4:00 p.m. ET.