IndyCar: One top free agent replaces another for 2025

Christian Lundgaard is set to replace Alexander Rossi behind the wheel of the No. 7 Chevrolet at Arrow McLaren for the 2025 IndyCar season.
Christian Lundgaard, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, IndyCar
Christian Lundgaard, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, IndyCar / Justin Casterline/GettyImages

After two-time reigning Indy 500 winner and two-time NTT IndyCar Series champion Josef Newgarden signed a multi-year contract extension to remain with Team Penske, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing's Christian Lundgaard and Arrow McLaren's Alexander Rossi became the top two remaining drivers on this year's free agent market.

Arrow McLaren have now confirmed that Lundgaard is set to replace Rossi behind the wheel of the No. 7 Chevrolet in 2025, leaving Rossi in search of a new team for the second time in three years and Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing in search of a new driver for their No. 45 Honda.

Lundgaard is set to join Pato O'Ward and Nolan Siegel at Arrow McLaren next year. O'Ward has been with the team as the driver of the No. 5 Chevrolet since 2020 while Siegel has been with the team for just one race, having signed a multi-year deal to drive the No. 6 Chevrolet after it was believed that Theo Pourchaire would close out the 2024 season in the car.

Rossi has not won a race since joining Arrow McLaren at the start of the 2023 season, but the team as a whole have not stood atop the podium at all during that stretch. O'Ward did win on the streets of St. Petersburg to start the 2024 season, but that result wasn't determined until Newgarden was stripped of the victory for 45 days later.

Lundgaard in, Rossi out

Through the first eight races of the 2024 season, Rossi finds himself in seventh place in the championship standings, his best mark since 2019 when he was still with Andretti Autosport. The 2016 Indy 500 winner was Arrow McLaren's top finisher in last year's Indy 500 (fifth), and he finished in fourth in this year's running of the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing".

Lundgaard earned the first victory of his career on the streets of Toronto last July, making him the first ever Danish IndyCar race winner, en route to a career-high fifth place finish in the road and street course standings and a career-high eighth place finish in the championship standings.

The 22-year-old has stood on the podium in each of his three full seasons with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing and currently sits in 11th in the standings.

After the team's performance in the month of May this year was not much of an improvement from their performance last year, despite all of the talk about a major bounce back, Lundgaard seeking a new ride was not a huge surprise, even with the support he has gotten from Hy-Vee at his current team. The announcement comes less than two weeks before the Hy-Vee doubleheader at Iowa Speedway.

Additionally, when asked about the possibility of Pourchaire returning to the team in 2025, Arrow McLaren team principal Gavin Ward was unwilling to commit to Rossi's future beyond the end of his current contract, indicating that, one way or another, the team could be making yet another driver change.

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Now that driver change has been confirmed, and Rossi finds himself as the top available free agent.