IndyCar: Projected entry list for the 2024 St. Petersburg opener

The start of the 2024 IndyCar season is just a week and a half away, and three cars still need drivers for the opener.

St. Petersburg, IndyCar
St. Petersburg, IndyCar / Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

The 2024 IndyCar season is scheduled to get underway next Sunday, March 10 with the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg presented by RP Funding, and three cars are still without confirmed drivers for the event.

There are expected to be 27 cars on the entry list for this 100-lap race around the 14-turn, 1.8-mile (2.897-kilometer) temporary St. Petersburg, Florida street circuit, the track which has hosted the season opener in 12 of the last 15 seasons.

Arrow McLaren must replace newcomer David Malukas behind the wheel of the No. 6 Chevrolet as he continues to recover from surgery on his wrist following an injury he suffered while mountain biking, and Dale Coyne Racing still have both of their two seats to fill, including Malukas' No. 18 Honda from last year.

IndyCar season opener: Projected entry list

NOTE: * = car still needs a driver. (R) means IndyCar rookie.

A.J. Foyt Enterprises, Chevrolet
No. 14 - Santino Ferrucci
No. 41 - Sting Ray Robb

Andretti Global, Honda
No. 26 - Colton Herta
No. 27 - Kyle Kirkwood
No. 28 - Marcus Ericsson

Arrow McLaren, Chevrolet
No. 5 - Pato O'Ward
No. 6* - Callum Ilott
No. 7 - Alexander Rossi

Chip Ganassi Racing, Honda
No. 4 - Kyffin Simpson (R)
No. 8 - Linus Lundqvist (R)
No. 9 - Scott Dixon
No. 10 - Alex Palou
No. 11 - Marcus Armstrong

Dale Coyne Racing, Honda
No. 18* - Jack Harvey
No. 51* - Colin Braun (R)

Ed Carpenter Racing, Chevrolet
No. 20 - Christian Rasmussen (R)
No. 21 - Rinus VeeKay

Juncos Hollinger Racing, Chevrolet
No. 77 - Romain Grosjean
No. 78 - Agustin Canapino

Meyer Shank Racing, Honda
No. 60 - Felix Rosenqvist
No. 66 - Tom Blomqvist (R)

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, Honda
No. 15 - Graham Rahal
No. 30 - Pietro Fittipaldi
No. 45 - Christian Lundgaard

Team Penske, Chevrolet
No. 2 - Josef Newgarden
No. 3 - Scott McLaughlin
No. 12 - Will Power

Callum Ilott recently tested for Arrow McLaren, and after having long been considered the top free agent without a full-time ride for 2024, he is seen as the frontrunner to land his best IndyCar opportunity yet.

The big question really becomes what happens if he opens up the season with a top five finish for the team; he did just that last year at St. Petersburg, and for a Juncos Hollinger Racing that is simply not on Arrow McLaren's level.

As for Dale Coyne Racing, it's truly anybody's guess as to who gets their two seats; when they enter an offseason needing a driver (or drivers), they usually wait until the last minute before making any official announcements. Danial Frost was viewed as a favorite a while back, but mandatory military service in his home country of Singapore put those plans on hold.

I'd be shocked if Jack Harvey doesn't end up being announced for the whole 2024 season at some point in the near future, given the extent to which he has tested for the team in recent weeks. He is looking for an IndyCar resurgence after a disappointing sub-two-year stint at Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing.

As for Colin Braun, there is some recency bias here, given his participation with the team in the final preseason test at Sebring International Raceway. But the sports car ace has been discussed as a potential candidate for an IndyCar drive for years, and this could very well be the opening he needs to at least land a part-time ride.

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NBC is set to provide live coverage of the 2024 IndyCar season opener beginning at 12:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, March 10. Begin a free trial of FuboTV and don't miss any of the action!