2022 IndyCar Series grid nearly complete
Monday 27th December, 2021 - 10:50am
As the new year looms, the 2022 IndyCar Series grid isn’t far from completion.
In recent weeks there have been a handful of driver confirmations.
Dale Coyne Racing recently announced its split with Vasser Sullivan, instead, forming an alliance with HMD Motorsports, and in doing so, bringing on another series rookie; David Malukas.
Dale Coyne Racing will continue its association with Rick Ware Racing, bringing Takuma Sato into the fold from Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing.
Other major movements saw Romain Grosjean depart the aforementioned DCR/RWR to join Andretti Autosport in place of the outgoing Ryan Hunter-Reay.
Meyer Shank Racing has expanded to a two-car operation, Jack Harvey’s departure to Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing opening the door for veteran duo Helio Castroneves and Simon Pagenaud – the latter arriving from Team Penske which has downscaled to three cars.
Harvey will be joined by fellow newcomer Christian Lundgaard and established name Graham Rahal at Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing.
By and large, that leaves just one seat unconfirmed at Ed Carpenter Racing.
Already in its stable is Dutch driver Rinus VeeKay, who will contest his third season with the Indiana-based team next year driving the #21 entry.
Team owner-driver Ed Carpenter will once again run a part-time campaign, solely contesting the oval events.
That leaves a vacancy for someone to race the #20 on the street and road courses.
American Conor Daly occupied that seat in 2021, though there have been some suggestions Great Britain’s Jack Aitken could make the move state-side.
Aitken has been affiliated with Formula 1 team Williams and has been a regular of the FIA Formula 2 Championship.
The 26-year-old recently drove the #20 at Sebring International Raceway as part of a post-season test.
Ryan Hunter-Reay is another name that’s been thrown into the mix.
The 2012 IndyCar Series winner also tested with Ed Carpenter Racing in the wake of his departure from Andretti Autosport.
Unaccounted for entirely is Carlin. The team had indicated mid-way through 2021 that it planned to expand two full-time entries.
It ran ex-Formula 1 driver Max Chilton and Conor Daly this year, the latter who ran on ovals with Carlin when not at Ed Carpenter Racing.
Little has been said lately of Carlin, although there have been reports that should the team continue into 2022 that Chilton will remain.
Whether the team expands or forms an alliance with an existing team remains to be seen.
Rumours have emerged that Carlin could tie-up with Juncos Hollinger Racing, a team returning to the IndyCar Series full-time in 2022 with young Callum Ilott.
At the annual post-season Road to Indy Chris Griffis Memorial Test, Carlin crew were seen working alongside Juncos Hollinger Racing team members, leading to suggestions of a tie-up.
However, the stony silence has led to some suggestions Carlin will leave IndyCar and Indy Lights entirely.
Then there’s Chip Ganassi Racing.
The team’s line-up is for all intent and purposes complete. Last week it was confirmed Jimmie Johnson will go full-time, contesting every event in 2022.
He’ll join seven-time champion Scott Dixon, this year’s series winner Alex Palou, and Marcus Ericsson at the team.
What’s not yet known is the fate of Tony Kanaan, who is expected to run the Indianapolis 500 in 2022.
What impact Johnson’s move to a full roster next year has on those plans has not yet been told.
As it stands, there are two additional entries for the 106th running of the Indianapolis 500, and likely more to come.
There has been chat that Juncos Hollinger Racing might run a second entry – on the assumption the team doesn’t expand to two full-time entries courtesy of a merger with Carlin.
The 2022 IndyCar Series gets underway on the streets of St Petersburg on February 25-27 (local time).
2022 IndyCar Series grid (provisional):
|A. J. Foyt Enterprises||Dalton Kellett|
|Kyle Kirkwood [R]|
|Andretti Autosport||Colton Herta|
|Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport||Devlin De Francesco [R]|
|Arrow McLaren SP||Pato O’Ward|
|Chip Ganassi Racing||Alex Palou|
|Dale Coyne Racing with HMD Motorsports||David Malukas [R]|
|Dale Coyne Racing with Rick Ware Racing||Takuma Sato|
|Ed Carpenter Racing||Ed Carpenter (ovals only)|
|TBC (street and road courses only)|
|Juncos Hollinger Racing||Callum Ilott [R]|
|Meyer Shank Racing||Helio Castroneves|
|Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing||Graham Rahal|
|Christian Lundgaard [R]|
|Team Penske||Josef Newgarden|
[R] denotes rookie driver