Monday, May 14, 2012

2012 Indianapolis 500 Entry List (as of May 11th)

Photo Credit: LAT

After four opening races for the 2012 IZOD INDYCAR Series, the illustrious 96th Indianapolis 500 will be the first oval event. The most sought-after single victory in open wheel and auto racing in general, making the traditional 33-car Indy 500 starting grid is the great race.

While much news has surrounded the 2012 Rolex 24 of Daytona winning team Michael Shank Racing attempt to field the 33rd entry, examination of the entry list for the 2012 Indianapolis 500 appears to indicate there is already 34 cars entered even before Pole Day and Bump Day qualifying sessions (where a lot of deals with unattached drivers and share cars come together). While Newman/Haas Racing withdrew an entry shortly after Lotus announced they were repositioning their resources in the 2012 IZOD INDYCAR Series, Michael Shank Racing was not included in the initial list published by the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. With a deadline imposed by team owner Michael Shank passing and the contractual release of driver Jay Howard, there is little-to-no chance of seeing plans coming to fruition.

Driver deals prior Townsend Bell has been announced as the driver of the #99 car for Schmidt-Hamilton Motorsports. With Bell's appointment to the entry list for the Indianapolis 500, the only ride yet to receive a driver is the second car Ed Carpenter Racing will be fielding for the event. Michel Jourdain Jr is also making a return to open wheel competition in a second entry for Rahal-Letterman-Lanigan Racing. The Andretti Autosport team will also support Conquest Racing and AFS Racing efforts for the Indy 500 "Month of May" festivities. Ana Beatriz, Bryan Clauson, Sebastian Saavedra and Jean Alesi are some of the other drivers not part of the 2012 IZOD INDYCAR Series regular roster entered in the 2012 Indianapolis 500.
Drivers have not been the ingredient in short supply for IZOD INDYCAR Series entrant in the 500-mile race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Due to turmoil with Lotus, teams and cars have been requiring engines. For Dragon Racing (a team initially spared from Lotus' engine circulation costs announced ahead of the Brazilian street race), team owner Jay Penske has pressed his organization into a multi-million dollar lawsuit alleging representative of the British sports car name has been making false claims about the race team. Speculation indicate Chevrolet could power the Dragon Racing cars at Indy. As for two teams that Lotus had dropped in efforts of better focusing their engine development, Bryan Herta Autosport picked up Honda power while Dreyer & Reinbold Racing has appeared to reform a relationship with Chevrolet. Dreyer & Reinbold Racing last ran Chevrolet engines during the 2004 IndyCar season. According to May 11th's entry list, only the HVM Racing car driven by Simona de Silvestro and the #64 Lotus – FP Journe – Fan Force United (based off an Indy Lights organization) fielding former Formula 1 winner and Lotus brand ambassador Jean Alesi are set to run Lotus engines.    

As for one IZOD INDYCAR Series regular, Dario Franchitti will not be sporting has traditional #10 he had worn to three-consecutive championships the past three seasons and the 2010 INDY 500 race win. To commemorate Target Department Stores' 50th anniversary, Franchitti's Target/Chip Ganassi Racing entry will be wearing the #50 for only this race.

Indianapolis 500
Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Entry List

Car # Driver Driver Nationality Race Team Engine Supplier

1 2 Ryan Briscoe Australia Team Penske Chevrolet
2 3 Helio Castroneves Brazil Team Penske Chevrolet
3 4 JR Hildebrand United States Panther Racing Chevrolet
4 5 EJ Viso Venezuela KV Racing Technology Chevrolet
5 6 Katherine Legge England Lotus-Dragon Racing TBD
6 7 Sebastien Bourdais France Lotus-Dragon Racing TBD
7 8 Rubens Barrichello Brazil KV Racing Technology Chevrolet
8 9 Scott Dixon New Zealand Target/Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
9 11 Tony Kanaan Brazil KV Racing Technology Chevrolet
10 12 Will Power Australia Team Penske Chevrolet
11 14 Mike Conway England AJ Foyt Enterprises Honda
12 15 Takuma Sato Japan Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda
13 17 Sebastian Saavedra Columbia AFS Racing/Andretti Autosport Chevrolet
14 18 Justin Wilson England Dale Coyne Racing Honda
15 19 James Jakes England Dale Coyne Racing Honda
16 20 Ed Carpenter United States Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet
17 21 TBA TBA Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet
18 22 Oriol Servia Spain Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Chevrolet
19 25 Ana Beatriz Brazil Andretti Autosport/Conquest Racing Chevrolet
20 26 Marco Andretti United States Andretti Autosport Chevrolet
21 27 James Hinchcliffe Canada Andretti Autosport Chevrolet
22 28 Ryan Hunter-Reay United States Andretti Autosport Chevrolet
23 30 Michel Jourdain Jr Mexico Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda
24 38 Graham Rahal United States Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
25 39 Bryan Clauson United States Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing Honda
26 41 Wade Cunningham New Zealand AJ Foyt Enterprises Honda
27 50 Dario Franchitti Scotland Target/Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
28 64 Jean Alesi France Lotus – FP Journe – Fan Force United Lotus
29 67 Josef Newgarden United States Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing Honda
30 77 Simon Pagenaud France Schmidt-Hamilton Motorsports Honda
31 78 Simona de Silvestro Switzerland Lotus-HVM Racing Lotus
32 83 Charlie Kimball United States Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
33 98 Alex Tagliani Canada Bryan Herta Autosport with Curb Agajanian Honda
34 99 Townsend Bell United States Schmidt-Hamilton Motorsports Honda

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