Little Change Expected On The 2019 IndyCar Grid
The 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season is coming on the home straight with just four races remaining this year with Pocono, Gateway, Portland and the double points season finale in Sonoma the only races left to run.
Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon who currently leads the championship by 46 points is the only driver with a leading team whose contract is up at the end of the season however Paddock Eye understands that the Iceman will remain with the outfit next season but we will have more on that coming up on Monday.
Team Penske are likely to remain a three car full-time outfit with Josef Newgarden, Simon Pagenaud and Will Power set to stay with the outfit with Helio Castronves running both races at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway during the month of May.
The Mayor of HinchTown, James Hinchcliffe and Robert Wickens look set to remain with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports with Jack Harvey set to complete ten races for Michael Shank Racing in partnership with SPM next season.
Andretti Autosport are likely to field an unchanged line-up with Zach Veach remaining with Marco Andretti, Alexander Rossi and Ryan Hunter Reay (RHR has a long term contract with Andretti Autosport).
AJ Foyt Racing have already confirmed that Tony Kanaan and Matheus ‘Matt’ Leist will remain with the team in 2019.
Juncos Racing will most likely continue to run both Kyle Kaiser and Rene Binder however hat is not yet clear is whether or not the team will expand to a two car full-time IndyCar Series programme next season.
Ed Jones is likely to remain in the No.10 NTT DATA Honda for Chip Ganassi Racing. Harding Racing have confirmed that Gabby Chaves will remain with the team in 2019 as they expand to a two car full-time programme. Paddock Eye understands that despite reports about Harding Racing becoming a satellite team to Andretti Autosport which team owner Mike Harding has denied that Conor Daly is the front runner to get the second seat alongside Chaves.
Carlin Racing look set to retain Charlie Kimball and Max Chilton as the team enter their second season in IndyCar.
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing extended Graham Rahal’s contract earlier this Summer while it is also expected that Takuma Sato will remain with the team while. Paddock Eye understands that the Brownsburg, Indiana based outfit are interested in running a third full-time car next season given the right commercial circumstances and we understand that a partnership with McLaren is a very real possibility with Fernando Alonso moving across to the US from Formula One.
Dale Coyne with Vasser Sullivan Racing will most likely continue their partnership for 2019 once again while they are also set to field Pietro Fittipaldi and Canadian Zachary Claman DeMelo.
Ed Carpenter Racing will likely continue with Spencer Pigot and Jordan King while team owner Ed Carpenter looks set to continue as a part-time oval only driver.