Roger Penske’s Penske Entertainment Corporation took over the NTT IndyCar Series and Indianapolis Motor Speedway two years ago today. Little did Mr Penske, his team or the rest of us know what was going to happen. The 2020 season was delayed due to the COVID 19 global pandemic, however, the series got their season underway in June while the Indianapolis 500 took place in August.
In 2020, Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon scored his sixth championship victory while Takuma Sato won the Indianapolis 500. Penske Entertainment made sure that during the lockdowns in 2020 that all of the teams in the series were taken care off and as a result, all of the teams were able to survive into 2021. The 2020 season also saw the return of a famous name in motorsport to IndyCar with McLaren Racing entering the series full-time in partnership with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports.
In 2021, the NTT IndyCar Series competed in Nashville with the inaugural Big Machine Music City Grand Prix which proved to be a huge success. Grocery store chain Hy Vee has come in as the title sponsor of the race in Iowa expanding their involvement in IndyCar.
This season also saw three drivers from Formula One, the Australian Supercars, and the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. Scott McLaughlin came to Team Penske from Australian Supercars, Romain Grosjean who steps up to a full-time drive with Andretti Autosport for 2022 took part in a partial program this year with Dale Coyne Racing.
Chip Ganassi Racing signed seven-time Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson on a partial schedule, however, Paddock Eye understands that Jimmie Johnson will attempt to qualify for the 106th running of the Indianapolis 500 which takes place next May.
The 2022 season will see a number of Indy Lights rookies make the leap up to IndyCar with Delvin DeFrancesco joining Andretti Autosport to drive the No.29 Honda.
Meyer Shank Racing have expanded to two cars full-time for 2022 while Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing has added a third car full-time. It is safe to say that the NTT IndyCar Series under the leadership of Roger Penske, Mark Miles, Jay Frye, Doug Boles and their teams, the sport is really thriving.