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2021 IndyCar Series Preview: Drivers and Teams Chart

Photo Credit: Chris Owens/IndyCar





2021 NTT IndyCar Series Drivers and Teams



2 Josef Newgarden United States Team Penske Chevrolet
A two-time IndyCar champion, 30-year-old Tennessee driver Josef Newgarden enters his fifth season with Team Penske after a strong 2020 run. Newgarden is once-again considered a contender once more for the year's title. Winning a total of 18 IndyCar events since starting his career in the series in 2012, the pilot of the #2 Team Penske race car has keen sights on capturing this year's Indianapolis 500.
3 Scott McLaughlin New Zealand Team Penske Chevrolet
After securing three consecutive driver titles in the Supercars Championship in a Ford Mustang co-owned by Roger Penske, Scott McLaughlin has been promoted to run his full first season in the NTT IndyCar Series competition with the prestigious group. Though he spent eight full seasons competing with touring car-style vehicles, there is high hopes the 27-year-old New Zealander can become a force to be reckon with in open wheel racing. McLaughlin will be the only member of the 2021 IndyCar Series rookie class intent to run the full season.
4 Dalton Kellett Canada A.J. Foyt Enterprises Chevrolet
Competing in 8 of the 14 races last season in the NTT IndyCar Series, Canadian Dalton Kellett struggled through a rookie year complicated by the lack of testing and COVID-19 restrictions. Running the full 2021 schedule, Kellett is looking to use the experience gained from the previous season building on both pace and consistency with the #4 car.
5 Pato O'Ward Mexico Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet
Pato O'Ward had a sensational first full season with Arrow McLaren SP in 2020 capturing a trio of runner-up finishes and pole position at the second Road America event. A sterling sixth place performance at last year's Indianapolis 500 also earned the 21-year-old Mexican the race's rookie of the year honours. Returning to the #5 machine for Arrow McLaren SP for 2021, O'Ward aptitude on ovals and road courses should favour his chances of claiming a first career victory in the NTT IndyCar Series.
7 Felix Rosenqvist Sweden Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet
Arriving from Europe as an exceptionally hot talent with a 2015 Formula 3 European Championship as well as race victories in the all-electric Formula E series on his resume, Felix Rosenqvist had spent the past two years as a driver part of the Chip Ganassi Racing outfit. Claiming his first NTT IndyCar Series win at Road America last year, Rosenqvist has joined Arrow McLaren SP for the 2021 season competing in the #7 car.
8 Marcus Ericsson Sweden Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
Joining the NTT IndyCar Series in 2019 after five seasons in Formula 1 competition, Marcus Ericsson had moved from Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports to Chip Ganassi Racing last year. Ericsson's 2020 season in the #8 machine was accompanied by greater consistency scoring one point in the drivers' championship compared to 2019 despite competing in two fewer races. For 2021, the Swedish driver's biggest challenge is improving his starting position for the road and street course events.
9 Scott Dixon New Zealand Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
Nicknamed "The Iceman" for his natural, unflinching ability to calmly manage his race car throughout an event, Scott Dixon has most recently demonstrated his skill last season by taking his sixth drivers' championship in the NTT IndyCar Series.The #9 Chip Ganassi Racing car piloted by the New Zealander will remain a favourite on race day as well as the season-long championship battle for the 2021 season. At 40 years old, Dixon remains in prime shape to mount a run for all-time career wins and championships in major American open wheel racing currently held by A.J. Foyt.
10 Alex Palou Spain Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
Racing last year with Dale Coyne Racing, Spaniard Alex Palou's rookie season in the NTT IndyCar Series contained two highlights. The first coming in only his third event on the tour when Palou scored his first career podium result at Road America. A second major accomplishment in 2020 was a seventh place qualifying result in the Indianapolis 500. For 2021, Alex Palou becomes the new driver of the #10 machine for Chip Ganassi Racing.
12 Will Power Australia Team Penske Chevrolet
The 2014 IndyCar champion Will Power has endured several seasons in his career consisting of hot and cold moments. In the first 8 races last year, Power finished in the runner-up spot twice but placed outside of the top 10 in six events. Will Power also won twice and captured three pole positions in the final six events of 2020. Remaining as a fast driver, a consistent 2021 season for Power would make him a championship contender. Having recently celebrated his 40th birthday, the Australian is also in a contract year with Team Penske for 2021.
14 Sebastian Bourdais France A.J. Foyt Enterprises Chevrolet
A four-time champion in the defunct Champ Car open wheel tour, Sebastian Bourdais has a combined 37 victories in the former series as well as the IndyCar Series. After running a partial IndyCar schedule in 2020 paired with a complete schedule with the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship driving a Cadillac DPi-V.R, the Frenchman returns to the open wheel drivers' seat full-time in 2021. Driving for A.J.Foyt Enterprises in the famous #14 machine, Bourdais' three IndyCar races at the end of 2020 included a fourth place run at the Grand Prix of St Petersburg.
15 Graham Rahal United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda
Welcoming a child with wife Courtney Force in the off-season, Graham Rahal is prepared to compete again for the team co-owned by his father for 2021. Fighting to gain consistency throughout his IndyCar career, Rahal last victory came at the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix in 2017. The determination of the 32-year-old American is unquestionable as is the preparation of his #15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing car and the group should be seen as a contender for wins on tracks across the 2021 NTT IndyCar Series circuit.
18 Ed Jones United Arab Emirates Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser Sullivan Honda
Ed Jones returns to auto racing in 2021 after an unintended hiatus due to travel restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Pairing with three teams during three years of IndyCar competition, Ed Jones returns to Dale Coyne Racing where he ran as a rookie in 2017. The 2016 Indy Lights champion has not yet posted an IndyCar Series win but has finished third on three occasions.
20 Conor Daly United States Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet
Ed Carpenter United States
The #20 car owned by Ed Carpenter Racing will continue its customary plan of splitting driving duties. Team owner Ed Carpenter maintains responsibilities behind the wheel for oval events in the 2021 NTT IndyCar Series while Conor Daly will handle the driving role for the road courses. Capturing three poles and a runner-up finish at the Indianapolis 500, Carpenter will attempt to make his 18th appearance in the great race.
21 Rinus VeeKay Netherlands Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet
Capturing the 2020 IndyCar Series Rookie of the Year honours, Rinus VeeKay's first season part of the tour included three top-5 finishes and a pole position. The Dutch driver returns to the #21 Ed Carpenter Racing machine for 2021 eager to more regularly replicate his top-5 results. 1990 and 1997 Indianapolis 500 winner Arie Luyendyk serves as a personal advisor/teacher for the young VeeKay.
22 Simon Pagenaud France Team Penske Chevrolet
Simon Pagenaud endured a difficult year on-track during the 2020 NTT IndyCar Series season. Though winning an event at Iowa, the Frenchman finished seven races outside the top 10 leading to an 8th place result in the overall standings. Returning to Team Penske for 2021, Pagenaud will seek to recapture his 2016 form.
26 Colton Herta United States Andretti Autosport Honda
The first driver to win an IndyCar race born in the 2000s, Colton Herta has demonstrated the qualities of an open wheel superstar in just two full seasons. Taking third in the final 2020 drivers' standings, Herta is surrounded by a number of changes for 2021 including the departure from the team co-owned by Mike Harding and George Steinbrenner IV. Trading in his #88 for #26, Colton Herta will wear Gainbridge sponsorship and competing with a wholly-owned Andretti Autosport race car the year. The 21-year-old will remain paired with his race engineer as well as mechanics from last season.
27 Alexander Rossi United States Andretti Autosport Honda
2020 was Alexander Rossi's first year in the NTT IndyCar Series where he ended a season without a victory. Stating that some tough conversations were held during the off-season in preparations for 2021, Rossi and his #27 Andretti Autosport race team are eager to get back to their championship-contending ways. Alexander Rossi has already started the year of 2021 off strong by being part of the driving team of the victorious Acura ARX-05 of Wayne Taylor Racing at the Rolex 24 at Daytona.
28 Ryan Hunter-Reay United States Andretti Autosport Honda
A former IndyCar champion and the 2014 Indianapolis 500 winner, 40-year-old Ryan Hunter-Reay returns to Andretti Autosport for the tenth consecutive season in 2021. Hunter-Reay's past two seasons in the NTT IndyCar Series has been inconsistent with just three podium results during that time. Last winning in IndyCar in 2018, Ryan Hunter-Reay has been to victory lane recently as a part of the winning Mazda Motorsports team at the rescheduled 2020 12 Hours of Sebring.
29 James Hinchcliffe Canada Andretti Autosport Honda
The popular Canadian driver returns to full-time competition in the NTT IndyCar Series for 2021. Leaving the team became Arrow McLaren SP after switch from Honda to Chevrolet engines after the 2019 season, James Hinchcliffe signed a deal to run a limited schedule with Andretti Autosport in 2020 highlighted by a seventh place result at the Indianapolis 500. For 2021, the 34-year-old Hinchcliffe will drive the #29 Andretti Autosport machine with backing from Genesys.
30 Takuma Sato Japan Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda
One of the most successful Japanese race car drivers on the international stage having earned two Indianapolis 500 wins (including last year's event in August), Takuma Sato has been a fan favourite since he joined the IndyCar Series in 2010. Returning to run with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing for the fourth season in a row in 2021, the 44-year-old Sato will be undertaking his 12th full season on the tour. Takuma Sato's six wins on the IndyCar circuit are equally distributed between ovals and road courses proving he is tenacious on every track on the schedule.
48 Jimmie Johnson United States Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
Tony Kanaan Brazil
A seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion and 83-time winner in the series, Jimmie Johnson transitions from the world of full-bodied stock cars into the fast-paced epicentre of open wheel IndyCar racing. Competing in just a few IndyCar events through iRacing, Johnson will make his series debut at Barber Motorsports Park and will run all 13 road/street course events in the Chip Ganassi Racing-fielded #48 car. In the remaining oval events including the 2021 Indianapolis 500, the car will be driven by popular Brazilian racer Tony Kanaan. The 2013 champion of the Indy 500, Kanaan plans to run his 20th event on the 2.5-mile track.
51 Romain Grosjean France Dale Coyne Racing with Rick Ware Racing Honda
Pietro Fittipaldi Brazil
For 2021, the #51 Dale Coyne Racing with Rick Ware Racing machine will be shared by two former drivers of the Haas F1 Team. Completing a long Formula 1 career dating back to 2009, Frenchman Romain Grosjean makes his debut with the NTT IndyCar Series at Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama. Grosjean will run drive for the team in all the road and street course races in 2021. Pietro Fittipaldi is slated to run all the oval events for the team including the Indianapolis 500. The 24-year-old Brazilian will return to an IndyCar seat for the first time since 2018.
59 Max Chilton United Kingdom Carlin Chevrolet
Undertaking his sixth season on the NTT IndyCar Series, Englishman Max Chilton returns to Carlin once more for a partial campaign in 2021. Chilton will run all the road courses, street courses as well as the Indianapolis 500 with the #59 team. Since entering IndyCar after transferring from Formula 1, his career-best result in the series is a fourth place scored at the 2017 Indianapolis 500. The driver of the #59 Carlin machine the remaining oval events has not yet been named.
60 Jack Harvey United Kingdom Meyer Shank Racing Honda
Competing on the IndyCar circuit in select events with Michael Shank-affiliated teams from 2017 to 2019, Jack Harvey was given his first full season in the series as part of last season's shortened schedule. For 2021, the British driver will again run all the races with a Meyer Shank Racing team that has received increased resources and a new equity owner in Formula 1's parent company Liberty Media. In 29 races, Harvey's best IndyCar finish entering 2021 has been a third at Grand Prix of Indianapolis in 2019.
06 Helio Castroneves Brazil Meyer Shank Racing Honda
After 21 seasons of competition with Team Penske in some form, the popular, successful Brazilian driver Helio Castroneves will be found in the camp of Meyer Shank Racing through the 2021 IndyCar season. Along with an attempt to make the 33-car field for the Indianapolis 500, Castroneves and the 06 car will be spotted at several road/street course events during the season including the inaugural Big Machine Music City Grand Prix in Nashville. A co-winner of this year's Rolex 24 at Daytona with Wayne Taylor's Acura team, the 45-year-old Castroneves also plans to run the new SRX series in 2021.
1 J.R. Hildebrand United States A.J. Foyt Enterprises Chevrolet
The 2011 Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year famously remembered for finishing 2nd in the race after colliding with the wall off turn four on the last year, J.R. Hildebrand is seeking to make the field for his 11th race at the Brickyard oval. The former USF2000 and Indy Lights champion will attempt this year's Indy 500 in one of four cars entered by A.J. Enterprises.
11 Charlie Kimball United States A.J. Foyt Enterprises Chevrolet
After competing the full 2020 NTT IndyCar Series season with A.J. Foyt Enterprises, Charlie Kimball is committed to just two races with the team for 2021. The 36-year-old driver plans to run the GMR Grand Prix as well as the Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in May. Sponsored by insulin maker Tresiba, Kimball famously races as a type 1 diabetic.
16 Simona de Silvestro Swizerland Paretta Autosport Chevrolet
A team formed for the 2021 Indianapolis 500, Paretta Autosport is an effort to make the race with a female driver/owner pairing. Owned by Beth Paretta (who worked with Aston Martin's North American operations as well as a director for Fiat Chrysler Automobile's SRT brand and its motorsports efforts including the SRT Viper GTS-R program), Paretta Autosport recruited 2010 Indy 500 Rookie of the Year Simona de Silvestro and has technical support from Team Penske. The attempt to make this year's Indianapolis 500 will be de Silvestro's first appearance in IndyCar in six years.
47 Conor Daly United States Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet
A 2010 Star Mazda champion and the second runner-up in the GP3 Series, in 2013, Conor Daly ran the full 2020 NTT IndyCar Series season by driving for Carlin and Ed Carpenter Racing. For 2021, the 29-year-old Daly will take the wheel of the #20 Ed Carpenter Racing machine for road and street courses. Ed Carpenter Racing is adding a third team car for Daly for the Indianapolis 500.
45 Santino Ferrucci United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda
As a 22-year-old racer who has competed in Formula 2, IndyCar as well as most recently NASCAR, American Santino Ferrucci generated a reputation as a polarizing driver. With most criticism stemming back to his entry in Formula 2 competition, Ferrucci showed talent behind the wheel of an IndyCar during two full seasons with Dale Coyne Racing in 2019 and 2020. The 2019 Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year, Santino Ferrucci will attempt this year's event with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing as a one-race deal.
86 Juan Pablo Montoya Columbia Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet
A winner in IndyCar, NASCAR, Formula 1 and a co-driver of a prestigious sports car victory, Juan Pablo Montoya is only one of three drivers in history to claim such an honour (others being Mario Andretti and the late Dan Gurney). Among the elite company carrying diverse driving accolades, the Columbian driver is ths only one to win multiple Indianapolis 500 events with his two victories coming 15 years apart. Montoya will join the Arrow McLaren SP team for the GMR Grand Prix held on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway's road course as well as attempt to make the 2021 Indianapolis 500.
98 Marco Andretti United States Andretti Autosport Honda
Competing regularly in IndyCar from 2006 to 2020, Marco Andretti decided to scale back from a full-time presence in the series for 2021. Planning to explore more non-open wheel activities including in the inaugural SRX Series, the 33-year-old third generation racer plans only to run the 2021 Indianapolis 500. Andretti took pole at the 2020 500-mile race at the Brickyard joining father Michael and grandfather Mario as claimants of the top qualifying spot.



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