Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Silly Season update

Saturday, 6:30 p.m. EDT at Kentucky Speedway.
(note, the IPS race is AFTER the ICS race, so hang around if you're going)

Entry list: 18 cars (the usual suspects).

Car count news
Jon Herb: Ran Michigan with Dad's Root Beer sponsorship. Trying to get a sponsorship package together to run Chicagoland, his home race (Crash.net.uk, Aug. 1)

Milka Duno: According to the Indianapolis Star (Aug. 6), Milka is on probation and will not race Saturday at Kentucky (neither will the SAMAX team, which has enlisted Tomas Enge to help Milka set up the car).

2007 lineup
AGR (4)
7-Danica Patrick (Motorola, 3rd-year FT driver, 1st year with AGR). Confirmed for 2008.
11-Tony Kanaan (7-11, 5th year FT driver, all with AGR, 2004 champ). Likely for 2008.
26-Marco Andretti (NYSE Group, 2nd year FT driver, all with AGR). Likely for 2008, although Grandpa Mario has been hinting at wanting to get Marco in the F1 ladder series.
27-Dario Franchitti (Canadian Club, 5th year FT driver, all with AGR). Free Agent at the end of the year. Had considered retirement, but "invigorated" after Indy 500 win.

Team Penske (2)
3-Helio Castroneves (Team Penske, 6th-year FT driver, all with Penske, 2-time I500 champ). Likely for 2008, although he said last week that he would be "interested" in NASCAR (but every race driver is "interested" in other series).
6-Sam Hornish Jr. (Team Penske, 8th-year FT driver, 4th with Penske, 3x ICS champ)
**Has been heavily rumored to be pondering NASCAR, and is running ARCA/Busch races this year**
**If Sam leaves, Ryan Briscoe has been mentioned as a possible replacement**

Target Chip Ganassi Racing (2)
9-Scott Dixon (Target, 5th-year FT driver, all with TCGR, 2003 champ). Likely for 2008.
10-Dan Wheldon (Target, 5th-year FT driver, 2nd with TCGR, 2005 champ). Likely for 2008.

Rahal Letterman Racing (2)
8-Scott Sharp (Patron, 12th-year FT driver, 1st with RLR, 1996 champ). Will be at RLR as long as Patron has the $$
17-Ryan Hunter-Reay (Ethanol, rookie, former CC driver). Will be wih RLR at least through the end of the year. Will likely be the ICS Rookie of the Year.

Panther Racing (2)
4-Vitor Meira (Delphi, 6th-year FT driver, 2nd with Panther). Hard-luck driver hasn't had much luck this year.
55-Kosuke Matsuura (Panasonic, 4th-year FT driver, 1st with Panther). May be on his way out, with Hideki Mutoh waiting in the wings.
**60-Hideki Mutoh is slated to run the season-ender at Chicago, as announced in a presser at Mid-Ohio. May jump into Super Aguri seat currently held by Matsuura in 2008**

Dreyer & Reinbold Racing (2)
5-Sarah Fisher (AAMCO, 6th FT season, 2nd with D&R). Brings the sponsorship.
15-Buddy Rice (RollCoater, 6th-year FT driver, 1st with D&R). Has had a lot of success this season.

Vision Racing (3)
2-Tomas Scheckter (Indy Vision, 6th-year FT driver, 2nd with Vision). Has been increasingly stronger. If someone is going to bring Vision its first win, this guy will likely be it.
20-Ed Carpenter (Hitachi, 4th-year FT driver, 3rd with Vision). I'd expect he'll have a ride at Vision as long as he wants one.
22-A.J. Foyt IV (Indy Vision, 4th-year FT driver, 1st with Vision).

A.J. Foyt Racing (1)
14-Darren Manning (ABC Supply, 3rd-year FT driver). Although he backed it into the wall the last race, he's turned up some decent results for A.J. this year.

**Part-Time Entries**
SAMAX Racing (1)
23-Milka Duno (Citgo - rookie). Duno is on probation. She has run six races of an initially-planned 10-race part-time schedule.

Roth Racing (1)
Marty Roth: Has landed sponsorship from Dussault Apparel for the season finale at Chicagoland. Also slated to run Belle Isle, according to the Aug. 1 Detroit Free Press. Has spoken about offering a second car at Chicagoland for the IPS points leader (who is -- and probably will be -- Alex Lloyd).

Racing Professionals (1)
Jon Herb: Has stated he's trying to squirrel together a sponsorship package for Chicagoland.

With Mutoh's entry, and if Roth brings 2 cars (one for himself and one for an IPS driver), Herb brings one and if SAMAX brings back Duno (or Enge), the car count could hit 23 for the Chicagoland race. Curt Cavin, in his Aug. 8 Indy Star blog, said he expects 22 cars for Chicagoland.

From Curt Cavin's blog (8/8/2007), Adrian Fernandez's team still has its IndyCar equipment and Tom Anderson is apparently interested in a return to the IRL, but things "haven't been worked out."

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