Less teams means less of a chance at standing atop the podium, but Chevrolet is confident in the quality of the teams that it has chosen to supply this year – particularly at Indy and on oval tracks.
“We have a carryover lineup and a real strong lineup,” Chevrolet racing director Mark Kent told the series in a recent interview. “Each one of those teams in its own way has been delivering on track.”
Team Penske will field three Chevy-powered cars this year, returning with the same driver lineup of Will Power, Simon Pagenaud, Josef Newgarden. It will also field a fourth car in the Indianapolis 500, which will be driven Helio Castroneves.
Ed Carpenter Racing will field two cars, with team owner Ed Carpenter and Ed Jones sharing one car, (Carpenter driving at ovals and Jones driving on road and street courses) and Spencer Pigot driving the other full-time.
AJ Foyt Racing’s lineup will consist of Tony Kanaan and second-year young driver Matheus Leist, while British team Carlin Racing will return with a full-time entry for Max Chilton and a part-time entry for Charlie Kimball. Carlin will also lend its know-how to McLaren Racing for its single-race entry in the Indianapolis 500 with Fernando Alonso.
“We are excited about adding Fernando Alonso to the Indianapolis 500 (with McLaren Racing) and the return of Helio Castroneves to the Indianapolis 500,” Kent said.
“We’re going to have a real strong lineup for the Indianapolis 500 and as the defending champions with Will Power, we are really looking forward to that race and hopefully repeating (a win),” he added.
Kent was also confident about the Chevy teams’ performance after seeing them on-track during the recent pre-season test at Circuit of the America’s, telling IndyCar that the test “went very well,” and that it “showed some real strong Chevrolets.”
The 2019 NTT IndyCar Series will kick off with the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on March 10th.
Lead photo via Carlin Racing