Monday, February 21, 2022

IndyCar Season Preview: Bowtie Boyz’ and Girl

Are we really Going Racing in February?


Otay Folks!, what am I gnna Complain about now, Eh? Since our typically, Insufferable Miserably L-O-N-G 43 weeks Off-season since our last G-Damn IndyCar race Done Shrunk, Say What!


Instead, following the unusual April Long Beach IndyCar race being last year’s Season Finale, in another Strange, Covid 19 Pandemic affected season being held on September 26th. It’s only been Five months or 154 Sedate Days Off this winter before this Sunday’s regular St Pete Season Opener on February 27th, Hurrah!


2022 Chevrolet Team line-ups

This is just intended to be a hopefully somewhat Brief rundown upon the 10 Fulltime Bowtie’ runners in this year’s NTT IndyCar Series Championship.


A.J. Foyt Enterprises (3)

(Team/Car No/Drivers)

#4 Dalton Kellett, Canada

#11 (R) Tatiana Calderon, Columbia (Twisties’ Only)

#11 TBA (Ovals Only)

#14 (R) Kyle Kirkwood, USA


So with just three weeks remaining until St Pete, it was pretty Funny that “Publically” Dalton K-Tel’ Kellett is the “Veteran” Driver of A.J. foyt Enterprises three car armada! Since we still Didn’t know the Identity of who’d be driving the No. 11 Oval tracks programme, albeit I’d Arse-sume it’s between ‘Ol Narly Pinball’ or Captain America, i.e.; Charlie Kimball or Ryan Hunter-Reay respectively…


Naturally, after I finished Scribblin’ this riveting No Fenders prose. Racer’s Marshall Pruett suggested that the No. 11’s Ovalmeister’ will be J.R. Hildebrand, although I still don’t know where the No. 11 Team/Car will be Based out of, i.e.; Houston or Indianapolis?


RokiT has stepped up financially and will sponsor two thirds of Foyt’s entries with two diversely different drivers, including the first Female IndyCar Driver to run in the regular season since Simona de Silvestro’s 2013 campaign for KVRT.


And I’ll freely admit I’d never heard of RokiT until it first briefly was the Williams F1 Racing Team’s Title Sponsor and then became one of Alexis Dejoria’s main sponsors in her return to “Floppers,” aka NHRA Nitro Funny Cars.


As 28yr old Columbian Tatiana Calderon will pilot the #11 entry whilst reigning Indy Lights Champion Kyle Kirkwood will be behind the keyboard of the team’s storied No. 14 entry. As both drivers will be contesting Thar Rookie IndyCar season’s, albeit as noted, Calderon’s not racing on any Ovals this season.


Arrow McLaren SP

#5 Patricio O'Ward, Mexico

#7 Felix Rosenqvist, Sweden


While I highly Doubt I’ll ever be a Fan of Sam Schmidt’s, regarding the way he’s Jettisoned Drivers Willy Nily over the years! Nonetheless, this is one of the team’s I’m most interested in, especially since my current Numero Uno IndyCar Driver Pato O’Ward drives for them, not to mention I’d liked to See Felix rosenqvist rebound this year.


Patricio started off the year nicely by Co-Driving the winning DragonSpeed LMP2 entry at the Rolex 24, and He seems set to spend another season challenging for the title.


But I’m more interested in how the Engineering Shakeup Pans out for Rosenqvist, having noted previously on No Fenders how veteran Engineer Craig Hansen  takes over for Felix this season fulltime, which Hopefully will get the Swede to the pointy end of the Grid., Period


Whilst like Always, as my late Awntie’ Harriet would say, Can Arrow McLaren SP legitimately run with Thee Big boys this season?


Ed Carpenter Racing (2)

#20 Conor Daly, USA

#21 Rinus VeeKay, Netherlands


conor Daly went to Sin City, also known as Lost Wages or formally Las Vegas, rolled the Dice and came up Sevens! As Conor left the Desert with funding to go racing for ECR Fulltime this season, his first full Season with a single team since 2017. As ECR Boss Fast Eddie’, aka Ed Carpenter is just slated to run the Indianapolis 500 in a third car so far this season.


 Rinus VeeKay, who’s second IndyCar season got off to such a great start, including his series maiden win on Mother Speedway’s Infield Road course during May’s Indy GP. Saw his season go Pear Shaped after falling off his mountain bike during a training ride and breaking his Collar bone just before the Road America IndyCar race. As look for the promising Dutchman to presumably come back strong this season and at least give ECR one car Up Front, albeit Hopefully Daly will be knocking on the door for Top 10’s this year.


Juncos Hollinger Racing (1)

#77 (R) Callum Ilott, UK


This is one of the few Bowtie teams I’ll actively be Rootin’ for, since Thar definitely the Minnowesqe Chevrolet Squad on the Grid this year. And for Mwah there’s more questions than Answers about them, although I’ve Always pulled for Ricardo Juncos, since His story impresses me…


Juncos Hollinger Racing, or simply JHR has entered a Technical Alliance with the now Defunct Carlin IndyCar entity, having procured much equipment and the bulk of their Staff in this transaction. And it’s rumoured that it’s Engineers will fill the roles of Technical Director and Race Engineer this year for Callum Ilott, whom despite having run the last three IndyCar races as a Tune-up for both the 23yr old Englishman, who finished Runner-up in the 2020 FIA Formula 2 championship, and JHR, I believe He’ll still be a rookie this year.


Yet, whilst I wish nothing but success for JHR and Ilott, I have to wonder where Ricardo Juncos previous IndyCar Staff and Indy Lights Staff Members have gone?


Team Penske (3)

#2 Joseph Newgarden, USA

#3 Scott McLaughlin, New Zealand

#12 Will Power, Australia




The Big News at Team Penske is the Departure of Simon Pagenaud to rival Honda team Meyer shank Racing after seven season driving for El Capitano, along with the Shakeup of Race Engineers for Josef Newgarden and Scott McLaughlin.


And with with Team Penske’s contraction back to just a three car squad, and No intents of running an extra car for the Indy 500. Along with Newgarden and Power’s somewhat “Meager” win tally last season, I must say it feels like a bit of a Retooling year to Mwah for Penske.


Although you can never count Newgarden out of the Championship fight, and McLaughlin will be aiming to score his first IndyCar W’. Whilst Obviously DJ willyP’, (Power) won’t want to be outdone by the second year Kiwi’, not to mention trying to tie Mario Andretti’s Career Pole positions record, which I now seriously Doubt He’ll be able to match or exceed.


Hence, for the moment it feels like the Spark has left Team Penske, albeit this is before the first major IndyCar test or the season commencing…


(R = Rookie)