Wednesday, February 23, 2022

IndyCar Season Preview: Honda runners’

It’s Almost showtime boys ‘N Girl, Ready or Nots!


Well, and No It’s A Deep subject Joke Here Folks, Hya! But It’s time again to throw the Green flag and Go Racing! As the IndyCar’s and their Road to Indy supporting cast take to Saint Petersburg’s Airfield temporary Street Course befinning this Friday, February 25th! And yes, Y’all read that right, as IndyCar has moved forward it’s traditional St Pete Season Opener to the month of February this year, instead of it’s normal March date. So let’s go Racing!


2022 Honda Team line-ups

Attempting another hypothetically short synopsis of the 15 Honda powered Drivers on this year’s IndyCar Grid. Which at least Thar numbers are spread out over five teams, or seven if we’re being technical over Mikey A’s two concerns and Dale Coyne’s fascination with the Alphabet and really long team nomenclatures, cymbal Crash please!


Andretti Autosport (3)

(Team/Car No/Drivers)

#26 Colton Herta, USA

#27 Alexander Rossi, USA

#28 Romain Grosjean, France


Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport (1)

#29 (R) Devlin DeFrancesco, Canada


Changes abound at Mikey A’s team this year, with two new drivers in the fold. As longtime Andretti Autosport fixture Ryan Hunter-Reay, The Dude! Has been replaced by last year’s Hottest “Silly Season” commodity Romain Grosjean, who brings his Dale coyne Racing Engineer Olivier Boisson, a “Dampers” expert with him. And like most, it’ll be weird seeing somebody else in the distinctive DHL #28 entry other than Hunter-Reay.


Also gone, having Hung Up his Helmet in favour of a microphone. The Mayor ‘O Hinchtown, aka James Hinchcliffe makes way for fellow Kuhnadiun’ Hoser, 22yr old IndyCar Rookie Devlin DeFrancesco, who graduates from a fairly mundane Indy Lights campaign, whilst Hinch’ will replace Paul Tracy in the Broadcast Booth.


Colton Herta who began the year by winning his second Rolex wristwatch by making the pass for the lead in the LMP2 Class during the waning minutes at this year’s 24 Hours of Daytona is currently Andretti’s Biggest Threat for Title rival, having finished fifth last year and claiming the only wins for the team . Notching three W’s and tying Alex Palou for most season victories.


While Alexander Rossi is still on his “Eternal Revenge Tour,” now in a Contract year and sorely wishing to get the Dreaded Cartoon Anvil Off his Backside by claiming his first victory in some two plus years.


Chip Ganassi Racing (4)

#8 Marcus Ericsson, Sweden

#9 Scott Dixon, New Zealand

#10 Alex Palou, Spain

#48 Jimmie Johnson, USA



Obviously the Biggest News, Perhaps? Is the News of Seven Times NASCAR Champion Jimmie Johnson making the decision to contest the entire IndyCar schedule during his Sophomore season at CGR, including his much anticipated Rookie outing at Mother Speedway this May. While TK’ Follow your Schnoz! Kanaan who filled in for JJ’ on the Ovals last year will run a fifth entry for Cheep’ at Indianapolis.


What can I say about the timeless Scott Dixon? Other than He’ll wish to atone for being upstaged by brand new CGR teammate Alex Palou, who motored to the Championship title in his Debutante season for Ganassi! Although you’d think the Six Times IndyCar Champion will surpass SuperMario’s (Andretti) career tally of 52 wins for second most overall this year, Righto?


Marcus Ericsson is the most overlooked of this quintet of Ganassi’s drivers, but has steadily improve each year in the series. Having had a Breakout season last year en route to sixth Overall, along with scoring his first two IndyCar victories! Not to mention having a totally Sweet sponsor, Ya Sure Yuh Betcha!  


Alex Palou is the reigning IndyCar Champion and will have his work Cut Out to repeat, but I do Hope for Good Things to continue for this Affable Spaniard who reminds Mwah of a young Alex Zanardi…


Dale Coyne Racing with HDM Motorsports (1)

#18 (R) David Malukas, USA


Dale Coyne has traded one set of Partners, nee Top Jimmy’ (Vasser) and James Sully’ Sullivan for a new set from just down the Turnpike. As Chicago based Truckers’ HDM Motorsports joins DCR and will run 20yr old Rookie David Malukas, who finished Runner-up in last year’s Indy Lights Championship behind Kyle Kirkwood in a pretty spirited title fight.


As I really enjoyed Marshall Pruett’s Podcast with David and think He’ll be my Darkhorse Rookie Of the Year (ROY) pick. With the only unknown for Mwah is who his Engineer is and how well they get on?


Dale Coyne Racing with Rick Ware Racing (1)


Takuma Sato replaces the departed Romain Grosjean at Coyne-Ware Racing. And although I’ve been a longtime Fan of Taku-san’s, I can only surmise this pairing was made possible by his longtime Backers Honda continuing to write a Hefty cheque for Him! Since with No Disrespect to Sato, at 45 years Old, his better years are surely behind Him?


Meyer Shank Racing (2)

#06 Helio Castroneves, Brazil

#60 Simon Pagenaud, France

(Technical Partnership with Andretti Autosport)


If you read No Fenders on a regular basis, you’ll know I’ve never been a Fan of Hulio’s, aka Helio Castroneves. And with the Brazilian turning 47 on May 10th, he’s IndyCar’s second Oldest driver. Sandwiching his Buddy Tony Kanaan who’s 130 Days (4 months and 10 days) Older than him. (Dec 31, 1974) And Jimmy Johnson who’s 4 months and a week younger than him. (Sept 17, 1975)


As I still totally believe Castroneves is past his prime, regardless His recent successes, Sigh! Yet naturally is a big Scoop for MSR, giving it “Star Power,” albeit can we please knock this Shit Off about the “Drive for Five,” since it Ain’t gonna Happen! Since I’ll expect Castroneves to come back Down to Earth when trying to run a full season IndyCar campaign this year vs. Young Bucks Half His Age!


Meanwhile, ex-Penske teammate Simon Pagenaud rejoins his former Dancin’ Pardner Hulio’ at MSR, replacing the Departed Jack Harvey. As it’ll be very interesting to See how the Frenchman’s IndyCar career goes at MSR, since I cannot think of anybody who’s improved after leaving Team Penske, as Ryan Briscoe comes to mind in this vain.


Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (3)

#15 Graham Rahal, USA

#30 Jack Harvey, UK

#45 (R) Christian Lundgaard, Denmark


Graham Rahal who’s entering his 16th IndyCar season I believe, becomes the De Facto Team leader by virtue of being the only returning driver. As RLLR has added a third Fulltime entry with the signing of Rookie 20yr old Dane Christian Lundgaard, a former FIA Formula 2 championship driver who made his IndyCar Debut with RLLR at last year’s August IMS road Course race.


But the bigger news was the departure of Jack Not bloody Nige” Harvey as Takuma Sato’s replacement, with Harvey leaving Meyer Shank Racing after spending his entire brief IndyCar career there. But Harvey decided to seek “greener” pastures, since presumably He Didn’t like living in Hulio’s shadow at MSR. As it’ll be interesting to see how this career move pans out.


(R = Rookie)