Friday, June 28, 2024

Indy Cars race for Leader Circle Funding

But who’ll claim the coveted 22nd and final Leader Circle’s prize?


Each year, there becomes a race inside the race over which IndyCar teams will be scrapping for the final Leader Circle prize fund allocation slots. Which IndyCar Doles out a prize of $1.0 million to the Top-22 Fulltime IndyCar team entries. For which I believe that each team is only allowed a maximum of three entries, now that I believe Andretti Global’s lost their fourth “Grandfathered” entry…


Much noise has been made about Meyer Shank Racing’s (MSR) Benching of rookie IndyCar driver tom Blomqvist, who we All know has been replaced by David Malukas for the remainder of the year.


Although Helio Castroneves, whose a minority team owner tried spinning off Blomqvist’s initial two race sabbatical as an effort to improve the team’s No. 66 points standing in the All important Leader Circle fight.


With Hulio’ filling the #66 seat for these two events, where I’d say He didn’t fair any better than Blomqvist would have!


As I’d still argue how is a rookie IndyCar driver supposed to progress if He’s Sacked before the Halfway distance of the season? Especially for somebody as raw as Blomqvist, who plys His trade predominantly in Sports Cars.


Yet Racer’s Marshall Pruett painted a different picture of Mike Shank seeing a driver lacking confidence behind the seat, who wasn’t improving. With Blomqvist expected to drive an MSR Acura in IMSA GTP once again next year.


As here’s a sample of the various Leader Circle point standings I was able to rassle up, albeit I couldn’t find an updated entrant’s standing following Road America…


Round 5: Indianapolis 500, May 26th

22. #30, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing: 50

23. #18, Dale Coyne Racing: 47

24-26. #66, Meyer Shank Racing; #41, A.J. foyt Enterprises; #20, Ed Carpenter Racing: Tied with 46-points.


Round 6: Detroit, June 2nd

21. #78, Juncos Hollinger Racing: 74

22. #30, RLLR: 67

23. #18 DCR: 60

24. #41, foyt: 55

25. #66, MSR: 51

26. #20, ECR: 51

27. #51, Coyne-Ware Racing: 51



Yet I believe that Ganassi’s Nos. 11 & 4 entries aren’t eligible for Leader Circle funding, meaning Thars’ 25 entries vying for the Top-22 spots. Meaning if I apply this logic? MSR was sitting in 23rd place following Detroit. As good work Hulio!


As I’m also Arse-suming that MSR’s #66 is on top of the three way tie via it having the highest place finish of 15th at St Pete.


Interesting how Marshall notes in a follow-up piece about Malukas’s joining MSR, which felt like it was defending Mike Shank’s decision as co-owner to park Blomqvist…


That Shank has given Malukas a long “leash” and just needs Him to finish P17 or better without destroying racecars, and MSR will be happy with their new driver acquisition.


Yet this is a great opportunity for whom has been my Numero doce favourite Indycar driver the past few seasons. As you’d think that driving for MSR will give David a much better opportunity to “Grow” versus the pressure cooker environment of Arrow Mclaren!


Although like Shank told Marshall, MSR needs to perform now for the sake of it’s sponsors. So hopefully Malukas can deliver the Goods! Especially with a stupendous six Ovals at season’s end.


As Pruett noted recently how the cost of running an IndyCar entry has increased by 30% over the years, costing a minimum extra $2.0 million per entry due to Hybridization and our massive Inflation that we All currently suffer from!


Whilst apparently it’s a very poor “secret” that MSR will return to IMSA GTP competition next year with an Acura entry spearheaded by Blomqvist.


making me now wonder if the Blomqvist to IndyCar experiment was just a novel way for MSR to keep Blomqvist busy for a year’s time before the IndyCar driver market opened in 2025?