Well, the Indy 500 is creeping up on us. The race itself is 43 days away, while the track opens up May 5th, 25 days from now. Indycar teams have these dates scheduled on their calendars, and so do many of us fans. And early next week, we get to figure out who will be attempting to run the 500, as the entry list comes out. Now, I'm pretty sure we'll have a surprise or two in the entry list when it does get posted, which is usually one of the fun parts of May. Anyways, here is this weeks UOWWB question of the week.

"With the lack of cars, how many cars do you expect at Indy this year?"
There have been rumors lately about a lack of parts for the Dallara's lately, specifically Team 3G running into issues to find a car for Tomas Scheckter to run. Another rumor had Robby Gordon and Childress getting together to run a car for the 500, but could find an actual car to run. Whether there is a shortage of cars or not, in Curt Cavin and Steve Ballard's latest article at Indystar.com Brian Barnhart believes 35 or 36 cars will attempt to qualify for The Greatest Spectacle in Racing. However, Cavin also writes about ways the race could get to 40 cars this year. So let's go through this and see what I can get to. Don't forget, this is the entry list, not nessicarily who shows up.

Full Season Cars (20)

#2 Raphael Matos - Luczo Dragon Racing
#3 Helio Castroneves - Team Penske
#4 Dan Wheldon - Panther Racing
#5 Mario Moraes - Kalkhoven Vasser Racing Technologies
#6 Ryan Briscoe - Team Penske
#7 Danica Patrick - Andretti Green Racing
#9 Scott Dixon - Target Chip Ganassi Racing
#10 Dario Franchitti - Target Chip Ganassi Racing
#11 Tony Kanaan - Andretti Green Racing
#13 E.J. Viso - HVM Racing
#14 Vitor Meira - A.J. Foyt Enterprises
#19 Justin Wilson - Dale Coyne Racing
#20 Ed Carpenter - Vision Racing
#21 Ryan Hunter-Reay - Vision Racing
#24 Mike Conway - Dreyer & Reinbold Racing
#26 Marco Andretti - Andretti Green Racing
#27 Hideki Mutoh - Andretti Green Racing
#98 Stanton Barrett - Team 3G
#02 Graham Rahal - Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing
#06 Robert Doornbos - Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing

Cars trying to do the full season (1)

#34 Alex Tagliani - Conquest Racing

Partial (Including Indy)/Indy Only Confirmed (7)

TBD Alex Lloyd - Sam Schmidt Motorsports/Target Chip Ganassi Racing
#12 Will Power - Team Penske
#15 Paul Tracy - Kalkhoven Vasser Racing Technologies
#16 Scott Sharp - Panther Racing
#43 John Andretti - Dreyer & Reinbold Racing/Richard Petty Motorsports
#44 Davey Hamilton - Dreyer & Reinbold Racing/Kingdom Racing
#67 Sarah Fisher - Sarah Fisher Racing

Announced, but skeptical (1)

TBD - Top Cover Racing

Expected but not announced (5)

#18 TBD - Dale Coyne Racing
#23 Darren Manning/Milka Duno - Dreyer & Reinbold Racing
#36 TBD - Conquest Racing
#41 A.J. Foyt IV - A.J. Foyt Enterprises
TBD Tomas Scheckter - TBD

Possible, but Less Likely (13)

#8 Townsend Bell/Oriol Servia - Kalkhoven Vasser Racing Technologies
#17 TBD - Rahal Letterman Racing
#76 TBD - Sarah Fisher Racing
TBD TBD - Bryan Herta Autosports
TBD Franck Montagny - Andretti Green Racing
TBD TBD - Walker Racing
TBD Jeff Simmons - A.J. Foyt Enterprises
TBD Robby Gordon - Robbie Gordon Racing/Richard Childress Racing
TBD TBD - Rubicon Racing
TBD TBD - Hemelgarn Racing
TBD Junior Strous - PDM Racing
TBD Takuma Sato - de Ferran Motorsports
TBD TBD -Vision Racing

As far as I can drum up, we will have atleast 33 guarenteed trying to qualify. We get bump day from the less likely teams that end up putting together deals to run. I think with the tough times money-wise, and the shortage of parts, I think making 33 guarenteed between the full season, part timers/one-offs, and the expected cars is pretty good. Obviously we will see some surprises, and hopefully 3 Penske cars either way. Maybe Penske pulls Sam Hornish Jr. out of the taxi that weekend to try and vault the number 77 car up the owners points standings and throws him into a Dallara for the 500?

So either way, I am not worried about hitting 33 cars. I'm excited to see who does end up showing to the race and to see who ends up making the field. We should see between 35 and 38 cars actually attempt to qualify which is good for the race and for the competition.

Edit 1: Moved Scheckter to expected but not announced.


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