Indy 500 Silly Season Update

Confirmed (33)

Andretti Autosport

#7 - Danica Patrick - GoDaddy.com
#11 - Tony Kanaan - 7/11
#26 - Marco Andretti - Venom Energy Drink
#37 - Ryan Hunter-Reay - Izod
#43 - John Andretti - Window World (Richard Petty part car owner)

Team Penske

#3 - Helio Castroneves - Team Penske
#6 - Ryan Briscoe - Team Penske
#12 - Will Power - Verizon Wireless

Target Chip Ganassi Racing

#9 - Scott Dixon - Target
#10 - Dario Franchitti - Target

Sam Schmidt Racing (w/Chip Ganassi)

#99 - Townsend Bell - Herbalife

KV Racing

#5 - Takuma Sato - Lotus
#8 - E.J. Viso - PDVSA/Jet Aviation
#15 - Paul Tracy - Geico
#32 - Mario Moraes - KV Racing

Dale Coyne Racing

#18 - Milka Duno - CITGO
#19 - Alex Lloyd - Boy Scouts of America

Conquest Racing

#34 - Mario Romancini - Ronn Motor Company
#36 - Bertrand Baguette - Royal Automobile Club of Belgium

Sarah Fisher Racing

#66 - Jay Howard - Tire Kingdom
#67 - Sarah Fisher - Dollar General

Luczo Dragon Racing/de Ferran Motorsports

#2 - Raphael Matos - HP
#21 - Davey Hamilton - HP

FAZZT Race Team

#33 - Bruno Junqueira - TBA
#77 - Alex Tagliani - Bowers & Wilkens

Panther Racing

#4 - Dan Wheldon - National Guard
#20 - Ed Carpenter - TBA

A.J. Foyt Enterprises

#14 - Vitor Meira - ABC Supply Co.

HVM Racing

#78 - Simona De Silvestro

Dreyer & Reinbold Racing

#22 - Justin Wilson - Z-Lines Designs
#24 - Mike Conway - Dad's Root Beer

Newman-Haas-Lanigan Racing

#06 - Hideki Mutoh - Panasonic/Formula Dream

Bryan Herta Autosport

#29 - Sebastian Saavedra - TBA

Likely (5)

A.J. Foyt Enterprises

#41 - Anthony Foyt IV - ABC Supply Co.

Newman-Haas-Lanigan Racing

#02 - Graham Rahal - TBA

Dreyer & Reinbold Racing

#23 - Ana Beatriz - TBA

Team 3G

#98 - TBA - TBA

HVM Racing

#79 - Junior Strous - Shell

With the confirmation that Ed Carpenter will join Dan Wheldon in the Panther Racing stable, the number of confirmed entries hit 33! Therefore, anyone else that confirms to the race will be adding to the magic of bump day this year.

Paul Tracy will most likely make an announcement regarding Indy at Long Beach this coming weekend.


Panther Enters Carpenter for Indy

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (April 7, 2010) – Panther Racing announced today it has partnered with Vision Racing and will enter Ed Carpenter in the No. 20 Dallara Honda during next month’s 94th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race. The collaboration between the two IZOD IndyCar Series teams will pair Carpenter with full-time Panther driver Dan Wheldon, pilot of the No. 4 National Guard Panther Racing entry.

“We looked at a lot of opportunities for the Month of May, and as strong as Vision Racing has run the last few years, we felt like partnering with them made a lot of sense for us,” John Barnes, CEO and co-owner of Panther Racing, said. “I feel that Ed (Carpenter) is a threat to win at any race he runs, and he’s proved that to this league in the last two or three years. His addition to the National Guard team along with Dan Wheldon is going to make our entire team stronger. I honestly hope this isn’t a one-and-done deal, and we very much look forward to the opportunity of expanding this and running more IZOD IndyCar Series races together this season.”

The partnership is even more special for Barnes, who has been friends with Vision team owner Tony George for over 20 years.

“I am very pleased that we have this opportunity to partner with an excellent organization. This collaboration with Panther Racing will allow two teams that want nothing else but to compete and strive for success in the upcoming Indianapolis 500 the opportunity do so to the best of their abilities,” George said. “With this partnership between teams and drivers, we will also be able to maximize the potential of both parties and field what I am sure will be a very formidable two-car effort. There are close personal and professional relationships within our two organizations that should allow us to put forth a cohesive effort we will all be proud of and have high expectations for achieving results.”

Six-year IndyCar Series veteran Ed Carpenter will make a return behind the wheel of the No. 20 that he has driven since Vision Racing’s inception in 2005. The 29-year-old Indianapolis resident finished the 2009 season by earning his career best finish of second, matched his career best start of fourth, led 35 laps and drove to six top-ten finishes.

“I am very excited not only to be returning to the Indianapolis 500, but also working with Panther Racing,” Ed Carpenter, who finished fifth and eighth in the last two runnings of the Indianapolis 500, explained. “John Barnes has been a family friend for a long time, and I very grateful for this opportunity. I feel that with my experience, Vision Racing’s experience and Panther Racing’s experience and success at Indianapolis that we will be a very competitive duo. It has been very hard watching from the sidelines so far this season, and I am very motivated to compete for my first win.”

Panther Racing, who boasts 15 IndyCar Series wins and two league championships, is currently ninth in the championship standings with Wheldon after the first two races of the 2010 season. The team has finished runner-up in each of the last two Indianapolis 500s; in 2008 with Vitor Meira and again last year with Wheldon.

“I believe the addition of Ed Carpenter and Vision Racing to the National Guard Panther Racing group is phenomenal,” Wheldon said. “Ed’s always been very quick, especially around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and I’m very much looking forward to being able to have a teammate of his caliber. I know we’ll work together well and be able to move the team forward, which will give us both a chance to win the Indianapolis 500. And it’s also very positive to have Vision’s involvement in the Panther program. I’m excited about being able to use some of their expertise and it’s great to see them back on track – they’re a team that was very close to their first IZOD IndyCar Series victory in Kentucky last year, and this partnership will get all of us one step close to victory lane.”

Vision Racing returns to IZOD IndyCar Series competition for the Indianapolis 500 as a result of this partnership with Panther Racing after suspending racing operations on January, 28, 2010 until such time that sponsorship could be secured.

“It has been an exceptionally long and extended off-season for Vision Racing that has recently had us turning our attention solely to the Indianapolis 500. The challenge of putting together a sponsorship package to enable Vision Racing to run the 2010 IZOD IndyCar Series schedule proved to be much more difficult than anticipated but our intention is to be back competing full-time in the future,” George explained. “Taking part in the 2010 Indianapolis 500 has been a priority and while we have yet to solidify a sponsorship lineup for the No. 20 Panther-Vision entry for Indy, we expect to make some sponsorship announcements in the coming weeks.”


Bartender Rumors #8

The Bartender is back and has some rumors for all of you to digest once again. Actually, it is more I finally had the time to get out there while he was around, but I finally have done it. I'll try to make this more of a constant thing now that we are in season again.

- Junior Strous should end up at HVM during May as that was the main reason he withdrew from his contract with Moore Racing in the FIL series. HVM offered him a way into the Indycar Series this season, and specifically a ride at Indy.

- He seems pretty damn sure there will be a minimum of forty cars at Indy.

- Even though Vision has been silent, he says they will most likely run ovals this season, and to expect them at Kansas and Indy at a minimum.

- Team 3G's struggles last season is making it difficult to put anything together for this season. He says Indy will probably happen for them though. They managed to pull it off last season, so they should be able to do it this year.

- He says the owners are pushing for multiple chassis' in 2012 or 2013, whenever this finally happens.

- Apparently there are rumors that the IRL is pressuring Milka Duno to get out of the car, at least on road courses. Apparently someone approached her about becoming a team owner and using the CITGO money to run a younger more talented racer.

Alright, that is what I got out of him. Whether you think it is crazy or not, that is what I was told.

I took some flack last time I posted from a couple people so I am simply going to finish this with a disclaimer.

I have no actual connections to any Izod Indycar team members or drivers, I am simply the messenger for this crazy bartender. I'm simply passing this along to others who might enjoy having a good read. These could be true or false, but I don't pretend to know which way they go. If you don't enjoy what is said in these bartender rumors, then you should stop reading them.

Let me know what you guys think about these rumors, feel free to comment.


Swift #66

I haven't put much talk into the chassis debate coming up as everyone and their mother has beaten the topic to death. However, with the release of Swift's new #66 concept, I felt the need to share with everyone.

This car is freakin' fantastic!

It may be evolutionary as opposed to revolutionary, but boy could I see a bunch of those cars tearing it up at TMS or IMS or Long Beach with the Lola concept and the Dallara concept.

I have absolutely not problem seeing this exact car on track. No modifications whatsoever makes me a happy man with this concept.

If the ICONIC board were to come back to Randy Bernard and say something along the lines of, "Let's allow Swift, Dallara, Lola, and BAT to build their concepts and sell them on the open market", I would be quite alright with that.

I don't think that we should allow multiple chassis' and allow the Delta Wing project to join in with those multiple chassis. I think it would stick out like a sore thumb, and it would just seem wrong having the four evolutions racing against the one revolution.

If this car is able to compete with Lola and Dallara and even BAT (although I hate their design) I'd be quite happy.

What a sexy lookin' car.

Check out more pictures of the car here.
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