Andretti Autosport’s phone will be less busy
this winter following the news that Zach Veach
will complete the team’s four-car IndyCar
lineup next season. Veach made one-off
appearances with ECR and Foyt in 2017.
Spencer Pigot clearly impressed
Ed Carpenter Racing during his road/
street course program in its No. 20
entry this year: the team has moved
him into its full-time No. 21 seat for
next year’s Verizon IndyCar Series.
“It’s nice to know that they all
believe in me and I can provide them
with the results that they want,” said
Pigot. “There’s no other team I want
to be with right now. I definitely
enjoy working with ECR and I was
really hoping I would get to continue
with this team.”
Pigot earned three top- 10
finishes during his part-time
campaign this year, with a best
result of eighth on the streets of
Long Beach. He was also loaned
out to Juncos Racing for the
Indianapolis 500, finishing 18th.
Owner-driver Ed Carpenter will
continue with his oval-only duties in
the No. 20 next year, although
there’s no word yet on who will be
handed the keys to the car at the
road and street course events.
LONE STAR, JR
ECR’s reshuffle came at the expense
of JR Hildebrand. The 29-year-old
racer has come back from similar
disappointments before, though...
PIGOT GETS PROMOTED
Sonoma’s Verizon IndyCar Series finale
was an emotional weekend across the
Team Penske camp for many different
reasons: jubilation for new champion
Josef Newgarden; champagne for race
winner Simon Pagenaud – and poignancy
for Helio Castroneves, who might have
driven his last road course in an IndyCar.
A familiar face could be missing from the 2018 IndyCar grid
WHAT NEXT FOR THE VETERANS?
according to the music,” said a
philosophical Helio. “Whatever my future
is going to be, I’m going to continue to be
motivated and keep working hard to
achieve my goals, which is winning races.”
We will be seeing more of fellow
Brazilian vet Tony Kanaan, but not at Chip
Ganassi Racing. CGR confirmed it’s scaling
back to two full-time cars in ’ 18, one for
Scott Dixon, the other likely for Le Mans
winner Brendon Hartley. For T.K., a new
chapter awaits at AJ Foyt Racing.
There’s no word yet on who (if either)
from Foyt’s 2017 lineup of Carlos Munoz
and Conor Daly will be retained alongside
Kanaan. But the team does plan some
internal reorganization that will result in
the lead car – Kanaan’s – being run out of
its satellite race shop in Indy, rather than
the main base in Waller, Texas.
Elsewhere, another Indy 500 winner
will race with a different team next season,
Takuma Sato having departed Andretti to
join Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing.
ROSSI’S IN IT FOR
THE LONG HAUL
Rossi will remain an
driver for the
after the 2016
Indy 500 winner
inked a multi-year
“Do you have Ed
T.K. (RIGH T) has an IndyCar
ride in 2018, but is it the
end of the line for Helio?
“Whatever my future, I’m going to
continue to be motivated and keep
working hard to win races”
While no formal announcement was
forthcoming in the immediate wake of the
season-closing race, all signs pointed to
the popular Brazilian being redeployed to
Penske’s Acura DPi program in 2018. (Not
least the fact that he was testing the Acura
at Sebring three days later.) Only question
is whether any extra IndyCar races might
be added to his expected Indy 500 outing.
“Sometimes we’ve got to dance