Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Hide & Go Seek, Dallara Style

Over the last couple months while drivers have had a hard time finding rides, it seems as though teams are having an even harder time finding cars.

It was announced last week that Tomas Scheckter will be driving for Team 3G in Long Beach and possibly the rest of the season, but the deal has still not been announced and reportedly finding equipment has proven to be quite the task.

Just a week prior, HVM had to re-schedule the Birmingham test to find an extra chassis for Ryan Hunter-Reay to run. But what happened? A few days later they showed up in Sebring with a single car, shared by both Hunter-Reay and Viso.

The hunt for equipment seems to be one of the major obstacle in Robby Gordon's plans to returning to the Indianapolis 500 for the first time since 2004.

So, where are all the cars?

Currently I count 27 cars that are set to run the 500:

  1. AGR Kanaan
  2. AGR Patrick
  3. AGR Andretti
  4. AGR Mutoh
  5. Penske Briscoe
  6. Penske Power
  7. TCG Dixon
  8. TCG Franchitti
  9. TCG/Schmidt Lloyd
  10. Foyt Meira
  11. Foyt Foyt IV
  12. Panther Wheldon
  13. Panther Sharp
  14. Vision Carpenter
  15. Vision Hunter-Reay
  16. Vision Hamilton
  17. NHL Rahal
  18. NHL Doornbos
  19. KV Moraes
  20. D&R Conway
  21. D&R/Petty Andretti
  22. HVM Viso
  23. Fisher Fisher
  24. Coyne Wilson
  25. Conquest Tagliani?
  26. 3G Barrett
  27. Luczo Dragon Matos

Cars from last May now vacant: 10
  • KV
  • Conquest
  • Coyne
  • Dreyer & Reinbold
  • Rahal Letterman
  • Roth
  • Roth
  • Hemelgarn
  • Rubicon
  • Pacific Coast
Of the 10 currently vacant seats KV, Conquest, Coyne, D&R, and RL are all very likely to have additional cars in May. Hemelgarn always seems to get the job done, so I wouldn't be surprised if they field a car. Plus Penske may need a 3rd car to run Helio if he is cleared in the coming weeks.

Now it gets a little more interesting. Over the off season Rubicon and Pacific Coast merged, hoping to field Buddy Rice full time in 2009. However that plan went down the drain after there primary sponsor went Bankrupt. Since, Rubicon has said that they still want to run Rice but are trying to get him a ride with a current team.

Roth Racing who has either chosen not to field a team in 2009, or was forced out by the IRL (depending on who you believe) remains the only team with cars not in use. Roth is rumored to have 4 chassis and other equipment up for sale, but at a price tag in which nobody has been willing to pay. The Philippe brother were rumored to be close to purchasing the equipment in the off season, but it ended up out of there price range.

It'll be a sad thing if a team that wants to run the greatest race in the world and has the money, but can't because chassis can't be acquired. I can't blame Roth for not wanting to sell his stuff at a low price, especially considering his bad divorce with the IRL. But someone needs to step up and make these deals happen.


Can the IRL not buy 5 or 6 Dallara chassis' and hold them, then rent them out or sell them? This way we don't have this issue? Also, don't forget about Scott Sharp wanting to run Indy as well.

Sharp definitely wants back in, but his deal with Panther reportedly fell through...but he could still get something done.

I could be wrong, but I believe the IRL ordered 6 more chassis from Dallara over the winter, but I'm not sure what ever came of that.

Of the 26 primary teams they ALL have T-cars as well ... you know AGR, Ganassi, Penske, & NHL might have more than ONE back up/ T-car

Yea, but they aren't gona let those go.

I'm sure if Luzzo(?) Dragon wanted a 2nd driver, Daddy Penske would have a sweet deal on a Penske T-car?? Yes???

I would say so, but Penske may need to set back a couple for Helio incase he returns, and Dallara's dont just grow on trees

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