Today’s question: Meyer Shank Racing and McLaren are teams from other motorsports series that have recently joined the NTT INDYCAR SERIES and won races this season. What team from any other racing series would you like to see compete in INDYCAR?
Curt Cavin: Ferrari would be my pick, hands down, although the Italians likely would blow INDYCAR’s budget structure out of the water. Obviously, the red cars aren’t coming to INDYCAR, so let’s select a more realistic option: Hendrick Motorsports. Wouldn’t it be nice if Jimmie Johnson’s foray into open-wheel racing inspired his former bosses – Rick Hendrick and Jeff Gordon – to expand in this direction? Of course, the Hendrick organization in INDYCAR is a longshot at best, but with motorsports crossover happening more often, nothing is out of the question, especially with Chase Elliott and Kyle Larson keen to career variety. It’s worth noting that Elliott and his family are particularly close with INDYCAR president Jay Frye and his family, so you never know.
Zach Horrall: My choice is Stewart-Haas Racing – or some form of Tony Stewart ownership. Stewart and Gene Haas’s NASCAR Cup Series program has been solid since Stewart bought into the team in 2009, winning championships and races. I think with a little time, Stewart could come to open-wheel racing and build a winning organization, especially with his knowledge of the sport. I think we often forget Stewart has a history in the INDYCAR SERIES, winning the 1996-97 season championship. Remember, Stewart joined his racing hero A.J. Foyt at this year’s Indianapolis 500, and JR Hildebrand drove the No. 1 ABC Supply Foyt Stewart Racing Chevrolet for A.J. Foyt Enterprises, so maybe it’s already on the Hoosier’s mind. After all, he’s a team owner in NASCAR and the World of Outlaws, owns Eldora Speedway, All-Star Circuit of Champions and Superstar Racing Experience. Why not add INDYCAR?
Paul Kelly: I’ll look to the IMSA ranks – where 2021 Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge winner Meyer-Shank Racing first established its major-league credentials – and pick Wayne Taylor Racing. WTR has only been around since 2007, but it has won two IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship driver titles (2013, 2017), the 2020 IMSA Michelin Endurance Championship and has earned victories in all four of IMSA’s marquee endurance events – the Rolex 24 At Daytona, 12 Hours of Sebring, Six Hours at the Glen and Petit Le Mans, including wins in the last three Rolex 24’s. The team already has connections with INDYCAR, as Indy 500 winners Helio Castroneves, Scott Dixon and Alexander Rossi have driven for its Daytona-winning teams in the last three years. Two other good reasons: Team owner Wayne Taylor has two fast sons, Jordan and Ricky, who could become standout American open-wheel drivers. Jordan has moved from his dad’s team to the Corvette factory GTLM program, but Ricky remains in the WTR lineup. Plus, Wayne Taylor Racing’s shop already is in the heart of INDYCAR country, based in the Indianapolis suburb of Brownsburg. It seems like a perfect fit.