The NTT IndyCar Series will welcome 24 entries to its season opening race at St. Petersburg.
There was hope a 25th entry for reigning Indy Lights champion Patricio O’Ward would materialize, but the 20-year-old Mexican confirmed on Monday that he will miss Round 1 while working on a deal that could see his season begin with Round 2 at Circuit of The Americas.
Juncos Racing also hoped to compete on the Florida street circuit, but its Chevy-powered outfit will also miss St. Petersburg as team owner Ricardo Juncos continues his search for sponsors and funded drivers.
The Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg boasts 19 returning veterans and five rookies. Of those five, Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports’ Marcus Ericsson, DragonSpeed’s Ben Hanley, and Chip Ganassi Racing’s Felix Rosenqvist all will be making their first IndyCar starts on Sunday.
Rookies Santino Ferrucci (Dale Coyne Racing) and Colton Herta (Harding Steinbrenner Racing) made one or more starts last year, but qualify as rookies under the series’ licensing guidelines.