IndyCar Silly Season Latest UPDATE Graham Rahal still doesn't have a contract for 2010. It had been assumed he would stay with Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing -- and he still might -- but he doesn't have an offer. Gil de Ferran has said Rahal is his No. 1 choice if he can arrange the final half of the necessary sponsorship to keep De Ferran Motorsports going. Ganassi officials also have discussed hiring Rahal, if more funding can be found.
The Newman/Haas/Lanigan team could have two cars or three depending on what happens with Rahal. Alex Lloyd and Hideki Mutoh are expected to finalize deals with the team. Mutoh did not attend Tuesday's meeting because of visa issues in Tokyo.
Firestone Indy Lights driver Ana Beatriz said on her Web site she plans to compete in at least a few IndyCar races this season, including the season-opening race in Brazil, her home country, but she has not indicated a team. She attended the meeting with de Ferran and his partner, Robert Clarke, who is her manager.
Dan Wheldon was at the meeting, too, though he's severely bruised after falling out of a two-man bobsled on ice at 65 mph last weekend at Lake Placid, N.Y. "It was the biggest hit I've ever had, including (two flips) in an Indy car," he said. Wheldon can laugh now, but he got off the track shortly before the bobsled and its driver made a loop and returned at high speed.
Dale Coyne is confident his small team will field two cars, and he said driver announcements are due by the end of the month. Justin Wilson drove the No. 18 car last year, but rumors of a switch to Dreyer & Reinbold Racing are in the air. Wilson didn't stay in town long; his wife gave birth to their second daughter this week in Denver.
Eric Bachelart, who owns Conquest Racing, remains mum on his driver plans, but he attended the meeting with Bruno Junqueira and former Champ Car driver Jan Heylen. Indy Star [Editor's Note: Our 2010 IndyCar Silly Season page (above) has been updated with this information] 01/08/10 A.J. Foyt Racing: Vitor Meira will drive the car now engineered by Jeff Britton. They worked together at Rahal Letterman Racing, finishing second in the 500 in 2005.
Andretti Autosport: Working to finalize Ryan Hunter-Reay as a full-timer alongside Marco Andretti, Tony Kanaan and Danica Patrick.
Conquest Racing: One car. Driver to be determined.
Dale Coyne Racing: Expecting to bring back Wilson.
De Ferran Motorsports: Hoping to participate but doesn't have a sponsor.
Dreyer & Reinbold Racing: Expecting to have at least two cars from a pool that includes Mike Conway, Tomas Scheckter, Milka Duno and E.J. Viso.
Fazzt Race Team: New team has co-owner Alex Tagliani set to drive the full season; second car at least for Indy.
Ganassi Racing: Returns with the past two series champions, Dario Franchitti and Scott Dixon.
HVM Racing: Robert Doornbos signed for 2010; tested Atlantics standout Simona De Silvestro last month for second car.
KV Racing Technology: Trying to bring back Mario Moraes and Paul Tracy.
Luczo Dragon Racing: Planning on return of Raphael Matos.
Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing: Eyeing at least two cars through a combination of Graham Rahal, Alex Lloyd and Hideki Mutoh.
Panther Racing: Aiming to give Dan Wheldon a teammate. Former IRL driver Giorgio Pantano is a leading candidate.
Penske Racing: Will Power joins Helio Castroneves and Ryan Briscoe as a regular.
Sarah Fisher Racing: Fisher will compete in nine races and Jay Howard in four, with both at Indy.
Team 3G: Expecting to have one car; officials prefer Richard Antinucci drive it.
Vision Racing: Working to finalize Ed Carpenter's deal. IndyStar