DragonSpeed downgrades to a 6-race 2020 IndyCar slate (Update)

Ben Hanley
Ben Hanley

UPDATE The 10Star DragonSpeed team announced plans Monday to compete in the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg with driver Ben Hanley, the first race of the upcoming NTT IndyCar Series season.

“I can’t wait to get back in the No. 81 machine for another crack at St. Pete," said Hanley, who turns 35 next week. “After the thrash required just to make it to the track last season, we’re coming back in a much more settled situation. I don’t know if we can repeat the combination of luck and timing that put us 12th on the grid in 2019, but we will be much better prepared this time around and should be stronger throughout the weekend."

DragonSpeed is led by team principal Elton Julian, a former driver.

“The continuity represented by having Ben in the car at St. Pete is a real boost and for the fifth year in a row he remains the lead driver across all of our programs," Julian said. “That said, the realities of life as a young IndyCar team might see us running other drivers at the same level as Ben, perhaps with more IndyCar experience, during the year. But committing to Ben as the test and race driver for the launch of our 2020 effort is clearly the best way to get our season off to a strong start.

“We haven’t had the head start of some teams in testing the new IndyCar Aeroscreen and are pushing hard to get it in time to maximize the limited track testing allowed to us as a part-time entrant while making some time in between for data analysis and shaker rig testing."

Ben Hanley in 2019 Indy 500
Ben Hanley in 2019 Indy 500

12/24/19 The Elton Julian-led DragonSpeed Chevrolet-powered IndyCar team has announced it will be contesting six races in 2020, beginning with the season-opener at St. Petersburg on March 15. Originally the team said they were going to run 10-races, but now it's down to six.

The rest of its schedule for the Florida-based outfit – known for their exploits in sportscar racing – comprises Long Beach, the Indy 500, Texas Motor Speedway, Mid-Ohio and the Laguna Seca season finale.

While Ben Hanley drove for the team's limited schedule in 2019, no driver has yet been announced by the team meaning the driver with the biggest check will be hired.

We have updated our 2020 IndyCar Silly Season page as DragonSpeed joins the Dale Coyne Racing, AJ Foyt, Juncos and Carlin teams desperate to find sponsor or ride-buyer money with 2020 fast approaching. Why are so many IndyCar teams hurting for money in this a booming economy? It's the TV ratings stupid and the latest IndyCar TV deal was the dumbest move we have seen in decades!