The final spot on the 2019 Indianapolis 500 entry list has officially been filled, with Oriol Servia announcing today that he will race the #77 Arrow Schmidt Peterson Honda in partnership with Team Stange Racing; a Chicago-based team that plans to expand to further NTT IndyCar Series races next year.
After taking part in last month’s open test at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, it was almost certain that Servia would be driving the #77 Honda in the race at the end of this month. Today’s news confirms this, meaning that the Spaniard will take the thirty-sixth and last spot on the entry list.
In today’s announcement, Servia acknowledged how late the confirmation of his entry was, with the first official practice session for the Indianapolis 500 taking place tomorrow. However, Oriol confirmed that he has been preparing for the race for months and that he is ready to challenge for a victory; just like he did twelve months ago.
“I work and prepare all year for this race, so it’s kind of ironic that we are actually announcing a program this late,” Servia said. “I am proud to represent Lucas Oil again, and couldn’t be more excited to introduce the world to MotoGator and Team Stange, which you will hear a lot more very soon.
“At last year’s 500, I did perhaps the best driving I’ve ever done and came really close. I’m here to finish that job, and I know for a fact that everyone on this program has worked really hard preparing this event with the same aim. It may look like we are arriving almost late to the game, but we are arriving READY!”
Servia will drive the #77 Honda, fielded by Arrow Schmidt Peterson in partnership with Team Stange Racing and with MotoGator as a sponsor. Team Stange Racing was founded in 2012 and has since taken part in numerous NASCAR affiliated championships lower down the ladder; including the NASCAR ARCA series.
Today’s news will mark Team Stange Racing’s entry into the NTT IndyCar Series, starting off with the biggest race of the season. John Stange, Jr., the co-owner of the team, commented in today’s announcement that the team will be hoping to enter further NTT IndyCar Series races next year, with a view to moving to a full-time entry in the next few seasons.
“I am so pleased to announce this great partnership with Arrow SPM today as Team Stange Racing makes its entry into IndyCar racing,” stated Stange, Jr., “We are so blessed to partner with a company like MotoGator who is committed to building a winning IndyCar program with TSR.
“Once we developed our plan, we knew that we wanted to launch at the world’s greatest race with so much history and it is so special to me personally. The second thing to do was to partner with a quality team that we could align and grow with as we build our team to compete in the NTT IndyCar Series eventually full time in 2021/22”.
Sharing Stange’s sentiments regarding today’s announcement was Arrow Schmidt Peterson’s president, Jon Flack, who said having Oriol as a part of the team’s line-up was an exciting prospect.
“We couldn’t be more excited about adding a pilot of Oriol’s calibre to our driver lineup for the Indy 500,” said Flack, “and it is equally satisfying to partner with TSR and welcome MotoGator to the program. This is a really big step for Team Stange Racing and MotoGator, and Arrow SPM will give it everything it has to make them proud and leave a lasting impression on the motorsport community.”
Servia will be out on track in the #77 Honda in tomorrow’s opening day of practice for the Indianapolis 500. Oriol will have to finish his veteran refresher training program before he sets about properly preparing for qualifying and the race. The two days of qualifying will be run on Saturday, May 18, to Sunday, May 19. The race itself, the 103rd running of the Indianapolis 500, will take place on Sunday, May 26.