Given the somewhat surprising announcement of James Jakes to the 2nd Rahal Lanigan Letterman seat for this IndyCar season, it's probably time for an evaluation of just how many cars we're going to have full-time for the 2013 season.
With Jakes' #30 Rahal car now confirmed, that leaves us with 22 confirmed entries:
Ganassi: 3 (Dixon, Franchitti, Kimball)
AJ Foyt Enterprises: 1 (Sato)
Barracuda (BHA): 1 (Tagliani)
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing: 2 (Rahal, Jakes)
Schmidt Peterson: 2 (Pagenaud, Vautier)
Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing: 1 (Newgarden)
Andretti: 4 (Andretti, Hunter-Reay, and Hinchcliffe, with Viso coming this week)
Dragon Racing: 1 (Bourdais)
Ed Carpenter Racing: 1 (Carpenter)
KV Racing Technology: 2 (Kanaan, de Silvestro)
Panther/Panther/DRR: 2 (Hildebrand, Servia)
Penske: 2 (Power, Castroneves)
We're left with the following rides to be confirmed:
Both Coynes (Honda), the 2nd Dragon (Chevy), HVM (unknown, but probably dependent on the Katherine Legge saga at Dragon Racing), and the possibility of an add-on at one other team (Davey Hamilton is still out there, after all). Depending on what happens with HVM, we could be at anywhere from 25-27 entries this year. If we get 26, we'll be on par with 2012. That's impressive, given the fact many folks thought we'd lose around 1-2 net entries this year. That could still happen, but I like odds much more than I did a week ago to get to 26. Right now, it seems as if the main item we'll be waiting on is how the entire murky business with Legge and Dragon plays out.