Castroneves, Sato join Busch for Motegi IndyCar Esports race

Esports | April 16th, 2020

This weekend’s fourth round of the IndyCar iRacing Challenge, to be held on Twin-Ring Motegi’s oval course, will feature the series debuts of Takuma Sato, Helio Castroneves, Kyle Busch and Rinus VeeKay.

Yesterday it was confirmed that current and two-time NASCAR Cup champion Busch would race a #51 “Rowdy Energy” IndyCar provisional entry. Today IndyCar announced three more newcomers to its virtual race series, bringing the field to 33.

That’s despite the absence of other NASCAR stars Jimmie Johnson – who competed in the first two rounds – and Dale Earnhardt Jr., who raced at last week’s event at virtual Michigan International Speedway and finished third.

Castroneves, a two-time Motegi winner – and the victor in the last IndyCar race on the 1.549-mile Japanese oval in 2010 – will race a fifth Team Penske-Chevrolet entry, the three-time Indianapolis 500 winner’s car bedecked in Pennzoil colors.

Meanwhile the man who memorably beat him to the 2017 Indy 500 victory, Sato, will at last slide behind the wheel of his virtual #30 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing-Honda, teamed as usual with Graham Rahal.

Rinus VeeKay, last year’s Indy Lights runner-up, will take over the #21 Ed Carpenter Racing-Chevy from team owner Ed Carpenter, who moves to a #50 entry.

Aside from Castroneves, other former ‘real’ Motegi winners on the grid include Scott Dixon (Chip Ganassi Racing-Honda) and Tony Kanaan (AJ Foyt Racing-Chevy).

All three IndyCar iRacing Challenge winners thus far will also be present – Sage Karam (Dreyer & Reinbold Racing-Chevy), Scott McLaughlin (Penske-Chevy) and Simon Pagenaud (Penske-Chevy).

The race, which is 113 laps, will start at 2.30pm ET and will be covered live on NBCSN.

Car #DriverEntryTeam/Engine
1Josef NewgardenHitachi Team PenskeTeam Penske-Chevrolet
2Scott McLaughlinShell V-Power Team PenskeTeam Penske-Chevrolet
3Helio CastronevesPennzoil Team PenskeIndyCar Provisional-Chevrolet
4Sebastien BourdaisTresibaA.J. Foyt Enterprises-Chevrolet
5Patricio O’WardArrow McLaren SPArrow McLaren SP-Chevrolet
6Robert WickensArrow McLaren SPArrow McLaren SP-Chevrolet
7Oliver AskewArrow McLaren SPArrow McLaren SP-Chevrolet
8Marcus EricssonHuski Chocolate Chip Ganassi RacingChip Ganassi Racing-Honda
9Scott DixonPNC BankChip Ganassi Racing-Honda
10Felix RosenqvistNTT Data Chip Ganassi RacingChip Ganassi Racing-Honda
11Kyle KaiserJuncos RacingJuncos Racing-Chevrolet
12Will PowerVerizon Team PenskeTeam Penske-Chevrolet
14Tony KanaanABC SupplyA.J. Foyt Racing-Chevrolet
15Graham RahalUnited RentalsRahal Letterman Lanigan Racing-Honda
18Santino FerrucciSealMasterDale Coyne Racing with Vasser Sullivan-Honda
20Conor DalyU.S. Air ForceEd Carpenter Racing-Chevrolet
21Rinus VeeKayEd Carpenter RacingEd Carpenter Racing-Chevrolet
22Simon PagenaudMenards Team PenskeTeam Penske-Chevrolet
24Sage KaramDRR Wix FiltersDreyer & Reinbold Racing-Chevrolet
26Zach VeachGainbridgeAndretti Autosport-Honda
27Alexander RossiAutoNation/NAPA Auto PartsAndretti Autosport-Honda
28Ryan Hunter-ReayDHLAndretti Autosport-Honda
29James HinchcliffeGenesysAndretti Autosport-Honda
30Takuma SatoPanasonic/KeihinRahal Letterman Lanigan Racing-Honda
31Felipe NasrCarlinCarlin-Chevrolet
41Dalton KellettK-Line InsulatorsA.J. Foyt Enterprises-Chevrolet
50Ed CarpenterDirect SupplyEd Carpenter Racing-Chevrolet
51Kyle BuschRowdy EnergyDallara
55Alex PalouDale Coyne Racing with Team GohDale Coyne Racing with Team Goh-Honda
59Max ChiltonGallagher CarlinCarlin-Chevrolet
60Jack HarveyAutoNation/Sirius XMMeyer Shank Racing-Honda
88Colton HertaCapstoneAndretti Harding Steinbrenner Autosport-Honda
98Marco AndrettiOberto Circle K/CurbAndretti Herta with Marco & Curb-Agajanian-Honda