If the current projections hold, the NTT IndyCar Series could be in for an appreciable growth in entries for 2021.

Expansions at Chip Ganassi Racing, Meyer Shank Racing, and Team Penske highlight the known additions to the field, and more are possible with months to go ahead of the planned season opener at St. Petersburg on March 5-7. Working from the 23 in 2020, a full-time field of 25 cars is anticipated, with the number climbing at select rounds where part-timers join in.

“The car counts are up going into ’21,” IndyCar president Jay Frye told RACER. “I would envision anywhere from 25 to 28 cars on most weekends. So 28 has not been a number we’ve talked about in a long, long time. And that’s certainly possible right now.”

Coming off a rough year where financial losses related to the COVID-19 pandemic impacted teams and sponsors throughout the paddock, Frye is pleased to see the series headed upward.

“One of the goals when we do our rolling five-year plan, is we come up with a paddock-wide effort with the manufacturers. and one of the goals was to recruit new owners, expand our current teams, get the car count up with new entries,” he said. “It’s a very important part of the process. Part of the plan was controlling the economics of the series.

“We knew where we were going — we knew what was going to happen, we knew what we’re going to spend. So hopefully all that stuff has worked pretty well to this point. And part of that is we got through this pandemic together with it, which is great. So going into ’21, it’s actually quite spectacular to know there’s growth in the paddock.”