Juncos Hollinger Racing and Carlin Racing are discussing whether a collaboration between the single-car teams might be in their best interest.
RACER has learned the Indiana-based JHR operation which will run rookie Callum Ilott in the No. 77 Chevy during the 2022 NTT IndyCar Series season, and the Florida-based Carlin outfit which ran Max Chilton and Conor Daly in the No. 59 Chevy last year, could pool resources in some form of co-entry between the programs.
Ricardo Juncos, who co-owns JHR with Brad Hollinger, and Trevor Carlin met for approximately 45 minutes at Carlin Racing’s transporter last month in Long Beach. And while the contents of the meeting were kept private, JHR is known to have an interest in fielding a second car and Carlin,, said the team’s fate and the future IndyCar plans were subject to a swift decision as to whether it would carry on for a fifth season.
It’s believed a variety of options exist between JHR and Carlin, ranging from a blending of the teams to purchasing assets to bolster JHR’s future growth. Outreaches to both teams for comment were unsuccessful.
JHR graduated to IndyCar in 2017, adding to its championship-winning Road To Indy programs with a pair of entries at the Indy 500. It returned in 2018 with three drivers and a single entry that attended most rounds and made two appearances in 2019 – including its stunning run with Kyle Kaiser to make the field of 33 at Indy – before the IndyCar program fell silent due to a lack of funding.
With the arrival of Hollinger earlier this year as a partner for Juncos, the rebranded JHR team has been busy rebuilding and staffing for a full-time return with Ilott, who contested the last three races of the year as a primer for the team’s long-term ambitions.
Carlin Racing landed in the U.S. in 2015 with an Indy Lights program for Max Chilton and Ed Jones, who won the 2016 title before heading to IndyCar. Carlin’s Indy Lights operation ran through 2017 before it was shuttered as part of a move to IndyCar with Chilton and Charlie Kimball.
Like Juncos, Carlin’s IndyCar budget and fortunes soon wavered, and with Chilton’s decision to skip all ovals outside the Indy 500, the program took a backwards step as five drivers rotated through two cars in 2019 before its focus on a single entry became a necessity from 2020 onwards. Carlin’s No. 59 Chevy ended the 2021 season ranked 23rd in the Entrants’ standings among 24 full-time cars.