INDIANAPOLIS – It was already a big blow that Carlin had two of their three drivers in the Last Row Shootout. Sending one of their drivers home would be a huge drawback for the organization. But, sending two cars home?
That’s the ultimate worst case scenario right?
That’s exactly what happened too.
Not only did Max Chilton fail to make the field for the 103rd Running of the Indianapolis 500 (11 a.m. ET/NBC/INDYCAR Radio Network) his teammate Pato O’Ward as well.
Chilton, went 226.192 mph in his No. 59 Chevrolet. That’s the slowest of any driver. O’Ward, only went 227.092 mph, which was second slowest.
Both told me that they were flat out and just didn’t have any speed in their cars. They were puzzled at where the speed was. They said that they just didn’t have anything more that they could do, it was just wasn’t there.
Now, we have to wonder about their future.
Chilton, hasn’t cut it out in the NTT IndyCar Series. In 55 career starts, he has just one top five and eight top 10 finishes. He’s led just 75 laps, 50 of which coming in the 2017 Indy 500. I don’t think his sponsors, even though it’s his dads company, are too thrilled by having their car not be in the race.
It’s a huge blow to his points standing too. He entered the month 23rd, or worst among full time entrants. For him to have Carlin’s only full time team, that’s not the growth that they were hoping to have from year one to year two.
Then you have O’Ward. The kid has immense talent. But, he’s already signed a deal to race overseas as a Red Bull development driver and barring a setback, he definitely won’t be back next year.
Plus, Carlin expanded to three cars for Indy, without having the prize money for either, it hurts them wanting two cars past this year. They have the rest of the year finalized for O’Ward and Charlie Kimball in that second seat, but what about beyond?
Does this hurt their full time status for one car next year? Are they even a team in Indy Car next year?
This could have big ramifications for their future status.