The final pieces of the 2023 IndyCar grid have been slotted into place this week with the announcement that Takuma Sato will run the oval races in the Chip Ganassi #11 machine.
Since the announcement of Marcus Armstrong in the Ganassi #11 for road and street courses, the conversation surrounding his oval partner has been swirling. It has been long suspected that Takuma Sato would step away from the Dale Coyne Racing #51 in some capacity. This announcement confirmed it.
The Idaho native joins Dale Coyne Racing after 34 races in NXT. In 2022 he won 1 race and claimed 8 podiums on his way to runner-up in the championship 💪
(📸 Gavin Baker) pic.twitter.com/0q6MDcDnhH
— Feeder Series Americas (@FSAmericas) January 18, 2023
Filling the two-time Indy 500 winner’s seat at Coyne will be Sting Ray Robb. Robb made a name for himself in Indy Lights (now Indy NXT) last season and has been in the conversation for many available seats this off-season. In 2022, Robb joined the Andretti Autosport team in the IndyCar feeder series on the back of an 8th-place finish the year before with Juncos Racing. He started 2022 off strong with five finishes in the top four from the first six races of the season. Robb got his first win in the series at Laguna Seca in the second-to-last race of the year. He would finish second in the championship battle behind Linus Lundqvist.
These moves serve both teams very well. Sato is a proven talent on oval tracks and will always show out when it comes to the prestigious Indy 500. In 2022, his Road and Street course performances were less than spectacular, but come the month of May, Sato was in the conversation for a potential third win at Indy in the practice sessions leading up to the race.
Robb will slot right into the Chicago-based team in 2023. He will be paired with 2022 rookie sensation David Maluaks in the #18 DCR car. Together both drivers look to continue the momentum that Malukas set for the team in the final races of last season.