Former team president Taylor Kiel resigned this week and is expected to play a similar role at Chip Ganassi Racing once his non-compete clause expires. It is clear, however, that he will not be replaced immediately within the team, which will expand to three cars next year, as Alexander Rossi joins Pato O’Ward and Felix Rosenqvist.
Motorsport has learned that McLaren CEO Zak Brown is weighing his options from several senior employees within the organization and has hired former president of race operations and IndyCar race director Brian Barnhart.
This season, Barnhart has been Rossi’s strategist at Andretti Autosport, and it is clear that he will reprise his role at Rossi in 2023, but in tandem with a leadership role within Arrow McLaren SP.
The rest of the team managers at this level come from within. Billy Vincent, the team’s current league director and Rosenqvist’s strategy caller, is part of that mix, while it’s clear that Gavin Ward (technical director who joined Team Penske last season), Nick Snyder, long time performance director, and Max Neyron are also lining up for changed job descriptions.
Several if not all of the above will be part of a delegation flying to McLaren’s Woking base next week.
Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing, M&M’s Toyota Camry
Photo by: Ben Earp / NKP / Motorsport Images
While priority is being given to this reformatted management structure and arranging three full-time crews for 2023, the team is known to be interested in running NASCAR champ Kyle Busch in next year’s Indianapolis 500.
The 37-year-old two-time Cup champion will leave Toyota owner Joe Gibbs Racing in 2023 to Richard Childress Racing, who will run Chevrolets. supported brother Kurt Busch while racing for Andretti Autosport in the 2014 Indy 500 when he finished sixth.
Busch, who has 224 wins in NASCAR – 60 Cup, 102 Xfinity, 62 Truck – was banned from doing an IndyCar ride under his JGR contract, but Childress has not erected such barriers.
Asked about the case, Busch said: “It’s in the deal. I made sure it was in the deal. I can run [Indy] if i want to run it. So all the IndyCar teams that are Chevrolet, call me.”
When asked if his wife Samantha agreed to such a plan, Busch replied: “She hasn’t said no. The last person to say no was my former boss. [Gibbs].”
Arrow McLaren SP is not only ensuring its own infrastructure is sufficient to take on a fourth strong entry for the 500, but also expects Busch and his backers to make the campaign financially viable, rather than relying on the team to get sponsorship for his car.