Another Indianapolis 500 entry was confirmed today, as Dale Coyne Racing announced that James Davison will return to the team this May in a third Honda-powered machine. Davison drove for Coyne in two of his four Indy 500 starts, and was with AJ Foyt’s team last year. Davison will have sponsorship from Jonathan Byrd Racing, in a joint effort between Coyne, Belardi Auto Racing, and Hollinger Motorsport.
Despite crashing in his last four races at IMS, Davison has shown speed no matter what car he is in. With bumping taking place once again, Davison managed to qualify 19th in last year’s event, and will look to improve upon that this year. The full press release from today is below.
[Dale Coyne Racing Press Release]
James Davison will be making a return to Dale Coyne Racing for the 103rd running of the Indianapolis 500 in May as the team partners with Jonathan Byrd’s Racing, Hollinger MotorSport, and Belardi Auto Racing to run the #33 car for the Australian driver.
Davison last raced for the NTT IndyCar Series team at the 2017 Indianapolis 500 as a replacement driver for Sebastien Bourdais who was out with injuries at the time. In that event, Davison ran amongst the lead pack, led two laps along the way and was running fifth before, unfortunately, being involved in a multi-car incident. The 32-year-old driver has four starts at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway including two with DCR.
“I’m enraptured to be rejoining Dale Coyne Racing with Byrd Hollinger Belardi,” expressed Davison. “Dale’s team is special in many ways and I have fond memories driving the #18 and #19 cars at the 500 in the past. We endeavor to recreate our prior success together and can’t wait to get after it.”
With the addition of Davison, DCR will once again be running multiple entries at the Indianapolis 500 with Davison joining full season drivers Sebastien Bourdais (#18 Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan Racing) and rookie Santino Ferrucci (#19 Dale Coyne Racing).
“We’re very excited to have James (Davison) come back to the team for the Indianapolis 500,” said Team Owner Dale Coyne. “He stepped in last minute for us with hardly any practice as a substitute driver to Sebastien (Bourdais) a couple of years ago and did a great job under the circumstances and showed he has the speed to run with the best of them. We’re also happy to be partnering once again with the Byrd family who have a long history with the Indy 500, as well as Hollinger MotorSport, and we look forward to working with Brian Belardi and his team.”
Davison is not the only one making a return with the Dale Coyne team, Jonathan Byrd’s Racing last partnered up with the Plainfield, Illinois-based squad in 2016 as the primary sponsor on its #18 car and also ran an Indy-only entry for the late Bryan Clauson.
“It was only a matter of time before we formed a partnership with Dale Coyne Racing for the Indianapolis 500 this year,” shared David Byrd, one of the principals of Jonathan Byrd’s Racing. “We’re all connected in one way or another. Both the Byrd family and James have a history with Dale and his team and last year James, Brad (Hollinger) and I partnered with Belardi Auto Racing, so this year’s deal came together very naturally. Dale’s team has had strong runs at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway the last couple of years and we hope to continue that with them.”
Although they’ve made numerous appearances at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the Indy Lights Series’ Freedom 100, this will mark only the second time that Belardi Auto Racing fields a co-entry for the Indianapolis 500, with their first one coming last season, also with Davison, Jonathan Byrd’s Racing and Hollinger MotorSport.
“I’m very happy to have Belardi Auto Racing once again part of the Indianapolis 500,” said Team Owner Brian Belardi. “I’m especially excited to be partnering with Dale Coyne Racing, who not only have a lot of experience in IndyCar, but they’ve proven time and time again how competitive their cars are at the Speedway, and I believe that with the great group of partners we have and with James Davison behind the wheel we are setting ourselves up for a very successful month of May at Indianapolis.”
Practice for the 103rd running of the Indianapolis 500 kicks off on May 14, 2019 with the race going green on Sunday, May 26, 2019.