Helio Castroneves of Team Penske and Danica Patrick of Andretti-Green are fourth and fifth in the Indy Racing League points standings and it looks like both drivers will be employed elsewhere in 2010.
First, Castroneves has not had a good year (other than his win in the Indianapolis 500) and Will Power is chomping on the bit to take his place on the Captain's team.
Second, it’s possible – possible – that while the employer stood solidly behind Helio during his trial for income-tax evasion, in which he was acquitted of all charges, those difficulties still shone what some might argue was a negative light on his employer by association and said employer might just as soon not have him around anymore, particularly when a driver of the calibre of Power is available.
Team Penske has almost always been a two-car team and 2010 won’t be any different - Power and Ryan Briscoe. Yes, Castroneves is under contract but Penske has been known to "farm out" drivers before. He tried it with Paul Tracy and he did it with Emerson Fittipaldi.
And where would Helio land? Fellow Brazilian Gil de Ferran is starting an Indy car team and is looking for drivers, so . . .
Meantime, Danica’s contract with Andretti-Green Racing is up at the end of 2009 and speculation on where she will land for 2010 has been rampant all year.
Yesterday's announcement that the three partners - Michael Andretti, Kim Green and Kevin Savoree - are terminating their arrangement means she's probably going to move on for sure.
But more likely Chip Ganassi.