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McLaren management plans fluid, Kyle Busch is Indy 500 target

Arrow McLaren SP is expected to reveal its IndyCar management structure within the next seven days, and is also targeting Kyle Busch for a fourth AMSP-Chevrolet in the Indy 500.

Felix Rosenqvist, Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet

Photo by: Richard Dole / Motorsport Images

Former AMSP team president Taylor Kiel resigned this week and is expected to take up a similar role at Chip Ganassi Racing once his non-compete clause has expired. However, it’s understood that he will not be directly replaced within the team, which next year expands to three cars, as Alexander Rossi joins incumbents Pato O’Ward and Felix Rosenqvist.

Instead, Motorsport.com has learned that McLaren CEO Zak Brown is weighing up his options from various senior personnel within the organization and, as written here yesterday, has hired the former president of race operations and race director of IndyCar, Brian Barnhart.

Barnhart this season served as Rossi’s strategist at Andretti Autosport, and it’s understood that he will reprise his role with Rossi in 2023 but combined with a managerial duty within AMSP.

The rest of AMSP’s managers at this level will come from within. As revealed here yesterday, Billy Vincent, the team’s current competitions director as well as Rosenqvist’s strategy-caller, is part of that mix, while it’s understood that Gavin Ward (technical director who joined from Team Penske last off-season), long-time performance director Nick Snyder, and the multi-talented Max Neyron are also in line for altered job descriptions. Several if not all the aforementioned will be part of an AMSP delegation flying to McLaren Technology Center base in Woking, Surrey, UK next week.

While priority is being given to this re-formatted management structure and arranging three full-time crews for 2023, AMSP is known to be extremely interested in running NASCAR ace Kyle Busch in next year’s Indianapolis 500. The 37-year-old two-time Cup champion will depart Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota) for Richard Childress Racing (Chevrolet) in 2023, which means he will not need to overcome the manufacturer hurdle that his then-Chevy-backed brother Kurt Busch faced when racing an Andretti Autosport-Honda to sixth place in the 2014 Indy 500.

Busch who has amassed 224 wins in NASCAR – 60 Cup, 102 Xfinity, 62 Truck – was not permitted under his JGR contract to pursue an IndyCar ride, but Childress has put no such barriers in place.

Questioned about the matter on the day of his RCR announcement, Busch replied: “That's in the deal. I made sure it was in the deal. I can go run [Indy] if I want to run it. So, by all means, any IndyCar teams that are Chevrolet, call me up."

Asked if his wife Samantha was OK with such a plan, Busch responded, "She hasn't said no. The last person who said no was my former boss [Gibbs]."

As well as ensuring its own infrastructure is sufficient to take on a fourth strong entry for the 500, AMSP will likely also be expecting Busch and his backers to make the campaign financially viable, rather than depending on the team to piece together sponsorship for his car.

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