Marcus Armstrong is running this season’s road and street courses for Chip Ganassi Racing, driving as the lone rookie in the team’s powerful four-driver lineup.

Despite not running the four ovals contested so far this year, he still leads IndyCar’s rookie points standings and is hopeful that he can stay there for the remainder of the season.

Armstrong is beginning to be asked more frequently what his plans are for next year, and if he will be running the full schedule.

The 23-year-old Kiwi is certainly warming up to the idea of racing ovals along with the road races, and feels that his current position at CGR is one of the best places he could be to try out the new venture.

“I haven’t exactly kept it a secret, but I’d love to stay here at Chip Ganassi Racing,” said Armstrong about his future plans.

“I think I’ve been reasonably vocal about trying ovals for the first time. It would be a dream come true to compete at the Indy 500.

“At the moment my focus is on just getting good results because my own results is going to help me in the long-term. Yeah, it’s not really in my hands on the contractual side, let’s say.

“All I can do is just compete at the maximum of my ability, try and stay present, which is fairly easy seeing as though it’s going well. The team, it’s a very enjoyable environment. I feel like it’s all training in the right direction. I just have to keep pumping out some good results.”

Just before it was announced that Takuma Sato would be driving the #11 entry for the remaining oval rounds of the season, Armstrong began to talk more openly about his desire to try his hand at oval racing.

It is a discipline that he has not yet had a chance to try out on account of his European racing background, but it is one that has garnered his interest this season.

His time spent on the CGR pit box this season has also made him realize there are a lot of skills that he does not yet have that are needed to be successful on the banking.

Sato was behind the wheel of the #11 for the oval races this season, including the Indy 500. Photo: Kevin Dejewski

“What I find intriguing is just how one guy can get momentum at one part of a race and just create such a pace deficit compared to everyone else,” continued Armstrong. “I’m still trying to figure out how we can manage that.

“Also, watching the way that Scott [Dixon] drives compared to everyone really in the team, there’s so many different ways to achieve the same lap time. There’s just so many styles. I feel like that’s intriguing.

“And, yeah, I think the way that everyone achieves the same lap time in totally different ways, that’s quite interesting to me. I just sort of want to experience it and understand what I feel it needs and what I feel I need to do to get the best lap time.”

There is one final oval race of the 2023 IndyCar season yet to come, and Sato will be driving the #11 Honda for that round at World Wide Technology Raceway as well.

The other four remaining races are on road and street courses, giving Armstrong plenty of opportunity to improve on his season best finish of sixth that he earned in Toronto.

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