SPM names Wickens replacement for final two races

Carlos Munoz

Schmidt Peterson Motorsports has named Carlos Munoz as Robert Wickens’ replacement for the final two races of this year’s Verizon IndyCar Series.

Munoz will drive the #6 Honda entry this weekend at the Grand Prix of Portland and a fortnight later at Sonoma after Wickens’ horror crash at Pocono earlier this month.

The Colombian’s only prior start this year came in one of Andretti Autosport’s one-off Indianapolis 500 entries, when he finished seventh.

“Robert and his family have been in my prayers and I continue to pray for his recovery,” said Munoz.

“I’m very grateful that Schmidt Peterson Motorsports have entrusted me to compete in the Lucas Oil Honda for the last two races of the season.

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“I am looking forward to pushing hard for a great result for the team and for Robert.”

SPM fielded only James Hinchcliffe’s #5 car during the most recent race at Gateway Motorsports Park.

In its most recent update prior to race start on Saturday night (local time), it advised that Wickens was breathing unassisted for the first time and speaking with family.

The Canadian has so far undergone surgery twice, the first to insert rods into his spine and the second to address injuries to his right arm and “lower extremities”, but the status of his spinal cord injuries remains uncertain.

Munoz has one IndyCar race win to his name at Detroit in 2015, splitting runner-up finishes in the Indy 500 in his rookie season of 2013 and again in 2016.

The 26-year-old drove for AJ Foyt Racing last year but was dropped when the team signed veteran Tony Kanaan and rookie Matheus Leist.

In other Portland news, Gabby Chaves will remain in the Harding Racing car after Conor Daly drove its #88 Chevrolet for the three races prior to Gateway, while Santino Ferrucci will drive a third Dale Coyne Racing Honda for the final two races of the season after debuting at Detroit.

There will be an open test at Portland on Thursday (local time) before the event proper begins on Friday and culminates with a 105-lap race on Sunday.

Entry list: Race 16, Portland International Raceway

Num Driver Nat Engine Team
1 Josef Newgarden USA Chevrolet Team Penske
4 Matheus ‘Matt’ Leist (R) BRA Chevrolet AJ Foyt Racing
5 James Hinchcliffe CAN Honda Schmidt Peterson Motorsports
6 Carlos Munoz COL Honda Schmidt Peterson Motorsports
9 Scott Dixon NZL Honda Chip Ganassi Racing
10 Ed Jones GBR Honda Chip Ganassi Racing
12 Will Power AUS Chevrolet Team Penske
14 Tony Kanaan BRA Chevrolet AJ Foyt Racing
15 Graham Rahal USA Honda Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
18 Sebastien Bourdais FRA Honda Dale Coyne Racing w/ Vasser-Sullivan
19 Pietro Fittipaldi (R) BRA Honda Dale Coyne Racing
20 Jordan King (R) GBR Chevrolet Ed Carpenter Racing
21 Spencer Pigot USA Chevrolet Ed Carpenter Racing
22 Simon Pagenaud FRA Chevrolet Team Penske
23 Charlie Kimball USA Chevrolet Carlin
26 Zach Veach (R) USA Honda Andretti Autosport
27 Alexander Rossi USA Honda Andretti Autosport
28 Ryan Hunter-Reay USA Honda Andretti Autosport
30 Takuma Sato JPN Honda Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
32 Alfonso Celis Jnr (R) MEX Chevrolet Juncos Racing
39 Santino Ferrucci (R) USA Honda Dale Coyne Racing
59 Max Chilton GBR Chevrolet Carlin
60 Jack Harvey (R) GBR Honda Meyer Shank Racing w/ Schmidt Peterson
88 Gabby Chaves COL Chevrolet Harding Racing
98 Marco Andretti USA Honda Andretti Herta Autosport w/ Curb-Agajanian

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