SPM names Wickens replacement for final two races
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.
“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
|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|
|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|
|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|