Open-wheel veteran Alex Tagliani will substitute for the injured Dario Franchitti at next weekend’s IndyCar Series finale at the Auto Club Speedway, the Chip Ganassi Racing team has confirmed.
The Canadian has been on the racing sidelines since the mid-season when Barracuda Racing opted to alternate its #98 seat between Luca Filippi and JR Hildebrand over the course of the final rounds of the championship.
His call-up comes in the wake of a shocking last-lap accident for Franchitti in the second of last weekend’s two races during the Grand Prix of Houston. The Scot clipped the back of Takuma Sato’s car through the long Turn 4 right-hander and was launched into the catch fencing, fracturing his right ankle and two vertebrae.
Tagliani will pilot Dixon’s #10 Honda-powered entry around the Fontana super speedway, with the team hoping that he will serve to help teammate Scott Dixon in his quest for the 2013 Drivers’ Championship title.
“I’m thinking of Dario as everyone else is, and wishing him a quick recovery. This team has a championship on the line and I’m ready to step in a help them win it,” Tagliani is quoted as saying.
“As we look to the season finale we needed a driver with experience and the ability to step in and get the job done in the No. 10 car, and Alex was a logical choice for us,” team owner Chip Ganassi added.