Andretti Autosport confirmed Monday that Firestone Indy Lights race winner Carlos Munoz will return to its team to drive the No. 26 Dialy-Ser Firestone Indy Lights entry for the 2013 season, along with a significant upgrade: The 20-year old from Bogota, Colombia, will drive an Andretti Autosport IZOD IndyCar Series entry at next year's Indianapolis 500.
Munoz completed his first Firestone Indy Lights season with Andretti Autosport in 2012, where he finished fifth in the championship point standings and accumulated a total of five podiums and nine top-10 finishes. Munoz recorded his first win on the streets of Edmonton and followed up with a second career win at the season finale in Fontana, Claif.
Munoz follows last year's teammate, Sebastian Saavedra, in that he will run both the Indy 500 as well as the Firestone Freedom 100 throughout Memorial Day weekend.
“I am just so happy that Andretti Autosport has given me the opportunity to drive (in the Indy 500) for them,” said Munoz. “Especially after they just won the championship with Ryan (Hunter-Reay). It means a lot that they trust in my capabilities with it being my first IndyCar race.
“It's a great honor and I know that there will be some pressure there to do a good job. My first priority is to start the (Firestone) Indy Lights season on a positive note and work each weekend at winning the championship. Once that happens, I think we will be very successful for the Indy 500.”
Munoz is confident he can build on the progress he made this year in IndyCar's feeder series.
“I am really happy to stay another year with Andretti Autosport [in Lights],” he added. “I think last year as rookie, we all did a good job earning two victories and were able to run up front a lot. It was definitely one of my best racing years with the best team. I'm looking forward to my second year in Indy Lights. My main goal is to fight for championship. I think we will have a good chance at doing so because I am looking forward to working with the same crew and engineer. I am looking forward to the pre-season test, in order to gain some more valuable time in the car.”