Dale Coyne Racing confirmed Thursday that it had signed Milka Duno to drive its No. 18 car for the full 2010 IZOD IndyCar Series schedule. While this will be Duno's fourth season in IndyCar, it will be the first time the Venezuelan has run the full schedule. She replaces Justin Wilson, who has moved to Dreyer & Reinbold Racing for 2010.
“I look forward to competing with Dale Coyne Racing. I've had the chance to speak with Dale and the team to discuss goals for the season and we are in harmony in all areas," said Duno. “For the past three seasons I've only run partial schedules and I'm anxious to be competing in all the races this year. Doing so builds momentum and maintains consistency that I feel is a key factor to good results. The full schedule includes seven races at tracks that I have yet to compete on, so I will be doing my absolute best to learn these new tracks as quickly as possible. This full season will be challenging – but I'm very thankful for the opportunity!”
The team will field a two-car entry at the first race of the season in Sao Paulo, Brazil on March 14, with the announcement of who will be driving its No. 19 car scheduled to be made next week. Indy Lights champion J.R. Hildebrand is believed to be in contention for the drive after testing for Coyne at Sebring last month, but Alex Lloyd has also been linked with the team.
Duno's Coyne deal means that at least five female drivers will race in IndyCar this year. Danica Patrick and Atlantic graduate Simona de Silvestro have full-time seats at Andretti Autosport and HVM Racing respectively, Sarah Fisher is contested a part-season with her own team, and Ana Beatriz will drive a third Dreyer & Reinbold car in Sao Paulo and hopes to stay on for additional races.