Bruno Junqueira has been nominated as a last-minute injury replacement for Josef Newgarden at Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing for this weekend's IZOD IndyCar Series race in Baltimore. Junqueira was going to be in Baltimore anyway on American Le Mans Series duty with RSR Racing in the PC class, and this will give him double duty responsibilities.
Newgarden injured his left index finger in an accident in Sonoma with Sebastien Bourdais, whose car came across the road at the Esses and pushed Newgarden hard into the tire barriers. Newgarden was re-evaluated Monday and Tuesday had surgery to repair the finger, which was broken. He and team officials are focused on the IZOD IndyCar Series 2012 season finale at Auto Club Speedway on Sept. 15 for his return.
“I'm really disappointed to not be in the car this weekend but I know Bruno will do a great job for SFHR,” Newgarden said. “I'll be in Baltimore helping Bruno and the team in any way I can and focusing on healing for Fontana.”
Junqueira – who's only made one IndyCar start since the end of 2008 (2010 Indianapolis 500, and replaced after qualifying for the 2009 and 2011 editions) – will be back in an open-wheel car on a road or street course for the first time since 2008 at Detroit (he also ran the non-championship race at Surfers' Paradise after the season).
Coincidentally, Detroit was also the last time a driver raced in both the IndyCar and ALMS events on the same weekend, as Ryan Briscoe did so for Team Penske. Ryan Hunter-Reay participated in both at Long Beach 2010, but his ALMS car was withdrawn before the race.
“I am very happy to be back in IndyCar with SFHR for the Baltimore race weekend,” Junqueira said. “Sarah's team is very organized and has been fast all season. They have done a great job with Josef and I hope to give them a good race weekend in Baltimore while Josef is healing.”