INDIANAPOLIS – For 19 of the Verizon IndyCar Series drivers that will take the green flag at the Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday night, they would have been in their race car in the last month. For the 20th?
Gabby Chaves hasn’t been in the race car since he exited it following a 17th place finish at the Iowa Speedway on July 10. Now, we’re heading into the resumption of the Firestone 600k on Aug. 27 and Chaves had to watch three different drivers race in that same car in as many races.
Luca Filippi drove the No. 19 Honda to a 14th place finish at Toronto while R.C. Enerson finished 19th at Mid-Ohio. Pippa Mann had her turn in the Dale Coyne Racing entry at Pocono on Monday as she finished three laps down in 17th.
Now, Chaves gets the seat back and only has 10-minutes of practice on Saturday afternoon to get acclimated before resuming the race at 9:15 pm ET. 10 full minutes is all he gets.
“It’s always tricky to get back in the car, especially that we will only have 10 minutes to get sorted and get running before going straight into the race,” Chaves said ahead of this weekend’s return to Texas. “You have to be committed and trust in the abilities that you have and trust in what the team gives you and that’s what I’ll be doing.”
Chaves did find some humor in it though, saying hopefully by being a year older since the race in June would bring him some good luck.
“I went into the race at 22 years old and I’ll finish it at 23, so hopefully that will be some good luck. We’re definitely in a position where we can actually go for the win, so I’m very excited and very much looking to finishing out the oval calendar on a very high note for the team and myself.”
Chaves, crashed the car in practice on Friday morning but rebounded nicely as he currently sits sixth when we restart under the lights on Saturday. How quickly he can readapt is going to be the biggest key to his success this weekend.
Also, he doesn’t have a teammate to lean on either as Conor Daly was involved in that crash with Josef Newgarden and is officially listed as out.