After sitting out the first quarter of the 2016 season, Gabby Chaves will finally join the Verizon IndyCar Series field at Indianapolis.
Chaves, who claimed Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors at the Indianapolis 500 and the season-long Sunoco Rookie of the Year award in 2015, will join Dale Coyne Racing as driver of the No. 19 Boy Scouts of America Honda at both the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis and 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil.
“We’re very excited to have Gabby join us for the next two races,” team owner Dale Coyne said. “We’ve been in communication for a long time and it’s all finally come together. (Gabby) showed a lot of maturity last season, he was quick, mistake-free and made great decisions behind the wheel that you don’t normally see coming from a rookie. We look forward to seeing what he can do in our No. 19 car.”
Chaves, a 22-year-old native of Colombia who grew up in South Florida, steps into the Coyne team that posted a best 2016 finish of 17th at Long Beach. And though he hasn’t raced since last August’s season finale, he does have experience at Indianapolis.
He finished 15th in his road course debut and 16th in his first Indianapolis 500 racing for Bryan Herta Autosport last May. The Mazda Road to Indy graduate also won the Freedom 100 as part of his Indy Lights championship-winning season in 2014.
“What can I say, I’m really excited,” Chaves said. “It’s been the longest off-season of my life. Throughout my whole career I’ve always been on the grid in the first race of the season and this has been the first time that I haven’t. I thought I had many deals in place before and for some reason or another it never came through. I’ve been speaking with Dale for years now and I’m excited to get something going with him and the team. I’m just really looking forward to it. With my time out of the car, I’ve really been able to value what it means to me to be in a race car. I can now get back on track and enjoy it even more.
“The Angie’s List Grand Prix was a really good race for me last year. I believe this is where I led my first race lap, I think it was only one lap, though, but it counts and we were the second- or third- fastest Honda in qualifying so I’m pretty comfortable around here and I think I can do the job.”
Chaves, along with the rest of the Verizon IndyCar Series field, will be on track starting at 11 am ET Thursday for the first practice session of the Angie’s List Grand Prix.
Live timing and scoring will be available at racecontrol.Indycar.com for all sessions with live streaming also available during practice and qualifying. The race will be telecast by ABC at 3:30 p.m. on May 14.