Munoz to take over IndyCar ride while Wickens recovers

Carlos Munoz, of Colombia, walks from the pits during a break in IndyCar auto race track testing at Texas Motor Speedway. (LM Otero/AP)

PORTLAND, Ore. — Schmidt Peterson Motorsports will run two cars in the final two races of the 2018 IndyCar season while Canadian driver Robert Wickens recovers from injuries suffered in a crash two weeks ago.

The team only fielded James Hinchcliffe’s car in Saturday’s race at Madison, Ill., but said Wednesday that Carlos Munoz will drive the No. 6 car usually piloted by Wickens at Portland International Raceway and Sonoma Raceway for SPM.

"Robert and his family have been in my prayers and I continue to pray for his recovery," Munoz said in a statement. "I’m very grateful that Schmidt Peterson Motorsports have entrusted me to compete in the Lucas Oil Honda for the last two races of the season. I am looking forward to pushing hard for a great result for the team and for Robert."

Wickens, from Guelph, Ont., crashed early in an Aug. 19 race at Pocono Raceway, touching Ryan Hunter-Reay and hurtling into the catch fence. Wickens’ car was shredded and debris scattered across the track in a wreck that involved five cars but only left the driver with serious injuries.

He was airlifted to a hospital and has undergone a series of surgeries, including a procedure to insert titanium rods and screws to stabilize his fractured spine.

Schmidt Peterson said Wickens spoke with his family for the first time since the crash last weekend and is now breathing without medical assistance.

Hinchcliffe, from Oakville, Ont., suffered minor injuries in the crash but was able to race last week at Gateway Motorsports Park.

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