Andretti Autosport has announced today that Carlos Muñoz will complete their six-car line-up for the 2018 Indianapolis 500 next May. Muñoz, who made both his series debut for the team back in 2013 before competing full-time with them the following year, will make his return for the 102nd running of the Indianapolis 500. He will join Andretti’s four full-time drivers as well as fellow part-timer Stefan Wilson.
Muñoz was left out in the cold for a full-time race seat when former team A.J. Foyt Enterprises elected to place Tony Kanaan and Matheus Leist in their cars for the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series. He will now rejoin Andretti Autosport, who he last raced for in 2016; the fourth and final year of his full-time stint with the squad. To date, Muñoz has taken part in seventy races in the Verizon IndyCar Series and has one win, one pole position and seven podiums to his name.
“I am very excited to be a part of Andretti Autosport again,” said Muñoz. “The team has been like family to me since day one when I joined them five years ago to race Indy Lights. We have been so close to winning the Indy 500 – twice with the team – so I am especially excited to be back for that race and hopefully we will have a good result this year. I need to thank Michael [Andretti] and J-F [Thormann] for believing in me and wanting me to back in their car for the Indy 500. I am also excited to be back with my teammates, and I think we will continue to work really well together. We have six cars, so hopefully we will have a strong team working with the new [areo kit]. I am really looking forward to it – hopefully we can finally get that win we’ve been so close to.”
Muñoz has competed in the last five Indianapolis 500’s. He made his debut back in 2013, which was also his first race in IndyCar, and amazingly took second place in the race that ended under caution. He backed that up with another second place finish in 2016 after having looked on course to take a memorable win until Alexander Rossi managed to coast across the line with no fuel to usurp him at the last gasp. This led to emotional scenes on pit-road as a distraught Muñoz lamented his loss. This time, he’s hoping to finally go one better and take his much sought-after victory at the Brickyard.
“We’re thrilled to have Carlos back in an Andretti car for the Indy 500,” said Andretti Autosport boss Michael Andretti. “There is no denying that Carlos has talent at [Indianapolis Motor Speedway], he’s finished runner-up twice and that has fueled his determination to get to victory lane. He has already built relationships with his teammates and many of those on our crew, so it should be a seamless process for our six cars when they head out for the first time together.”
Andretti’s other five cars will comprise of their four full-time drivers – Ryan Hunter-Reay, Alexander Rossi, Marco Andretti and rookie Zach Veach, with Stefan Wilson returning for a second Indy 500 appearance having made his debut with KVSH Racing back in 2016.
The 102nd running of the Indianapolis 500 will take place on May 27, 2018. It will be the sixth round of the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series that kicks off with the Grand Prix of St Petersburg on March 11.