Huertas excited about “different challenge” with Panther test (VIDEO)

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Some IndyCar observers likely cocked an eyebrow when Panther Racing revealed that Formula Renault 3.5 (World Series by Renault) driver Carlos Huertas was going to test for them in today’s Chevrolet IndyCar manufacturer test at Sebring International Raceway.

Let’s face it – the announcement seemed a bit out of left field. But, likely recognizing the fact that not many IndyCar diehards would know about him, the team has put out a brief video with Huertas talking about his chance to take the reins of the No. 4 Chevy (pictured) in the test.

“I’m excited, because it’s a different challenge,” the 22-year-old Colombian says in the clip. “Obviously, it’s a different series, very different from what I’m used to. The car should be very similar in some respects to what I’m used to, and I’m just excited working with another team, another series, being in another country…It’s a new challenge.”

Huertas also touched on other topics, including who he considers as his driving hero and his thoughts on potentially racing against one of his country’s most famous drivers, Juan Pablo Montoya, now back in IndyCar with Team Penske.

Supercross: Talon Hawkins to debut in Houston in relief of Jalek Swoll

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Talon Hawkins, 19, will make his Monster Energy Supercross debut on a 250 this week in Houston, Texas as a fill-in rider for Jalek Swoll.

During the Anaheim 2 weekend, the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna team announced Swoll underwent successful surgery to repair a broken arm suffered in a practice crash.

That same weekend, Hawkins made some noise. He took the lead from teammate Casey Cohran on Lap 2 of the 250 SX Futures Main and led for three laps before he was overtaken by eventual winner Daxton Bennick. Cochran also got around him to push Hawkins to third.

This will not be Hawkins SuperMotocross professional debut, however; he made three Lucas Oil Pro Motocross starts last year with results of 19th at Spring Creek in Millville, Minnesota, 27th at Ironman in Crawfordsville, Indiana and a best finish of 17th in the season finale at Fox Raceway in Pala, California.

Hawkins also has a top-10 finish in the 125 All-Star division at Pala in 2019 riding a Husqvarna.

Speaking with RacerXOnline.com before the Loretta Lynn Amateur Nationals, Hawkins predicted his future with Husqvarna would come down to how he performed in that race.

“It all just comes down to how I perform at Loretta’s,” Hawkins said. “Say I do really well, I get a top three in both classes and do a pretty solid job, I would like to go pro and just kind of finish out the rest of the series. But there’s also the option of waiting a little bit longer, going back out to [Aldon] Baker’s [Factory] or going anywhere and training, and just being prepared. I’m also open to that too. Honestly, it’s whatever the team wants. Whatever we think is the best option is what we’re going to go with. So, I don’t really have a plan right now, just looking into the future.”

Hawkins finished third overall in the 125 B/C and Schoolboy divisions at the Loretta Lynn Amateur Nationals.