Rocky Moran Jr. to replace Huertas in Coyne’s No. 18 for Long Beach

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LONG BEACH, Calif. – The Verizon IndyCar Series will have a new driver making his debut this weekend, as Rocky Moran Jr. has been nominated as a last-minute replacement for Carlos Huertas in the No. 18 Trench Shoring Dale Coyne Racing Honda, DCR team manager Darren Crouser has confirmed to MotorSportsTalk.

Moran Jr. last raced in the 2006 GRAND-AM race at Long Beach in a Daytona Prototype, and last raced an open-wheel car in the 2005 Formula Atlantic race in the same event. He also raced a handful of American Le Mans Series events with Jaguar in 2011.

He tested an IndyCar for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports at Homestead last fall.

Moran Jr. is in just for this race only for the moment. He was debriefing with team engineer Rob Ridgely this morning as he prepares for the race weekend.

“I can’t tell you how excited I am about finally being able to drive an Indy Car,” Moran said in a team release just out.  “Dale is a dream maker and I have always dreamed of this opportunity.  We just need to run a lot of miles, as I am aware of the hill I have to climb, but I love Long Beach and this truly is a dream come true for me.”