Munoz confirmed at Andretti for 2016

AP
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Carlos Munoz will return to Andretti Autosport for the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series season, his third full-time with the team and fourth overall.

He continues alongside Ryan Hunter-Reay and Marco Andretti, the latter of whom has not been formally confirmed but is expected to be so very soon.

Full release is below:

Four-time IndyCar Series champions Andretti Autosport confirmed today that Carlos Muñoz will return to the team’s roster for 2016 Verizon IndyCar season. Muñoz, who will pilot the No. 26 Honda, returns alongside teammates drivers Ryan Hunter-Reay and Marco Andretti.

“Really happy to join the team again for 2016 – it will be my fifth year with Andretti,” said Muñoz. “I’m really thankful to Michael (Andretti), JF (Thormann, COO) and the whole team. I’m really happy to be able to return for another year. The 2016 schedule looks really nice and we hope to fight for an Indy 500 win and a championship.”

Muñoz made his Verizon IndyCar Series debut at the 2013 Indianapolis 500 where he earned Rookie of the Year honors for starting on the front row and, after leading the historic race for 12 laps, finishing in the second position. The 23-year-old continued with Andretti to complete two full seasons (2014, 2015), taking him to his first career win on the streets of Detroit (2015) along with seven top-10 finishes during the 2015 season.

“Carlos has been part of the Andretti family of drivers for several years now,” said team owner Michael Andretti. “We’re really pleased with his growth as a driver and look forward to a competitive 2016.”

Prior to joining the IndyCar ranks, the Colombian recorded five Indy Lights pole positions and four wins (Barber, Long Beach, Pocono and Fontana) in 2013, marking his career-best year in two seasons of Indy Lights competition. Throughout his time spent at the final step of the Mazda Road to Indy ladder, Muñoz has accrued six wins, six pole positions, 10 podiums and 20 top-10 finishes. The Indy Lights veteran came away with a fifth-place finish in the 2012 championship point’s standings and third for 2013.

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.