Chaves settling into Coyne, appreciating multi-car atmosphere

Photo: IndyCar
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INDIANAPOLIS – It’s not that Gabby Chaves wasn’t appreciative of his situation with Bryan Herta Autosport last year – far from it.

The talented 22-year-old Colombian American was just a rookie on a single-car team and so that presents its own set of challenges.

But Chaves rose to them pretty much all year, scoring both the Indianapolis 500 and Verizon IndyCar Series full-season rookie-of-the-year honors.

Now back in the series after missing the first four races, he’s in the No. 19 Boy Scouts of America Honda for Dale Coyne Racing and in a completely different environment – part of a four-car team for the Indianapolis 500. His teammates are Conor Daly, Pippa Mann and Bryan Clauson.

“It’s the first time that I’ve worked with a multiple-car team during like an official event,” Chaves said Wednesday after ending fifth on the overall speed charts with a best speed of 226.889 mph.

“Definitely something that I’m learning about and that definitely you benefit from when you’ve got a lot of data to share, a lot of ideas and heads working to make you go faster.”

Chaves also admitted the learning process at Indy continues with every run. He’s a past track winner having captured the 2014 Freedom 100 in the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires for Belardi Auto Racing, having just come up short a year earlier in the dramatic four-wide finish where Belardi’s then-driver Peter Dempsey edged him at the line.

“I think every time you come to this place, it never gets easier, you’re just a little more used to it,” he said.

Chaves was unlucky to finish 17th in the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis, his first start with Coyne, because he could have been similar or better than teammate Daly was on a strategy play.

He missed staying on the lead lap by roughly four seconds before a full-course caution came out. Had he stayed on the lead lap, he’d have likely emerged behind Daly and then-leader Helio Castroneves once the pit stop sequence cycled through, and positioned himself for a potential podium, top-five or top-10 finish. Castroneves ultimately ended second, Daly a season-best sixth.

“It was the first race back for me,” Chaves said. “We had the potential just like our teammate did. We were on the same strategy as Conor (Daly), we just got caught by a safety car at the wrong time. A few seconds difference and we would have been right there as well. We could’ve had a double team run for the top six. We just got unlucky with the safety car.

“I think I took a step forward as well, with this being my first race back and figuring everything out. It felt good in the car. We just have to keep working.”

While Chaves is only formally confirmed for the month of May, don’t be surprised to see him continue for further races in the No. 19 Honda as the season progresses.

Jeremy Martin suffered broken wrist in Hangtown crash

Martin broken wrist Hangtown
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Jeremy Martin suffered a dislocated and broken wrist in his crash during the second moto of Pro Motocross Round 2 at Hangtown in Rancho Cordova, California. A timeline for his return has not been announced.

Older brother Alex Martin took to Instagram to announce the update on Jeremy: “Update on the little man: He dislocated and broke his right wrist in the 2nd moto crash at Hangtown. He had surgery this morning to set and fix several things. He’s hurting pretty bad from this one. Hang in there Jerma!”

After finishing 13th in Moto 1, Martin was involved in a violent crash at the beginning of the second race. Martin crashed on the inside of Turn 1 with much of the field behind him, With nowhere to go, Talon Hawkins rode over his wrist as several other riders piled into the incident. Martin was carted off the course by the Alpinestars Medical team as he held his right arm away from his body.

Martin finished 17th overall in the season opener at Fox Raceway in Pala, California with results of 16th and 19th in the two motos. Even with his failure to finish in Moto 2, Martin was ranked 16th overall. He started the day with the fifth-best qualification time.

Martin finished sixth in the Monster Energy Supercross 250 East division on the strength of five top-fives and two other top-10s in nine rounds. He is currently ranked 11th in combined SuperMotocross points, 58 above the cutline to make the top 20 and get an automatic invitation to the three-race playoff in September.

Other 2023 Injury News

450 riders
Chase Sexton, concussion
Eli Tomac, Achilles tendon | It was just a freak deal
Justin Barcia,
collarbone and shoulder
Jason Anderson, vertebrae
Christian Craig, elbow
Marvin Musquin, wrist
Malcolm Stewart, knee | Signs two-year extension
Aaron Plessinger, hip | returned at Salt Lake City
Dylan Ferrandis, concussion | Will not return until Motocross
Cooper Webb,
concussion | returned at Pala

250 riders
Nate Thrasher, hip
Stilez Robertson, leg
Cameron McAdoo, shoulder
Seth Hammaker, arm and wrist
Austin Forkner, knee | Injury isn’t the hardest part
Jo Shimoda, collarbone | returned at Atlanta
Jalek Swoll, arm | returned at Pala