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James Davison to drive third Dale Coyne entry in Indy 500

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Dale Coyne Racing will field a third entry in the 103rd running of the Indianapolis 500, it was announced on Friday. His entry will be in partnership with Jonathan Byrd Racing, Hollinger Motorsport and Belardi Auto Racing.

This will mark Davison’s fifth start in the Indy 500 with his best finish coming in 2014. He finished 16th after starting 28th competing for KV Racing.

He will join full-time drivers Sebastien Bourdais and rookie Santino Ferrucci for this year’s race.

“I’m enraptured to be rejoining Dale Coyne Racing with Byrd, Hollinger, Belardi,” said Davison in a release. “Dale’s team is special in many ways and I have fond memories driving the #18 and #19 cars at the 500 in the past. We endeavor to recreate our prior success together and can’t wait to get after it.”

Davison’s last start with Dale Coyne came in the 2017 Indy 500 as a replacement driver for Bourdais. He led two laps and was running fifth before getting caught up in a multi-car crash. He finished 20th, 17 laps short of the finish. Davison also sustained crash damage in the 2015 and 2018 races.

“We’re very excited to have James come back to the team for the Indianapolis 500,” said Team Owner Dale Coyne. “He stepped in last minute for us with hardly any practice as a substitute driver to Sebastien (Bourdais) a couple of years ago and did a great job under the circumstances and showed he has the speed to run with the best of them. We’re also happy to be partnering once again with the Byrd family who have a long history with the Indy 500, as well as Hollinger MotorSport, and we look forward to working with Brian Belardi and his team.”

INDYCAR: Patricio O’Ward turns heads in Carlin debut

Chris Jones / IndyCar
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While the top story coming out of Sunday’s IndyCar Classic at Circuit of the Americas is undoubtedly 18-year-old Colton Herta’s victory in only his third IndyCar start, another teenager made quite some noise during the first IndyCar race at the facility.

19-year-old Patricio O’Ward made an impressive start to his 2019 IndyCar campaign by starting and finishing in eighth position. It was the first of his 13 races this season for Carlin Racing.

“I think it was a pretty good race for us. We ended exactly where we started and didn’t go backwards, so I’d say that was a successful day” O’Ward said. “I know the No. 31 Carlin Chevrolet had a top-five finish in it today and even though we couldn’t make it happen, it’s nice to know that we have the pace and can be fighting up front with the veteran drivers.”

O’Ward, the 2018 Indy Lights champ, made his series debut for Harding Steinbrenner Racing at last year’s season finale at Sonoma Raceway, where he made it to the Firestone Fast Six in qualifying and finished ninth. O’Ward was scheduled to race for the team full-time in 2019, but left in early February to pursue other options due to a lack of sponsorship.

Pato found a new home with Carlin, and despite missing preseason testing, he proved to be competitive from the get go and pressured some of IndyCar’s more tenured drivers, including Graham Rahal.

In what was undoubtedly the most daring move of the race, O’Ward ended a great battle with Rahal by hitting a superb outside pass on Lap 15.

O’Ward may have likely earned a better result on Sunday, if he didn’t have to save fuel in order to make the finish.

But with only two IndyCar starts to his credit, he is already racing like a seasoned veteran. Sunday’s IndyCar Classic may be the first of many successful outings for him this year.

After the race, he tweeted to his team: “Well done gentlemen … This is only the beginning.”

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