Slipstream Network

TBD Returns to Dale Coyne Racing

Esteban Gutierrez, who made his Verizon IndyCar Series debut in last weekend’s Duel in Detroit doubleheader with Dale Coyne Racing, looks to sit out this weekend’s race at Texas Motor Speedway.

The former Haas F1 driver joined the team in Detroit filling in for the injured Sebastien Bourdais. Gutierrez had been thought to fill in for the remainder of the season for the Plainfield, Illinois-based team. But according to posts on social media, Coyne proved unable to secure a test date or location for the Mexican driver to sample the Dallara on ovals prior to this weekend’s race.

An article on motorsport.com also suggested Gutierrez heeded advice offered by his manager and former IndyCar driver, Adrian Fernandez. Fernandez cautioned Gutierrez on stepping into the challenge invoked by piloting an IndyCar on a super speedway. Despite Fernando Alonso’s highly publicized entrance into the Indy 500, Fernandez thought it best to wait. After all, Fernandez noted, Alonso received weeks of testing prior to race day.

Gutierrez’s temporary departure from the No. 18 Dale Coyne Racing entry allows for the reemergence of the all too familiar “TBD” alongside the team’s entry list slot. While many qualified talents like Sage Karam, Zach Veach,  and Spencer Pigot (on ovals) seek a seat in the Verizon IndyCar Series, most believe driving duties will likely fall on Oriol Servia. James Davison, however, subbed for Bourdais at the Indianapolis 500 and previously held a relationship with the team.

IndyCar fans will find out who is set to occupy the cockpit of the No. 18 for this weekend’s Rainguard 600 at Texas Motor Speedway by Friday at 10am CDT as the Verizon IndyCar Series hits the 1.5-mile oval for the first time. The race itself gets underway under the lights at 7:30pm CDT Saturday evening.

Zach Wenzel