2018 was shaping out to be a rough year for 25 year old Colombian Indycar driver Carlos Munoz. After a disappointing 2017 campaign, which saw him sacked for AJ Foyt Enterprises, Munoz was out of a full time drive.
Munoz may still not have a season long seat in the premiere North American open wheel series, but, come May, he will be running at the famous Brickyard, thanks to his former squad, Andretti Autosports.
Announced today, Munoz will partner with Andretti in a one-off to run the 102nd running of the Indianapolis 500 with the team. Munoz will be a part of a six car line up for Andretti which includes full time drivers Alexander Rossi, Marco Andretti, Ryan Hunter-Reay, and Zach Veach as well as fellow one-off 500 driver Stefan Wilson.
Munoz in his last 500 outing for Andretti in 2016. Photo Credit: Indystar
"They (Andretti) said 'we had a good team for you, good engineer, and good sponsors who will help a lot.' We started talking and I signed," Munoz told Racer magazine. The deal apparently first started to come about during Marco Andretti's wedding earlier this year.
"We're thrilled to have Carlos back in an Andretti car for the Indy 500," said team owner Michael Andretti. "he's finished runner-up twice and that has fueled his determination to get to victory lane. He has already built relationships with his teammates and many of those on our crew, so it should be a seamless process for our six cars when they head out for the first time together."
Munoz's talent at Indianapolis is hard to deny. His two second place finishes at IMS could have both easily been victories had it not been for bad luck on behalf of the young Colombian. He was in hot pursuit of Tony Kanaan in 2013 before Dario Franchitti's wreck in turn 1 brought out the caution, allowing the fan favorite Kanaan to win the race under yellow. Again, in 2016, he fell victim to another driver's storybook ending, chasing hot in the heels of Alexander Rossi as he crossed the line out of gas to take the most improbable of victories.
Munoz trails behind his Foyt teammate Conor Daly in practice for the 2017 Indianapolis 500. Photo Credit: Beyond the Flag.
Munoz has said in interviews that he hopes his 2018 run at Indianapolis will help other opportunities materialize, but for now Indianapolis is his only confirmed drive for 2018.