James Davison to substitute for Bourdais in Indy 500

Chris Owens/INDYCAR

By Aaron Bearden, Motorsports Editor

SPEEDWAY, Ind. – James Davison will return to the Verizon IndyCar Series paddock for the first time in two years to replace the injured Sebastien Bourdais in ‘The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.’

Dale Coyne Racing (DCR) announced Sunday that Davison, 30, will pilot the No. 18 Honda previously driven by Bourdais in the upcoming 101st Running of the Indianapolis 500. It will be the Australian’s first IndyCar start since the 99th Running in 2015, which also came with DCR.

Davison has made four career IndyCar starts, with a best finish of 15th (Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, 2013). The DCR shoe earned two Indy Lights victory in 2008 and ’09. He was last seen in the NASCAR XFINITY Series garage, where he finished 19th at Road America.

“My thoughts are with Sebastien and Claire Bourdais,” Davison said in a release. “This is never the circumstance that a driver wants to secure an opportunity to drive in the Indianapolis 500. With that said, I’m extremely excited and ready to take on this challenge. The prime goal will be to secure a strong result for the team, Sebastien and all our sponsors. I can’t wait to get started.”

Bourdais was slated to set the fastest time in Saturday’s first day of qualifications on the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway when the Frenchman was involved in a harrowing accident that left him with multiple fractures to his pelvis and a fractured right hip.

The St. Petersburg winner, 35, underwent successful surgery on his pelvis on Saturday night, but is expected to be out of the cockpit for an indefinite period of time while he recovers.

“It’s never easy when you have to replace an injured driver, but the important thing is that Sebastien is going to fully recover from his injuries and we’ll be waiting for him when he’s ready to come back,” DCR owner Dale Coyne said. “We’ve worked with James in the past and he’s done a good job for us, he’s familiar with the team and knows how we work so it was an easy decision when came the time to find someone to fill the 18 seat.”

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