By Joey Barnes, Editor-in-Chief
INDIANAPOLIS – With his IndyCar future hanging in the balance, Gabby Chaves has silenced any doubters thus far during the Month of May.
The 22-year-old found himself out of a ride when his team, Bryan Herta Autosport, merged with Andretti Autosport and decided to plug in Alexander Rossi, last year’s lone American Formula 1 standout.
Available rides came and went for the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series Rookie of the Year, and as the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 drew closer options looked bleak for Chaves. But it was heading into the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis that a deal came together that put Chaves behind the wheel of Dale Coyne Racing’s No. 19 Boy Scouts Club of America Honda.
In what is currently known as a two-race deal with DCR, Chaves replaced the team’s regular driver Luca Filippi, who had only managed to score 45 points in the opening four races of the season.
Chaves finished 17th at Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s 2.439-mile road course. A solid result considering it was the first race back from what Chaves called “The longest off-season of my life.”
The real test is now.
The Indy 500, the site where many have soared to heights never before reached, and that is exactly what Chaves hopes to do.
Since the No. 19 Boy Scouts Club of America Honda has hit the track it has become increasingly fast.
Chaves jumped up to fifth on the third day of practice on Wednesday, with a speed nearing 227 mph. The Columbian-American bettered himself on Thursday, timing in at 227.961 mph while jumping to the top of the timesheets.
Even though it is only practice, Chaves is still enjoying the pace of his Dale Coyne Racing Honda.
“It’s only practice, but it feels pretty good,” Chaves said. “It’s my first time at the top of the charts here at IMS in the Verizon IndyCar Series. Just pleased with the work the team has been doing. Very pleased with the performance that Honda has been putting out, as well.
“Overall I think we’ve got a pretty strong package.”
Image: Chris Owens/INDYCAR