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Zach Veach to fill in for JR Hildebrand at Barber

BIRMINGHAM, AL - APRIL 07: Ryan Hunter-Reay, drives the #1 Andretti Autosport DHL Chevrolet ahead of the field on the first lap during the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park on April 7, 2013 in Birmingham, Alabama. (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Zach Veach will make his IndyCar debut at Barber Motorsports Park, Ed Carpenter Racing announced Tuesday.

The rookie will fill in driving the No. 21 car for ECR driver JR Hildebrand, who is resting a broken hand.

“First and foremost,” said Veach in a statement, “my thoughts are with JR and his recovery, that’s the most important part of this. My heart goes out to him as I suffered a broken hand a couple years ago and I wouldn’t wish that upon anyone. This isn’t how any driver wants to get his first race but with that said, I’m extremely thankful for the opportunity to sub for JR.”

“I’m disappointed for the team to be out this weekend,” added Hildebrand, “but am looking forward to doing everything I can at Barber to help continue the progress we’ve made so far this year. I am continuing to rehab with maximum focus to be back in the saddle for Phoenix.”

Veach won the 2015 Indy Lights Series and finished fourth last season, making a late charge by winning two of the last three races in the series.

“Ed (Carpenter) gave me my first chance to test an Indy car a few months ago,” continued Veach. “It’s going to be very special for me to be back in that same car representing Fuzzy’s Vodka at Barber. It’s going to be a lot to take in in a short amount of time, but I’m really excited to do the best I can for the team, as well as JR!”

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