Chaves to fill in for Aleshin at PIR and Sebring (Update)

UPDATE We now hear that Chaves will be in the car for this week's Sebring test as well as Aleshin continues to have Visa problems.

Visa issues for Mikhail Aleshin mean Gabby Chaves will drive the #7 Honda at PIR
Visa issues (or did his check not clear yet?) for Mikhail Aleshin mean Gabby Chaves will drive the #7 Honda at PIR

02/25/16

Phoenix, AZ – Schmidt Peterson Motorsports (SPM) announced today that Gabby Chaves will temporarily fill the seat of the No. 7 SMP Racing Honda entry during the Verizon IndyCar Series open test at Phoenix International Raceway.

Russian driver Mikhail Aleshin, SPM's contracted driver for the No. 7 car, is unable to attend the test due to last-minute work visa issues.

Twenty-two-year-old Chaves, who completed his rookie IndyCar season with Bryan Herta Autosport last year, finished 15th in the championship points standings. The Colombian-American driver had a season-best finish of 9th at the second Dual in Detroit race and lead 31 laps at the ABC Supply Co. 500 at Pocono Raceway.

"While we wish Mikhail was able to participate in this test with us, we're confident that he'll get up to speed quickly when he returns," said SPM General Manager Piers Phillips. "Gabby had a solid rookie season and we appreciate his willingness to step up quickly for this important test. We have high expectations for SPM's 2016 season and our goal is to use these test days at PIR to set us up for success."

The Verizon IndyCar Series will be on track Friday, February 26 and Saturday, February 27. Test times are 12-3pm and 5-8pm PST both days. The track is open to the public and more information is available at PhoenixRaceway.com.

Schmidt Peterson Motorsports

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