The seat became available after SPM's contracted driver, James Hinchcliffe, was injured in a crash on Monday afternoon during practice at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. When doctor's determined that the 28-year-old Canadian driver would not be cleared to drive for the foreseeable future, the team began exploring replacement options.
Briscoe, a native of Australia, boasts an impressive track record at the Indy 500, including a pole position and two top-five finishes. As SPM owners Sam Schmidt and Ric Peterson went through the list of options, Briscoe's results put him at the top of the list of contenders.
"We explored quite a few options and felt confident in Briscoe," said Schmidt. "We were glad he was available and willing to drive for us with such short notice. Obviously this was not a situation we were expecting to be in for the biggest race of the year but we're making the best of it. Our thoughts and prayers are with James [Hinchcliffe] and his family right now while we work through the details of finding his replacement. We're excited to have an accomplished veteran in the seat of the No. 5 Arrow Electronics car."
Briscoe commented, "First and foremost, I feel absolutely terrible for Hinch. I wish him the best and a speedy recovery. Under the circumstances, I'm thrilled to have been given the opportunity to be here and fill in for him. I really hope to do a great job for Arrow Electronics, Lucas Oil and the SPM team, and I'm looking forward to being back here in the Indy 500 again."
Because of the switch, the No. 5 car will be 33rd on the starting grid.
The team reported that details will be announced soon about Hinchcliffe's replacement until he is cleared to return to the seat.