Carlos Munoz to drive for Panther

TORONTO -- Carlos Munoz, who started and finished second in his first IZOD IndyCar Series race, will drive the No. 4 National Guard Panther Racing car in Race 2 of the Honda Indy Toronto in place of the injured Ryan Briscoe.

Briscoe suffered a fracture to the distal radius bone in his right wrist in an incident during Race 1 and is not cleared by INDYCAR to drive in the 85-lap race on the 1.7-mile, 11-turn street circuit. He'll have surgery July 15, but he is expected to have a quick recovery.

Briscoe's No. 4 National Guard Panther Racing car was collected in a Lap 65 incident in Turn 5 when the Nos. 19 and 83 cars of Justin Wilson and Charlie Kimball made contact. Briscoe, whose wife, Nicole, is expecting the couple's first child, was competing in his fifth race for Panther Racing.

"It's a shame; we were having a decent race," Briscoe said. "We knew some of the changes we had to make for a better race today. (Munoz) raced here in the Indy Lights car and did a good job."

Click it: Race 2 starting lineup || Honda Indy Toronto Race 2 qualifying results

Briscoe qualified eighth for Race 2, but because of the driver change the No. 4 car will start from the rear of the grid.

“Carlos is a tremendous young driver with a great deal of talent,” Panther Racing managing partner John Barnes said. “We’re excited that he was available to drive the National Guard Chevrolet on such short notice, and I’m sure this will be a great learning experience for him. We’re obviously wishing Ryan a speedy recovery, but also very happy to make the most of this opportunity with Carlos today.”

Click it: Listen to Munoz news conference

Munoz did double duty in May at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, competing in the Firestone Freedom 100 and in the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race for Andretti Autosport. He was runner-up to Tony Kanaan in the "500."

Munoz, driver of the No. 26 Dialy-Ser car, is the Firestone Indy Lights championship points leader through eight of 12 events. Munoz, who has three victories and six top-five finishes, placed fourth in the Toronto 100 on July 13.

"I talked to Michael (Andretti), I talked to my engineers, I talked to some other guys, and they said you have to take this chance. This is an opportunity to get more experience, more laps,”  Munoz said.  “It’s unfortunate that it comes as a result of Ryan being injured, but I’m excited about making the most of this opportunity. Toronto is a challenging circuit, but just watching practice and qualifications the last few days it’s obvious that the National Guard Chevy is fast."