Servia joins Panther for Texas

Oriol Servia will return to the No. 4 National Guard Panther Racing car for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio this week.

Servia will make his third start of the season for Panther and his ninth at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course (six top-10 finishes). He last drove the Chevrolet-powered car at Iowa Speedway on June 25 (finished seventh). He'll participate in the Open Test on July 31.

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“Iowa was my last race, and while I love ovals I’m really looking forward to getting back on a road course," he said. "Mid-Ohio is a very technical track and a (road course) specialist track, but I feel like everybody in our paddock is becoming a specialist because there are so many strong guys out there. We have a test day before the race that will be a big help for us fine-tuning the car, and especially for me to knock off a little rust. I’m looking forward to being competitive this weekend and there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be.”

Servia's best finish at Mid-Ohio was fifth place in 2008 while driving for KV Racing Technology. He finished 10th in the No. 22 Panther DRR car last August.

“Oriol’s part of our family so it’s very seamless for the National Guard crew to get him back in the No. 4 car,” Panther owner John Barnes said.

Ryan Briscoe drove the car in the first race of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader but suffered a fractured wrist that continues to heal following surgery July 15. Firestone Indy Lights championship points leader Carlos Munoz drove in the second race.

“We didn’t want to rush Briscoe back from surgery and obviously Oriol is a great IndyCar driver and does a phenomenal job working with our crew," Barnes added. "The test day on Wednesday will be a big help and we’re looking forward to a great weekend with our friends from the Ohio National Guard."

Briscoe will join Leigh Diffey as a guest commentator on the NBC Sports Network broadcast of the 90-lap race Aug. 4 (3 p.m. ET).