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Thursday, March 4, 2010

Two Coyne Cars For 2010; Duno Snags One

Dale Coyne Racing will field two cars full-time in the IZOD IndyCar Series this season, for the second time in three years since joining the series in 2008.

Coyne mentioned this much in a teleconference with Bob Jenkins back in January, but could not provide driver names or sponsors. Today, Coyne is a quantum leap closer to being ready for the season opener in Brazil on March 14.

Milka Duno will run her first full-time schedule in IndyCar this season, taking over the No. 18 car from the departed Justin Wilson. The popular, albeit slow, Venezuelan driver will bring with her sponsorship from CITGO, the Venezuelan-owned oil company that has supported her since the mid-2000s. A photo posted at Pressdog.com shows Duno in an all-new, black firesuit, perhaps hinting at yet another new CITGO paint scheme. The photo is current, as last year's was a red firesuit, and this one carries the IZOD IndyCar and DCR logos.

Duno finished 24th in points last season while running a limited schedule, with a best finish of 16th. Her best career finish was an 11th place in early 2007. She does, however, have three race wins in the Rolex Sports Car Series, all in the Daytona Prototype class, from a career in that series that spanned from 2004 to 2006.

The No. 19 DCR car announced sponsorship from the Boy Scouts of America months ago, but still does not have a driver lined up. Alex Lloyd is currently the front-runner for the seat, having Twittered a seat fitting three hours away from his Indianapolis home not too long ago; Coyne's Illinois base is about three hours away from Indianapolis. Coyne offered a lucrative two-year deal to Graham Rahal, but he turned down the ride, feeling it was too restrictive. J.R. Hildebrand, another American driver and winner of last year's Firestone Indy Lights championship, recently tested for the team and was noted by Coyne as one of his targets, but may not end up in the seat as other Indy Lights graduates secure rides.

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