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JR Hildebrand gets all-clear to make IndyCar return at Phoenix

JR Hildebrand has been given the all-clear to return to IndyCar competition in this weekend's race at Phoenix following his hand fracture

The Ed Carpenter Racing driver picked up the injury in a final-lap collision with Mikhail Aleshin in Long Beach, and was sidelined for last weekend's race at Barber Motorsports Park.

Hildebrand set the unofficial fastest lap in February's test at Phoenix, and said he was "anxious" to get back in the car.

"I feel like I'm far enough along to be able to go for it this weekend in Phoenix," said Hildebrand.

"I know we've got a good programme; I want to be able to come through for the team at an event where we should be strong.

"The competition there is tough, I expect we will really have to be on our game over the course of the weekend.

"Everyone has been super helpful and I appreciate the hard work that everyone has put in to be able to get me back in."

Hildebrand, who was replaced at Barber by Zach Veach, will be joined at Phoenix by team owner Ed Carpenter, who steps into the cockpit for his first race of the season.

Spencer Pigot is driving Carpenter's car on road and street courses.

"I am super excited to get back to Phoenix and start my driving season," said Carpenter. "We have had several tests since my last race in Pocono, but it will be good to get back to a race weekend as a driver.

"We had a great open test at Phoenix in February and feel very confident heading into this weekend."

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