Scheckter fills in for Conway

Updated: June 3, 2010, 7:34 PM ET
Associated Press

FORT WORTH, Texas -- Tomas Scheckter will race again for Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, this time filling in for injured driver Mike Conway in the team's No. 24 car at Texas on Saturday night.

Conway is expected to miss at least three months with back and leg injuries after a spectacular last-lap crash at Indianapolis on Sunday. Because of a compression fracture in one of his vertebrae, Conway is being fitted for a back brace that he will have to wear for three months.

Scheckter led five laps and finished 15th at Indy in one of Dreyer & Reinbold's other three entries. The South African driver had three top-10 finishes in 10 races for the team last year.

The team said in its release Thursday that Conway was in excellent spirits at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis.

"I'm feeling fine at the moment, all things considered. I'm just thankful that I came out of it alive," Conway said. "I'm hoping for a speedy recovery and I'm already looking forward to being back behind the wheel of a race car."

In his statement, Conway also thanked the medical staff at Methodist Hospital, as well as the IndyCar Series safety team and workers at Indianapolis Motor Speedway who pulled him out of the car.

Conway was injured on lap 199 Sunday when he was going about 220 mph and couldn't avoid running into the back of Ryan Hunter-Reay, whose car was already low on fuel and started sputtering. The contact sent Conway airborne and into the catch fence.

"Firstly, I'm upset about seeing my friend and roommate for most of last year get in such a terrible accident and my thoughts are with him," Scheckter said. "I am happy that the team has chosen me to step in for him this weekend while he recovers. I have won at Texas, earned two pole positions and led over 200 laps at the track. I always love going there."

Scheckter won from the pole at Texas in 2005 when he led 119 laps. He started from the pole two other times at the 1-mile, high-banked track, leading 107 laps in 2002 and 145 more in 2003.

Dreyer & Reinbold Racing said a decision has not be made on the driver for the No. 24 for the remainder of the season.


Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press