IndyCar: Arrow McLaren replacement confirmed for Barber race

After his impressive debut on the streets of Long Beach, Theo Pourchaire is set to return to Arrow McLaren for his second IndyCar start this weekend at Barber Motorsports Park.
Theo Pourchaire, Arrow McLaren, IndyCar
Theo Pourchaire, Arrow McLaren, IndyCar / Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

David Malukas, whom Arrow McLaren hired to replace the Meyer Shank Racing-bound Felix Rosenqvist behind the wheel of the No. 6 Chevrolet for the 2024 IndyCar season, continues to recover from the surgery he underwent on his wrist after an offseason mountain biking accident.

The 22-year-old Chicago, Illinois native missed the season opener on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida and the exhibition race at Thermal Club, and Callum Ilott was called upon to fill in at both events.

With Malukas still not cleared and Ilott unavailable for this past weekend's race on the streets of Long Beach, California, 2023 Formula 2 champion Theo Pourchaire got the nod.

The 20-year-old Frenchman ended up being the biggest mover of the 85-lap race around the 11-turn, 1.968-mile (3.167-kilometer) temporary street circuit, qualifying in 22nd and finishing in 11th place in his series debut. He finished one spot behind teammate Alexander Rossi and five spots ahead of teammate Pato O'Ward.

Theo Pourchaire set to return at Barber

With a quick turnaround between races (compared to the recent four-week break, specifically) and Barber Motorsports Park set to host the Children's of Alabama Indy Grand Prix this Sunday afternoon, Malukas is still sidelined, and Arrow McLaren have confirmed that Pourchaire is set to return after his impressive showing in Long Beach.

The next race after this weekend is not scheduled to take place until Saturday, May 11 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but whether or not that will be enough time for Malukas to complete his already longer-than-expected recovery remains to be seen.

The initial estimate had him being cleared to return to action several weeks ago, at some point during the four weeks between races at Thermal Club and Long Beach, so there is not really any sort of an official timetable at this time.

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The 90-lap race around the 17-turn, 2.38-mile (3.83-kilometer) natural terrain road course in Birmingham, Alabama is set to be broadcast live on NBC beginning at 1:00 p.m. ET this Sunday, April 28. Team Penske's Scott McLaughlin is the reigning race winner. If you have yet to begin a free trial of FuboTV, do so now and don't miss it!