Zachary Claman De Melo gets Indy 500 ride on opening day

Will Power, left, of Australia, leads the field into tune one at the start of the IndyCar Grand Prix auto race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, in Indianapolis Saturday, May 12, 2018. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

INDIANAPOLIS — Dale Coyne Racing will give Zachary Claman De Melo a shot at running his first Indianapolis 500 as the replacement driver for Pietro Fittipaldi.

The announcement was made Tuesday before Indianapolis Motor Speedway opened for the first day of preparations leading into the May 27 race. Fittipaldi was supposed to race the No. 19 for Coyne but suffered serious injuries in a crash in Belgium earlier this month and is sidelined at least eight weeks.

Claman De Melo will be among the Indy 500 rookie class, and he is one of 35 drivers trying to earn one of the 33 spots in the race.

He filled in for Fittipaldi last week on Indy's road course and finished a career-best 12th.

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More AP Auto Racing: https://racing.ap.org/

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