Mutoh Signs Deal with Newman/Haas/Lanigan for 2010 Indy
Mutoh lost his seat at Andretti Autosport to North American racer Ryan Hunter-Reay, who is yet to secure the sponsorship for a full-time campaign this year. Although the Japanese driver managed to impress his former team after his maiden campaign in the series back in 2008 – when he also took the Rookie of the Year honors – his poor performances last year dropped him out of contention for a deal extension.
He only finished 11th overall last year, which is why he never entered Andretti Autosport's plans for the 2010 season. Consequently, he was offered the chance to test for Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing this off-season and made the right impression to secure a full-time deal for 2010 with the team.
Mutoh might very well become the team's sole car for the 2010 season of the IndyCar Series, as the other two drivers in contention for a race seat with the team – Graham Rahal and Alex Lloyd – are currently struggling with sponsorship problems ahead of the pre-season test at Barber Motorsports Park.
The 27-year old driver is still chasing for his first win in the IndyCar Series, as his best race finish for Andretti has been a 2nd place in Iowa, back in 2008. Up until now, this is the highest race finish recorded by any Japanese driver in the IndyCar Series, as he broke Tora Takagi's record 3rd place finish in Texas, back in 2003.