Photo Credit: Racing Nation
Mikhail Aleshin, the 29-year-old Russian who drove in the Verizon IndyCar Series for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports (SPM) last season, will likely return to the team for the upcoming 2017 season despite talk of a potential budgetary shortfall due to sponsorship a couple of weeks ago. After being listed as returning to SPM since October, there was doubt that Aleshin would return to the series next season, creating another vacant seat to be filled before the 2017 season opener on the Streets of St. Petersburg, Florida, on Sunday, March 12th. However, it appears now that Aleshin will fill his own seat vacancy and be ready to drive for SPM during this upcoming season.
In the 2016 season, Aleshin returned to the Verizon IndyCar Series full-time after a severe crash in 2014 at the season finale at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California, and a budgetary shortfall kept him sidelined for all but one race in the 2015 season. He finished the 2016 season in a career-high 15th place in the championship standings after claiming his first career Verizon IndyCar Series pole at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania, and matching his career-high race finish of 2nd place at Pocono as well.