Last season, Pantano drove three IZOD IndyCar Series events with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing in a similar substitute role for the injured Justin Wilson (now with Dale Coyne Racing). He finished 17th, 26th, and 16th respectively at Sonoma, Baltimore and Motegi, Japan.
For Pantano, a former Formula One competitor and GP2 series champion, it's a return to the Ganassi stable. He ran the first two IndyCar starts of his career with CGR in 2005 at Sonoma and Watkins Glen.
"It’s a tremendous opportunity to be rejoining Chip Ganassi Racing and the IZOD IndyCar Series this weekend at Mid-Ohio," Pantano said in a team release. "You never want to have something happen to another driver and I wish Charlie a quick recovery. Nonetheless, the opportunity is here and I am looking forward to working with the team again and making the best of it."
As for Kimball, his injury puts a damper on what has been a solid sophomore campaign in America's top open-wheel league. Kimball has earned five top-10 finishes so far in 2012, and earned his first career podium finish earlier this month in Toronto with a second-place result.
The California native will now focus on getting well in time for the series' return to his home state -- the GoPro Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma on Aug. 19.
"I’m very disappointed to miss out on the Mid-Ohio race weekend," he said in the same release. "We had such a good race there last year and I was really looking forward to another shot at the podium. However, I trust the medical professionals at INDYCAR, and we’re making sure I’m back to 100 percent for Sonoma.
"We’re lucky to have Giorgio in the seat of the No. 83 car while I’m healing up, and I’ll be there this weekend to help him and the Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing team."