'Super-sub' Alex Barron has been drafted in as a surprise last minute replacement for Buddy Rice ahead of this weekend's Delphi Indy 300 at Chicagoland Speedway for Eddie Cheever's Red Bull sponsored team.

Barron, who was out of work following Felipe Giaffone's return from injury to the Mo Nunn Racing camp, was confirmed as the driver of the #52 Red Bull Dallara-Chevrolet late on Thursday night but, with no official word or comment from team boss Cheever or the ousted Rice until Friday, some observers were still surprised to see Barron's name next to the #52 entry.

After struggling to adapt to the new Chevy engine, Cheever hinted that changes within the team could be afoot, although very few people pointed towards the young, but ultra-consistent Rice as the possible target for that change.

Despite having been running at the end of 17 of his 18 career IRL IndyCar races to date, Rice has failed to score a top five finish all season and has been handicapped by mechanical problems in several recent races.

Barron arrives in the Red Bull team on the back of a four race stint with the #21 Hollywood/Mo Nunn team that included a victory at Michigan and a top five finish in Nashville.