Ryan Briscoe says he was surprised to get a shot to race in the Detroit Grand Prix.
JR Hildebrand's loss ended up being Briscoe's gain.
Panther Racing terminated Hildebrand's contract Thursday after his third major mistake since joining the team in 2011. The team called it "mutual agreement" with the 2009 Indy Lights champion, who made 37 starts in the No. 4 National Guard/Panther Racing Chevrolet.
Briscoe says he is only scheduled to race Saturday and Sunday's races in the Motor City because he's committed to running full time for Level 5 Motorsports in the American Le Mans Series.
He spun out during Friday's opening practice session, but he avoided a wall on Belle Isle's 2.36-mile street course.
Briscoe finished 12th in Sunday's Indianapolis 500 for Chip Ganassi Racing.