With the main contenders having up and down results in the NTT IndyCar Series at the World Wide Technology Raceway, it could open the door for someone like Conor Daly to slide into victory lane in at least one of the two races run on the 1.25-mile track this weekend.
Scott Dixon is 0-for-4 at Gateway with two top 10’s, both being podiums and both being in the last three years. He was only 20th last year though. Dixon, also lacked the race winning pace at Iowa last month as well.
Josef Newgarden won this race in 2017 but was only seventh in each of the last two years. Simon Pagenaud has a top five finish in all three tries at Gateway but just one podium, a third in ’16. Will Power won this race in 2017 but was only 20th and 22nd in his other two starts, both ending in crashes. Alexander Rossi has just one top five (2nd in 2017) but sixth and 13th in his other two starts.
Plus, Andretti Autosport overall looked lost and lacked speed in Iowa. What makes us think that changes this weekend on another short oval?
So, someone like Daly can capitalize.
“I’ve honestly been looking forward to getting back to World Wide Technology Raceway since the checkered flag waved there last year,” Daly said. “It’s definitely one of my favorite tracks on the NTT INDYCAR SERIES schedule, and after how well we did last year at WWTR, I’m confident that the No. 59 Gallagher Carlin Chevrolet will be great again this year.
“It’s been a lot of fun being back with Carlin this year for the ovals, and we’ve had really a strong run as a team together so far. So, with this being our last oval of the season, I want to make sure we finish it on a high note.”
Daly, looked good in Iowa. He won the pole for race 1 and qualified third for race No. 2. He has two top 10 finishes on the season, both being on ovals.
Plus, his two Gateway finishes are fifth and sixth respectively. Why not a win this weekend?
He was P3 in the lone practice on Friday.
“I think we’re in a really good place with the No. 59 Gallagher Carlin Chevrolet for the races this weekend at World Wide Technology Raceway,” said Daly. “We went out and did our qual sim pretty early in the session, and then the track just continued to get quicker as practice went on.
“We knew that was going to be the case, but we wanted to make sure we worked through everything we needed to with only one practice session. The tire seems to be a little different and it’s creating a different feel, but obviously we’re still quick, which is nice. It feels really good to roll off the truck again with a quick car, and so far it’s really just been an incredible effort by the Carlin team.
“I love this track so much, and with how strong we were here last year and how the car felt today, I’m feeling really good about where we are.”