MADISON, Ill — Conor Daly finally is a full time driver in the NTT IndyCar Series again. While 2020 is a bizarre year, Daly has pieced together a full time slate in driving three different cars for two separate teams.
He’d do all ovals with the exception of the Indianapolis 500 with Carlin. He’d do the ‘500 in a third car with Ed Carpenter Racing. He’d do the rest of the races, all on road/street courses with ECR in a shared ride with boss Ed Carpenter.
After nine races, it’s working out. Daly, may be 15th in the points standings, but he’s far out performed that standing.
This weekend though was his final two starts with Carlin on the year. With five races remaining, all on road or street courses, this was it for him in the No. 59 Chevrolet. What’s impressive is, he’s had four top 10 finishes all year, all coming with Carlin.
This is a team that has been slow out of the gates in Indy Car. In their third season, Daly has given them the most success. That’s why he was hired for this role with them.
For the only single car entry in the field, Daly had four top 10 finishes including two this weekend in the twinbill at the World Wide Technology Raceway. He did so in five tries too.
“It was a pretty good day for us today starting 15th,” said Daly. “There was a lot of chaos at the front with the oil dry on the track, so that was hectic. We lost a little bit because we got stuck on the inside at the beginning, but we gained a lot coming back on the outside in Turns 3 and 4 on the first lap.
“The No. 59 Gallagher Carlin Chevrolet was just fantastic. We worked our way forward every stop, and the guys did a great job in the pits. We were just so fast. We got all the way up behind (Scott) Dixon, but just at the end we had a big moment of understeer on the last stint, which put us back one position.”
Daly, finished 10th on Saturday and eighth on Sunday despite starting in Row 8 for both races.
“To start the race in 15th and finish eighth here today and to have four of the five races together with Carlin all with top-10 finishes is just really awesome,” Daly continued after scoring four top 10’s now at Gateway in four tries. “I’m just happy and thankful to be here and to have had the opportunity to be competitive with this team and get so close to a podium so many times.”
While Daly’s plans for 2021 aren’t yet known, he’s deserving of a full time role again. I would think Carlin should notice this and make moves to keep him.