INDIANAPOLIS — Conor Daly has had pace here. This was his 3rd straight top 8 qualifying effort on the IMS road course. His problem has been Lap 1. He keeps getting ran over. This time though, he’s starting higher up than he’s ever before here. Does that help? He hopes so.
Daly makes no qualms about that this car with the Aeroscreen hasn’t been to his liking. He can’t get a full handle of it. However, here at Indy, for some reason he can.
“I’ve obviously — there’s no question I’ve struggled with this generation of car,” said Daly.
“There’s certain places where every driver has there better tracks and their worse tracks. Apparently here I remember how to drive. I don’t know. It’s one of those things that this car here just it feels fast. You can drive it fast, and it does what I want.
“So I feel like it’s been a difficult window to find at other circuits, but for whatever reason here, it suits my style more than a few other places for sure.”
The other thing is Ed Carpenter Racing has always put together some good qualifying cars here as well which that plus Daly’s comfort here equals great success. Both he and VeeKay qualified in the top 10 in both races a year ago. VeeKay in fact won this very race from 7th. In 2020, VeeKay won the pole in the Harvest Grand Prix Race 1 and finished 5th in the GMR Grand Prix. In 2019, the 20 car qualified 5th from Ed Jones. In 2018, Jordan King qualified it 5th.
“The Ed Carpenter Team has a great handle on this circuit for sure,” Daly continued. “We have done a lot of work on the simulator here as well.”
Daly, knows what’s at stake and knows he has a prime opportunity ahead.
“It’s much nicer fighting with these guys than not,” said Daly. “You know what I mean? As Will Power says all the time, some of the most talented drivers in the world. I truly right now.
“When you have a good qualifying, especially at — this is an incredible track. I truly believe that. It’s so close. It’s insane how the gaps are so small. It’s nice to be able to just put three solid runs together.
“Would have been nice to maybe be on the front row, but I just had one moment on the lap, and that’s all it takes. It’s still a great day for us.”