Daly feels good heading into Sunday’s 107th Running of the Indianapolis 500, “I feel good. I mean, I do feel ready for it,”

INDIANAPOLIS — Conor Daly led the most laps in the 2021 Indianapolis 500. A year later, he finished sixth. That’s why despite coming from the 16th starting position, he’s not worried. In those two races, he came from 19th and 18th respectively.

Daly feels his race car feels as good this year as those two years did.

“I feel good. I mean, I do feel ready for it,” Daly said on Media Day on Thursday. “I feel like this is honestly even starting where we do, like it’s not bad.”

Two drivers have won from 16th. Dan Wheldon in 2005 and Dario Franchitti in 2012. So he knows that it can happen.

“Those are two pretty good drivers and I you know even having Josef (Newgarden) and Ryan (Hunter-Reay) next to me like I know those guys really well. It’s good group of people to be racing with right out the gate. And Ed (Carpenter) my teammate is directly in front of me so I kind of knew all those guys really well.

“So it’s, it seems like, you know, you gotta be aggressive right out the gate because you want to make moves at the start. But patience is I think it’s going to be all about patience for me because I don’t want to do you know, I just want to get there by the end. I don’t want to lead lap 100 want to lead the last one.”

Daly says that he feels like he’s in a solid group of 4-6 cars that have been quite strong this month in practice when it comes terms to race trim. Among those drivers, most are within the Chevrolet camp. Honda has won the last three years here, but Daly feels like the bowties have done a tremendous job of ensuring that streak ends on Sunday.

“Yeah, Chevy’s done a great job,” he told me. “But I think I mean, both manufacturers when you look at it, I think this year is closer than ever. I mean, yeah, there’s a Honda and pole but you would have thought it was Chevy like two Chevy’s on the front row as well. So it’s, I would say this year more than ever, you didn’t really know last year we like alright, it looked like one was stronger than the other. But Chevy has done a great job, I would say getting us right into the game and they want they want to win this race. I think more than anyone too. So it’s, it’s gonna be cool.”

Daly is on a short-list of drivers who’ve compete in both the Daytona 500 and Indy 500. Even more select group to have done so in the same year. What would he say to the comparisons of them?

“I mean, I don’t have enough experience yet,” he said. “The Daytona 500, like having done it and been a part of it, it is very cool. But there’s something about this, where there’s, you know, way more time on track, I would say the lead up to the race and that the mechanical setup work that you do the arrow setup work that you do. There’s so much more of that and there’s and qualifying for this race is 1000 times harder because you’re, you know, in Daytona, it’s not really a difficult thing to do to qualify other than racing your way and that’s much harder.

“Daytona 500. Very cool. And I respect everything about the racing there because it’s very difficult, big brains and those guys to try to figure out how to, you know, work your way to the front. But this event is more of an all together, working with your team and crew and everyone to make sure that you’ve made all the right changes throughout the month. To know everything and put all the right pieces together for the race. And then the race itself is you know, it’s a really really challenging you know, situation so yeah, it’s it’s much different, both very cool, but I still think there’s the it’s really, really hard to compare this race to any other race, honestly.”

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