Andretti Autosport announced this morning that Conor Daly will drive a fifth car with sponsorship from the U. S. Air Force in the103rd running of the Indianapolis 500. The Air Force will also be an associate sponsor on the Andretti cars of Alexander Rossi, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Marco Andretti, and Zach Veach for the entire season. Daly will carry number 25.
Daly drove in the 2018 500 with Air Force sponsorship as part of Dale Coyne’s team. He started last and finished 21st, completing 199 laps. This will be Daly’s sixth 500. His rookie season was 2013. He returned to the 500 in 2015. His best starting spot was 22nd in 2015. Last year was his best finish and also the race in which he completed the most laps. This is the best car and team Daly will have had for the race.
“It’s my best shot at at the race ever. I can’t wait to get to work,” Daly said.
Michael Andretti said they are working on a few things to possibly get Daly in more races this year. He has no plans to add a sixth ca for this year’s 500 entry list.
Daly drove in just one race, Mid Ohio, for Harding. He was competitive, giving Harding its best starting spot to that point. He ran well in the race but ran out fuel with two laps left and finished 20th. In2017 Daly drove full time for A. J. Foyt Racing.
Catching Up with Indycar News
Vasser Sullivan and Dale Coyne have signed a multi year agreement which has Sebastien Bourdais staying in car 18. Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan became a partnership last year. Nice to see Coyne will have some driver stability and additional resources. Bourdais won the 2018 opening race in St. Pete. It was his second consecutive win in his hometown race.
More Boost at Iowa, Gateway
The NTT Indycar Series announced cars will receive increased boost at short ovals Iowa and Gateway in 2019. The higher boost will necessitate more braking in the turns, which should allow more passing. The boost will increase to 150 kPa, the same as on road and street courses. In 2018 cars were allowed 140 kPa on the short ovals. Superspeedway boost for races is 130Pa. Please do not ask me what kPa means.
Allen Miller of HPD says the goal of 90 horsepower for the new 2.4 liter engine is “very realistic.”
The series continues to seek more ways to improve the racing. This measure sounds like a bridge to the higher horsepower in the 2021 formula.
Helio at Le Mans?
Three timne Indy 500 winner Helio Castroneves is close to finalizing a deal to drive in the Le Mans 24 hour race this year. Castroneves, who now drives full time for Team Penske Acura in the IMSA Weather Tech Championship, will drive for the RLR group in the LMP2 class. The team uses an Oreca 07 chassis, which has been dominant in Europe.
Castroneves was one of the drivers in the third place car at last weekend’s Rolex 24.
Indianapolis 500 Ticket Unveiled
Last Indianapolis Motor Speedway revealed the design for the 2019 Indianapolis 500. I’m always excited to see the new ticket. This year’s design I find disappointing. The photo of Will Power that was used is okay, but a photo of him when he first go out of the car would have been better. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a driver express that much unbridled joy after winning.
Rolex 24 Post Script
I’ll end today with four photos from last weekend’s Rolex 24
Indianapolis Motor Speedway just announced a press conference tomorrow afternoon for a major announcement regarding the 500. I’m guessing a presenting sponsor will be named.