The strange twisting path Conor Daly has taken in Indycar rounds another corner this season. Daly will drive for two teams- Ed Carpenter Racing on the road and street courses; and Carlin Racing on the ovals. A season originally planned to begin at St. Pete for ECR now launches at Texas for Carlin.
“…it’s strange obviously. It’s not how you’d like to do things ideally. But it’s a great opportunity to be a full-time INDYCAR driver again. So I’m going to look at it like that, ” Daly said on the makeup of his full time season.
Daly thinks his experience in the races he ran in 2019 for Carlin will be helpful this season, and it gives him a level of comfort as the sole Carlin entry this weekend.
Daly said, “By the end of the season together, or the oval season that we did together, we were fighting quite a lot at the sharp end in Gateway. I love that track, but I also really enjoy driving the car there, too. It’s great to have the support of Gallagher still, have a great-looking car to drive on the ovals this year, albeit an interesting new schedule with the doubleheader at Iowa will be interesting and everything in general about this year will be different, but it will be cool. I’m excited to get it going with these guys on Saturday night.”
He is not a fan of the aeroscreen and Daly realizes it will be an unknown factor for everyone Saturday night. He understands the reason the series implemented the device.
“I think publicly I’ve said I’m not a huge fan of it. But I understand the reasons obviously why it’s been introduced. I respect what the series wants to do, the direction they’re taking obviously. But, yeah, it obviously presents a lot of interesting variables. …Yeah, it’s exciting because it’s all new, but it’s also like I don’t know what’s going to happen. It should be interesting.”
Daly thinks not having fans in the stands at Texas will weird at first, but once the visors go down and the cars are rolling the focus will be on the racing itself.
“…when we line up on that grid two- by-two, we close the visor, that’s all that needs to be said. We’re going to be going racing. There’s going to be a pace car out there that’s going to be leading us around. Realistically all focus is on the job at hand. I think it’s going to be strange basically before and after the race. But during there’s not a lot of time that you spend looking anywhere else other than the racetrack right in front of you. It will be interesting and it will be strange.”
This is an important season for Daly, who has been an itinerant driver in the Indycar paddock for most years. He has the ability to make a car better, as he did with carlin last season. Having five secure races with a team he drove for in 2019 should help further develop Carlin’s program. With Carpenter, Daly has another great chance to succeed at the Indianapolis 500.