Daly Confirmed for Carlin Seat on Last Two Ovals of the Season

Carlin Racing announced today that Conor Daly will drive the 59 car at both the ABC Supply Co. 500 at Pocono and  the Bommarito Automotive Group 500k at World Wide Technology Raceway.  From Carlin’s Twitter page:

EBxkohUWwAAiz5B

Daly will have driven in every oval on the 2019 schedule. He drove for Andretti Autosport in the 103rd running of the Indianapolis 500, finishing 10th.  Daly also drove for Carlin at Texas and Iowa.He finished 11th at Texas and 13th at Iowa. He finished fifth in 2017 driving for A. J. Foyt Racing  in the inaugural race at Gateway.

Daly will return to Andretti in the season finale at Weather Tech Raceway Laguna Seca. His seven races this year is the most he has driven since his season with Foyt.

Daly Returns to Andretti for Finale; Some Other Tidbits

Photo from @FollowAndretti Twitter feed

The jaws are back. Andretti Autosport announced today that Conor Daly will drive the number 25 USAF car, the same one he drove in this year’s Indianapolis 500, in the NTT Indycar Series finale at Weather Tech Raceway.  In the 500 Daly started 11th and finished 10th. he ran as high as fifth during the race.

This season Daly has also driven twice for Carlin Racing- at Texas, finishing 11th after a 19th place start, and  at Iowa, where ended 13th from 16th on the grid.

I am glad Daly will drive for Andretti again this season. I was hoping he would be back in this car before Laguna Seca. Part of the reason I think the team is entering him in the finale is to serve as a point blocker to help Alexander Rossi get the championship. It would depend on where Daly qualifies, but it could help.

McLaren Closer to Indycar?

This Tweet from Adam Stern indicates some progress by McLaren toward the 2020 Indycar season. The engine issue and James Hinchcliffe’s contratc still seem like huge stumbling blocks. There is word McLaren is also after Colton Herta. I think there is still a lot of work to be done before we see orange cars  on the grid full time.

Third Car for Rahal?

In an interview with RACER magazine Bobby Rahal said this week that  a third car for Rahal letterman Lanigan Racing is closer than they’ve been before. The third RLL car has been a perennial Silly Season story.  I hope it finally appears at St. Pete next March.

More Indy Lights Drivers Test Indycar

Oliver Askew tested with Chip Ganassi Racing at Portland International Raceway yesterday. The CGR team was impressed with his performance. Rinus VeeKay also tested for Ed Carpenter Racing the same day at Portland.

Andretti Autorsport Indy Lights driver Ryan Norman also tested for Andretti at Mid Ohio last week.

I don’t get too excited about Indy lights drivers testing with Indycar teams.  It’s great that they get the experience, but the tests have zero implications for future Indycar rides.

I’m thinking the hybrid engine may not be the last bombshell announcement of this Silly Season.  We need a race soon. Very soon.

Karam and Daly Driving for Carlin at Iowa

A tweet this afternoon from Carlin Racing:

I think this is could be the makings of a great team for 202 if the money is there.  Karam may still be tied to Dreyer and Reinbold for the Indianapolis 500, but he could possibly drive for Carlin the rest of the year.

I know Daly wants to drive for Andretti, but with the news that Rossi looks to be staying, there is no room for him except for an Indianapolis one-off.

Daly drove for Carlin at Texas and finished 11th. Last week at Toronto Karam drove the Carlin entry. He started and finished six laps down in 21st. It was his first road/street course race since 2015 and he had never driven at Toronto.  Karam has driven in the Iowa race.

Iowa will not have a title sponsor this weekend. According to Adam Stern, a couple possible sponsor deals did not come through. Stern also mentioned that ticket sales are up a bit.

Daly to Drive Car 59 at Texas

Photo from @CarlinRacing via Twitter

Yesterday Carlin Racing announced that Conor Daly will drive car 59 at Texas Motor Speedway this weekend, replacing Max Chilton. Chilton, who failed to qualify for the 103rd running of the Indianapolis 500 last month, will not drive in any of the four remaining  oval races- Texas, Iowa, Pocono, or Gateway- this season, citing “risk management”concerns.

Daly drove for Andretti Autosport in the 500, qualifying 11th and finishing 10th. As of now, this is a one race deal with Carlin. Drivers for the other ovals will be announced later.

The Texas entry list:

screenshot_20190604-144524.png

I believe it is a driver’s right to choose which races he wishes to enter.  Like Mike Conway, Chilton feels that ovals are not worth the risk to him.  I respect his decision to step out of the car for these races.

 

 

Fast Friday Wrap-Up

Above: The Spirit of Indy. Kyle Kaiser consoled r after his crash this morning. Thanks to @Breakinfree086 for sharing the photo.

The Sunday rain contingency plan:  The last row shootout will run on the next available track day if the day is rained out. The first three rows will be set by Saturday’s times. No fast Nine Shootout will occur. This would make Saturday a true Pole Day, as it should be.

Just as happy hour began, Graham Rahal brushed the wall in turn two. He returned to the pits and the car went back to the garage to assess the damage. The right side tires had scuff marks on the sidewalls. Graham said in an interview they had lost some speed.

Juncos Racing is hard at work putting a car together. At least 20 crew member are assembling separate parts as they need to be on track for tomorrow morning’s practice.

wp-15581286630993388652330666217105.jpg

wp-1558128645184604181897911705245.jpg

The speeds as of 5:35:

wp-15581288279811685272168654873440.jpg

Fastest Driver of the Day

 

Some Takes From Owners on Guaranteed Spots

This morning Team Penske, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, and Chip Ganassi Racing owners and drivers addressed the media in separate sessions.  The question of guaranteed spots was asked of each owner. Their response:

Roger Penske- “If the people who invest in the sport and qare Building the sport today to where it is, I think we have great momentum from the press, from our TV partners, to commit to the full season, not have an opportunity to race here.. if you’re going to commit and run the whole season, you should have an opportunity to run in  this race.”

Bobby Rahal- ” Ithink it’s amazing that we’re in the situation we are now, where we have more than the 33 entries…. personally i think it should be the way it’s always about, that the fastest 33 and that’s it… I think that (gauranteed spots) is loyal to the history of the Speedway and the history of the 500. I think it is the way it should be.”

Chip Ganassi-” My position is it should be the fastest 33. I’m not saying it’s not going to be that. there is a scenario where it won’t be the fastest 33. I just think that’s not right. It should be the fastest 33… If it’s not the fastest 33, then the full season participants should have some guarantee.”

Mike Hull had the most interesting comment of the morning:

“…for this race they ought to give us an extra engine and we should go faster.”

He went on to say that the only way speed come back is for engine power to go up.

 

Conor Daly set the fastest time of the day with three minutes left. His speed was 231.704. During the press conference he found out he will be the first driver out for qualifying tomorrow. The first hour is key to fast speeds. Those drivers whose turns come from about 12:30 to 5 will have a tough time in the heat of the day. the last 90 minutes should be a real scramble.

indy5day1 070
Conor Daly set fast time of the day at 5:57 pm

Back tomorrow morning to set the stage. I will update after every 15 qualifiers.

 

 

 

 

Daly, Andretti Reveal Car 25

Conor Daly and Michael Andretti revealed the car Daly will drive in the 103rd running of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway today. The car is mostly matte black, touches of blue and hits of various fighter jets. I really like the shark’s teeth behind the front wheel.

Daly’s entry completes a five car all American lineup for Andretti Autosport. All five cars will carry Air Force labels.

“It’s been a dream of mine to drive for this team for a long time,” Daly said. Getting to practice tomorrow is “a huge benefit. Tomorrow is day 1,” Daly added.

The unveiling also give those in attendance their first look at the Advanced Frontal protection device which will be on the cars tomorrow and for the 500. The piece is taller than i thought it was. It is very thin. The device does not appear as if it will obscure the drivers’ vision.

Dalyunveil 1135

The front view shows the AFP device just in front of the cockpit. I asked Daly how he thought the device would bother the vision. He said he wasn’t sure. The device is on the simulator, but he wants to see what it’s like when he actually drives the car.

A closer look at the AFP

Tomorrow’s test at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway begins with veterans on track from 11-1, followed by rookie orientation between 1 and 3. The final round of testing begins at 3 and goes until 6. The turn 2 mounds will be open for spectators. the test is also live streamed on Indycar’s Facebook page.

The Pit Window will have updates after each session and a full wrap-up on Wildfire Sports Thursday morning.

Daly, Air Force Join Andretti for Indy 500

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

Gateway18 041

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.

wp-15487172842406092296585286815037.jpg

Rolex 24 Post Script

I’ll end today with four photos from last weekend’s Rolex 24

img_5003

img_5023
This pretty much sums up Sunday morning.

 

img_5018img_4953

Just Announced

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.