INDIANAPOLIS – On Monday morning, Conor Daly and Ed Carpenter Racing announced that they will join forces for 13 of the 17 races in 2020. Daly, will contest in the No. 20 Chevrolet on all road/street course events as well as the Indianapolis 500 in the third Indy only entry. The only races that he doesn’t have a deal for is Texas, Richmond, Iowa and Gateway. But, Carlin is believed to have offered Daly and oval only seat for them too and if that can happen, this could be the big breakout season that Daly has worked all 27 years of his life for.
Nevertheless, this is a move that can propel Daly as the contender that we all know he can be.
The shared seat is a good one. Since Ed Carpenter got out of the seat full time for the 2014 season and beyond, that car has three wins, eight top five finishes and 26 top 10’s. That should make him a contender at most races. Then, for the Indy only ride, that entry has been really good lately as well.
The Ed Carpenter Racing duo of Spencer Pigot and Ed Carpenter during this past year’s Indianapolis 500
JR Hildebrand finished 10th, eighth and sixth respectively in it while Danica Patrick and Ed Jones were 30th and 13th the last two years themselves.
That ride has also qualified well in Indy too. In the five years that it has run, the third car has qualified in the top 10 in four of them. Hildebrand started ninth, 10th and 15th in his three years in it with Danica and Jones being seventh and fourth too.
Plus, ECR has been fast at Indy overall lately. In 2016, Josef Newgarden finished third and Carpenter sixth. In 2017, Carpenter was 11th and Hildebrand 16th. In 2018, Carpenter was second. In 2019, all three cars qualified in the top four and finished 6-13-14.
Last year, Daly qualified 11th and finished 10th with Andretti Autosport. That was the start of the US Air Force pairing which ended with him racing in the season finale with them in Laguna Seca. That led to Daly/Air Force landing with ECR which should see him soar to even bigger heights.
Two Indiana natives with Indianapolis Motor Speedway ties finally teaming up. Daly could be to ECR what Newgarden was to them. This could be the start of big things for Daly.
Carpenter believes so.
“I have seen Conor (Daly) grow and mature over the course of his career and am confident that his best years are yet to come,” stated ECR’s team owner.
Daly, was was the breath of fresh air for Harding in his reserve role in 2018. He was big for Carlin on ovals in 2019. Now, he can pair all that up with a strong showing with ECR for 2020, one that could even see him earn an Indy 500 triumph.