LONG, POND, PA – The Carlin boys knew that they had some good race cars under them for Sunday’s ABC Supply 500. The only problem was, qualifying was washed out on Saturday afternoon. So, the starting lineup for this weekend’s NTT IndyCar Series race at the Pocono Raceway was determined by entrant points.
That meant the 11th and final row would be Charlie Kimball and Conor Daly. Despite that, both were quick in the lone Saturday practice session of the day though. They knew that they had the pace, they just had to be methodical on how they’d get up to the front.
Charlie Kimball would go from 21st to 10th in his No. 23 Chevrolet while Conor Daly went from 22nd to 11th.
“I’m just really proud of this Carlin crew,” said Kimball who was making just his fourth start of the season. “We made great progress with the No. 23 Tresiba Chevrolet in superspeedway trim and we learned a lot after coming here last year. The racing at Pocono Raceway is really tough, but these guys just kept their head down and made it happen.
“I made a mistake in the first pit stop, but we were able to run our strategy and get a really good run going. To come away with a top-10 finish from a very challenging weekend where we didn’t get to qualify is really a credit to the entire Carlin team. It was really great to get that top-10 finish in front of all of our Novo Nordisk guests who made the trip out to the track to support us and also to round out the top 10 with a bowtie for Team Chevy.”
Kimball, had a strong car in Indy but was caught up in that Lap 176 accident. He was in the top 10 in practice on Saturday too.
For Daly, he’s had a top 11 in every superspeedway start this season. His No. 59 Chevrolet was starting to come out in the end and if the rain doesn’t come, his 11th likely becomes a top 10 too.
“After where we started at the back of the field, to finish 11th is awesome,” Daly said. “It’s unfortunate though, because we were really just starting to get to the point where I was happier with the No. 59 Gallagher Carlin Chevrolet. The last few laps before the final red flag, we were the fastest car on the track, so we were definitely moving in the right direction. We were catching all of the people in front of us and starting to get to where we needed to be, but these 500-mile races are long and the goal is to be strong at the end, which I really felt like we were working toward that for sure. To be 11th is really good and it’s another strong finish for this group of people here at Carlin. Hopefully we can keep this momentum going into Gateway and that’ll be even more fun.”