INDIANAPOLIS – Coming into this weekend, Conor Daly didn’t feel like he had much to lose for Sunday’s 103rd Running of the Indianapolis 500. Yes, he had the best ride he’s ever driven in the NTT IndyCar Series. Yes, he’s knowingly needing funding to secure a future seat in this sport. With what was at stake and Andretti Autosport’s storied past recently at Indy, this was what some would say as a make or break moment for the young Noblesville native.
Instead, he said he’s had some many breaks during his racing career and breaks in a bady way, that it couldn’t get much worse. Despite that, Daly came through. He brought his No. 25 Honda home 10th in Sunday’s race for his best finish in five prior starts in his home race.
Conor Daly at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway – INDYCAR Media Site
Daly, immediately moved into the top 10 from his 11th starting spot early on and he’d pretty much remain there for the rest of the way. By the second half of the race, he moved up to seventh, then to sixth, to fifth and now to fourth. He was in contention. Unfortunately, he faded a bit in the end to 10th. That’s why Daly was a bit upset with how the race ended.
No, but I don’t think it was our fault,” said Daly if he made the best of his opportunity on Sunday. “We didn’t put a foot wrong; we had good pit stops. The car was good. I don’t know why INDYCAR put us behind (Takuma) Sato. Every driver is going to be upset about something like that, but track position is everything here. That can ruin your race, and it essentially did.
“I never saw Sato the whole race. So I don’t know where that came from, but our car was great. It was nice to drive. It was just really cool to be in the fight, to be with Alex (Rossi) and those guys. It was awesome. I think we can be proud of what we did today.”
Daly said that Sunday’s finish validated himself because this is all he gets to do so far. He hasn’t been in an Indy Car for a year and here he was out fighting with the Team Penske’s for the win.
“Multiple Indy 500 winners, champions, and we were there,” Daly continued. “I don’t know what else I can do. Winning helps a lot, and if we would have finished in the top five, that would have been great. But I, for sure, think we can be proud of what we did. We will see what happens after this.”