MADISON, Ill – Two years ago, Conor Daly had a night he’ll never forget in the NTT IndyCar Series. See, the 2017 season was a struggle for the entire AJ Foyt Racing organization. Much like 2019 actually. But, as the season went on, Daly’s team started to find their groove.
By time they reached St. Louis in August of that year, Daly was hitting his stride. In Gateway that season, Daly brought his No. 4 Chevrolet home fifth in capping a great weekend for him.
Conor Daly practices his No. 59 Chevrolet on Friday from the World Wide Technology Raceway
Now, since he didn’t race at Gateway in 2018 with him being in a NASCAR at Road America, he’s coming back to the World Wide Technology Raceway eyeing another top five.
“Driving at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway is something I’ve been looking forward to since 2017,” says Daly. “The track does an incredible job promoting the event and the crowd is always strong – it’s just an all-around great event. I’m hoping I can use some of the experience gained in the past there to have a great finish to my oval racing this season with Carlin and the No. 59 Gallagher Carlin Chevrolet.”
Daly, has been superb on ovals this year. Hes scored the 12th most points on them among all drivers. He finished 10th for Andretti Autosport in the 103rd Running of the Indianapolis 500 back in May. Two weeks later is when he made his Carlin debut as he finished 11th in his replacement role for Max Chilton. That was the best finish all year for this Carlin ride. A month later, he was back in that seat and was 13th in Iowa.
Then, last weekend, he finished 11th again at the Pocono Raceway.
This weekend, Daly has had a fast race car. He was 13th in the first practice session and quickest in final practice too, but only qualified 18th. The only reason though that he’s starting in the 9th Row is because a vintage car leaked oil just prior to qualifying and Daly was the first car out. Due to the speedy dry and cleanup, the track was an ice staking rink.
So, with there being a first lap crash in both years that the series has been coming back to Gateway, how does Daly manage his aggression on Saturday night.
“For me, it’s a very important race for me and I need to have a good one,” said Daly following his qualifying run. “I’ll go really, really hard and really, really aggressive because I need to. Go big or go home for sure.”
With how well he’s been running and how well he did at Gateway in 2017, I wouldn’t sleep on Daly this weekend.