Two months ago, Conor Daly went into August thinking that he’d have just two more races lined up for himself for the remainder of the NTT IndyCar Series season. He already knew that he’d race at Pocono (Aug. 18) and Gateway (Aug. 24) – but that was it.
Then, came a surprise visit to Andretti Autosport’s headquarters in Indianapolis. While he thought he was doing some sponsor work, it was actually a gift from US Air Force to allow Daly the opportunity to race in the season finale at Laguna Seca in the same car that he ran back in the Month of May for the 103rd Running of the Indianapolis 500.
Daly, will pilot the No. 25 Honda with US Air Force’s backing this weekend on the northern California road course. It will be his fourth start among the final five races of the season as he also drove for Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports in the last race at Portland when Marcus Ericsson was called overseas for a reserve role with Alfa Romero for F1.
That left the No. 7 Honda open, which Daly was tabbed as the replacement.
This weekend, will mark the third straight race for a third different team for Daly. Last weekend, Daly won a sports car race in Laguna Seca, so technically it’s four straight races with four different teams.
He’s hoping Sunday’s race ends like last weekend’s – in victory lane.
“I couldn’t be more excited to strap into our fighter jet on wheels at Laguna Seca,” Daly said. “I had such an incredible time working with the No. 25 Andretti guys in the month of May. We have some unfinished business after the Indy 500 and I know we are all motivated to make the best of the weekend. I’m very thankful for the U.S. Air Force coming on board yet again to support this effort with Andretti Autosport.”
Daly, is still working out plans for the 2020 season. He has some prospects that look good as he’s close to having enough funding that it takes to run on a full time basis. The going budget around the paddock is $6-$7 million, in which Daly says that he is close.
He knows he has a part-time option that includes all ovals, most notably the Indy 500 with Andretti Autosport, but he obviously wants more.
Portland was a try out with SPM as well as McLaren which started off great in qualifying ninth but only lasted two turns when he was involved in an opening lap crash not of his doing. Now, he gets another spotlight in an Andretti car on network NBC for what could lead to possibly more races in 2020 with potentially another team.