The status of both AJ Foyt Racing drivers beyond this weekend are relatively unknown. We know that both Conor Daly and Carlos Munoz would love to remain with the team or at least in the Verizon IndyCar Series for the 2018 season. Unfortunately, neither driver has a contract past this weekend and both would love to have a solid result in their final audition for a seat next year.
What helps their cars is that since AJ Foyt Racing tested at Mid-Ohio in mid-July, things have turned drastically around for each of them. Prior to the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio, Daly and Munoz had four total top 10 finishes between them.
They’ve had five in four races.
Daly, came home 10th at Mid-Ohio, 14th at Pocono, fifth at Gateway and now 11th at Watkins Glen. If not for a pit road penalty late at Pocono, he likely would have had a top 10 that day too. Then, if not for a few drivers being off sequence in Sunday’s INDYCAR Grand Prix at the Glen, he too would have had another top 10 finish.
While Daly says that double points events haven’t been his strong suit, he feels very good coming to Sonoma.
“Sonoma is a beautiful venue and a terrific place to finish off the season,” Daly said entering this weekend’s race. “Double-points races have yet to go well for me, but obviously, we plan on turning that around. We’ve had a string of pretty good races going, and there is no reason why we shouldn’t be able to keep the results coming. I’m very happy to have an extra test day before the weekend because each time this year we’ve had good races at places, we’ve tested at those tracks before the race weekend. The more information we can have before qualifying, the better.”
Munoz, was 18th at Mid-Ohio, but has three straight top 10 results since. He was 10th at Pocono, ninth at Gateway and 10th at the Watkins Glen International road course.
“Sonoma is really different from Watkins Glen,” Munoz said on this weekend’s season finale. “We’re arriving at a track that doesn’t have a lot of grip from a track that has a lot of grip, so it’s going to be a really weird feeling in the beginning -at least the first couple of laps in the car. Sonoma is a really difficult track because it changes so much from the morning to the afternoon. I think you have to be competitive in the heat because qualifying is at that time and also the race, so I think you have to prepare a car for the heat. It’s a double-points race and our goal is to be the second Chevy team in the championship, which I think we are close to making that happen. It’s been a tough season, especially in the beginning, but we have improved a lot over the season. Race by race, I think we’ve been really good. We’ve been in the top 10 in a few races, so I’m looking forward to finishing the season on a high note. Our team worked really well the whole year even though the circumstances weren’t the best, but I think we will finish strong.”
So, with all that momentum on their side now, it’s clear both want to end the season with it. A bad result for each would definitely put all that they have accomplished over the last two months away.