INDIANAPOLIS – Conor Daly is one of the most talented race car drivers in the world. Unfortunately, no one is wanting to take a chance on the driver. I always feared that he’d get away from the Verizon IndyCar Series if given the right opportunity elsewhere. Now, that could be happening.
Daly, 26, will make his NASCAR debut later on this year on the Road America circuit in Wisconsin. The Aug. 25 race in Elkhart Lake will see Daly drive for Roush/Fenway Racing in the NASCAR XFINITY Series, teaming him with Ryan Reed.
See, the duo share a special relationship. Reed, has type one diabetes, the same diagnosis Daly has. Both were told they may not be able to race again. Both are defying those odds and working their way towards a bright future in the sport.
Reed has been sponsored by Lilly Diabetes, a local company here in Indianapolis. Daly, hails from Indy and too had an associate sponsor with Lilly Diabetes in the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500. Reed and Daly have become great friends.
See a connection here.
Now, the duo will be teammates for the August race, a place where Daly can really make some noise. He was running in the top five towards in the end of the INDYCAR race there in 2016 and finished 15th last year. Road America is a strong track for him, now he gets to show his skills off on the 4-mile track in a NASCAR.
Last year, Jeremy Clements stole a win in Road America. Why couldn’t Daly? If he does, it will certainly turn some heads down south and could further a career in NASCAR for the Noblesville native.
Daly, originally set his sights set in a Formula One career. He moved to Europe and was on track for a ride. Unfortunately, the money card was played and he didn’t have enough funding to land a ride overseas. So, back home he came in pursuit of an INDYCAR ride. After all, he loves it here more and would love nothing more than to be a full-time driver in the series.
He’s had two chances to be so far and to my opinion, he’s thrived in both opportunities. But, that money card again was thrown and he didn’t have the proper amount to return to either seat.
The last one stung a bit as he went overseas to shoot the hit show The Amazing Race. He thought when he left that he had a deal in place to return to AJ Foyt Racing for the 2018 season. When he did return, he found out that he was a free agent. That didn’t leave him much time to find a suitable deal for a full time seat, so he would find something for the Indy 500 and then focus elsewhere.
That elsewhere has led him to NASCAR country. It’s a place where I know he can thrive and could be another one in the long list of drivers that got away.
While I say that, Daly told me that INDYCAR is still his No. 1 goal and that teams have wanted him to show them more. This is a way he can get a paying ride and do so.