Conor Daly Returns to NASCAR During Indianapolis Double

Getty Conor Daly will attempt a unique feat in August.

Conor Daly has made three NASCAR Cup Series starts dating back to the Charlotte Roval in 2022. Now, he will take on a unique challenge in the form of the Indianapolis Double.

Daly, who drives full-time in the NTT IndyCar Series for Ed Carpenter Racing, will make his return to TMT Racing and the Cup Series on August 13 for the Verizon 200 at The Brickyard at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.

One day prior to his Cup Series return, Daly will take on the Indianapolis road course in his No. 20 Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet. He will compete in the Gallagher Grand Prix, which will mark his third start of the year at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

“We’re already scheduled to do The Brickyard Double at the moment,” Daly told Heavy ahead of a race weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. “So we’re gonna go to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the IndyCar Series and the NASCAR Cup Series and do that. So that’ll be a lot of fun.”

There Are Multiple Other Races Remaining on His Schedule

Conor Daly

GettyConor Daly races at the Charlotte Roval.

Daly has made two starts for TMT Racing so far in 2023, but he is not done. He will make multiple more starts in the NASCAR Cup Series as part of a deal with the second-year team.

Daly doesn’t yet have the exact dates for these races. He knows the exact number in which he will compete, but he hasn’t fully figured out where he will suit up. Though Daly has a list of tracks where he would like to take on the best in the Cup Series.

“Other tracks, we have a total of definitely five races on our schedule,” Daly continued. “Not exactly sure which ones yet. But I don’t know. I mean, in the future I’d love to do Homestead. That’s one that I would love to do eventually.

“Yeah, it definitely wouldn’t work for this year. I would love to do Talladega. I would love to do Darlington. I want to do Watkins Glen. All those tracks are pretty exciting to me.”

Homestead-Miami Speedway is a track where Daly specifically said he would like to compete in multiple series. The intermediate track was part of the CART/IndyCar schedule from 1996 until 2010, and it featured such winners as Michael Andretti, Max Papis, Scott Dixon, Dan Wheldon, and Sam Hornish Jr. Daly did not make his IndyCar Series debut until 2013, so he missed out on the South Florida battles.

Daly Continues To Gain Experience in NASCAR

Daly’s focus remains on pursuing wins and a championship in the IndyCar Series, but the starts in NASCAR provide an opportunity to test himself against a different group of competitors.

Daly’s first-ever start in the NASCAR Cup Series was not a smooth affair. A steering issue sent him into the wall during practice and then a fire created problems in the race. His second start — the Daytona 500 — saw the No. 50 falling six laps down as it did not have the same pace as other entries.

The trip to Circuit of the Americas was the most complete race weekend of Daly’s limited NASCAR career. He was able to take part in practice and qualifying sessions at the Texas road course, and he was able to keep pace with several other drivers. However, a mechanical issue disrupted his afternoon.

“Honestly, there’s still so much for me to learn,” Daly said. “And we did make progress, for sure, as a team. We were able to do all the sessions, which is a first for us — practice and qualifying and the race.

“The first bit was a little tough for me. The first set of tires didn’t really agree with me that well. And as soon as we got on the next set of tires, it was time to go forward and we were able to start moving the right way. Was not getting left behind in any way by the guys that we raced with.”

The remaining five races on Daly’s schedule will only benefit him. He will gain more experience behind the wheel of the Next Gen car, and he will try to join AJ Allmendinger on the list of drivers that have become competitive in NASCAR after contending in an open-wheel series.

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