Conor Daly gets Indianapolis 500 ride with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports
Conor Daly will start his second Indianapolis 500 this May.
After driving for A.J. Foyt two years ago in the Greatest Spectacle in Racing, the second generation Indy car driver will get another chance to tackle the Brickyard with Sam Schmidt Motorsports (SPM) in the 99th edition, the team and Daly announced today at Barber Motorsports Park. This will be the third entry for SPM, aligned with James Hinchcliffe and James Jakes.
Daly, 23, the son of former Indy car and Formula 1 pilot Derek Daly, has been working toward this effort since leaving GP3 and GP2, the international training grounds for Formula 1. He has set his goal of racing in the Verizon IndyCar Series as top priority.
In the second of the current three-straight Indy car races, last weekend at Long Beach, Calif., Daly stepped into Dale Coyne Racing’s No. 18 on Sunday – with only 21 laps of practice and one session of qualifying under his belt on Saturday – and produced a clean, 18th place result from 21st on the grid.
As SPM and Coyne run similar equipment with Honda-powered cars, the transition shouldn’t be a difficult one for the Noblesville, Ind. native. “I am ecstatic to partner with Schmdit Peterson Motorsport for the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500,” he said. “I have had a great relationship with Sam Schmidt since driving for him in Indy Lights and I’ve always wanted a shot with his Verizon IndyCar Series team. I can’t thank everyone enough who have put in the hours to pull this program together. I am confident we will all benefit from this relationship going forward and I can’t wait to get to work on the track.”
Sponsorship and livery for Daly’s No. 43 Honda Indy car will be unveiled as the team prepares for the first day of practice for the famous 200-lap race, beginning Monday, May 11. Sam Schmidt, team co-owner remarked, “Conor raced for our team in Indy Lights in 2011 for a partial season before heading off to Europe, so we know what he is capable of [doing]. He deserves to be competing in the Indy car series full-time and we’re honored to be providing this opportunity.”
Conor Daly won the Long Beach Indy Lights race for Schmidt in 2011 before he began competing in Europe. He owns a single victory in GP3 (2012) and strong championships in the 2010 Star Mazda (now Pro Mazda) and in the MRF Challenge Formula 2000 (2012-3). He performed straight-line aero testing for the Sahara Force India Formula 1 team (2012).
Words and Photo By Anne Proffit