Daly Occurrence: A Long Time in the Making

This article was originally published on MTAF Wheels, which is now dark. Thank you for enjoying it here, through the Live Full Throttle Archives. 

Just short of 23 months. That’s how long Conor Daly has waited to get back in an IndyCar in a competitive manner.

He’s waited patiently. He’s raced in GP3, GP2 and even a one-off drive in Indy Lights since his single ride with AJ Foyt Racing at the 2013 Indianapolis. He tested with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports in this past off-season but that No. 7 seat ultimately went to James Jakes.

0418151002h-1Today was the moment Conor has been waiting for, for nearly two years: getting the call to drive for a Verizon IndyCar Series team. A little birdie told me he took off in the middle of breakfast without even finishing the food he was chewing! You can’t blame him for that though; I think I would have choked on my bacon if it was me! This is all Daly has been wanting… a chance.

A chance to get back in an IndyCar.

A chance to show that he has the talent and drive to pilot one of these DW-12’s with precision and professionalism.

A chance to prove that this is what he was born to do.

Sometimes you are lucky enough, at some point in life, to have that epiphany and know exactly what your purpose is and hopefully, you figure out how to get there. So many times that ultimate goal is not easily accomplished without the assistance of others and without someone believing in you and your abilities… essentially, taking that chance on you.

“This is why I bring my stuff to the track every week and this is why I’m here and this is why I’m ready.” – Conor Daly

Dale Coyne Racing has taken that chance on Conor Daly in Long Beach, and hopefully it’s not a one-and-done situation. This writer is not the only one that hopes to see Daly in a ride for the remainder of the year or at least sharing the ride. It’s not unprecedented. Ed Carpenter and Luca Filippi share piloting of the No. 20 CFH Racing Chevy; Sebastian Saavedra and Sage Karam are splitting driving duties of the No. 8 Ganassi Chevy. Why not have Huertas & Daly split the season with the No. 18 Honda?

Here’s hoping for a solid & fair solution, but for now… have a fantastic weekend in Long Beach, Conor. You’ve earned it.