Monday, May 27, 2024

Conor Daly to run Mid-Ohio Trucks

Conor Daly might be out of an NTT IndyCar Series seat, but at least he will get some track time anyway this summer. On Thursday, Niece Motorsports announced he will make his return to the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on 8 July, where he will drive the #41 Chevrolet Silverado RST.

“I can”t wait to work with everyone at Niece Motorsports again,” Daly stated. “Even though we’ve only done a few races together, it feels like I’m part of their family. I have a lot of respect for (team owner) Al Niece and the supportive partners of the team like Unishippers and Worldwide Express. It means a lot to get to represent for them as well as Chevrolet. Mid-Ohio is one of my favourite tracks and with the experience I have there I think it will be really beneficial in getting me up to speed quickly.”

Daly last raced in the Truck Series in 2021 at Las Vegas with Niece, but finished last after being a fiery crash. It was his second start in the series after finishing eighteenth in the previous year’s Vegas event, which he ran alongside close friend Travis Pastrana.

Since 2022, he has made sporadic NASCAR Cup Series appearances for The Money Team Racing, which included qualifying for the 2023 Daytona 500 where he finished twenty-ninth. He ran the 500 alongside Pastrana, in his Cup début, while his latest NASCAR race was at COTA in March where he placed thirty-sixth with a transmission failure.

Much of his focus had been on IndyCar, where he was twentieth in points before being released by Ed Carpenter Racing seven races into the 2023 season. He has made seven starts at Mid-Ohio in IndyCar with a best finish of sixth in 2016, while his most recent run there in 2022 was thirteenth.

The Mid-Ohio Truck race will take place a week after the IndyCar event there. It will add some more racing to his summer schedule following his ECR departure as he is also set to make his début in Pastrana’s Nitrocross series this weekend at MidAmerica Outdoors.

“We’ve enjoyed working with Conor in the past and are excited to have him join our team again this season,” commented Niece Motorsports general manager Cody Efaw. “Conor’s experience on road courses, especially at Mid-Ohio, should be a big benefit for him this weekend.”

While Niece respectively fields the #42 and #45 full-time for Carson Hocevar and Lawless Alan, the #41 has been piloted by five other drivers so far in 2023. Pastrana coincidentally began the year in the #41 at Daytona, while others to pilot the truck include Tyler Carpenter, Chad and Ross Chastain, and Bayley Currey. The #41 is currently sixteenth in owner points with Ross Chastain and Currey holding its best run of fourth at COTA and Atlanta.