Friday, July 19, 2024

Conor Daly to sub for Simon Pagenaud in Iowa

Simon Pagenaud‘s return to racing following a scary crash earlier this month at Mid-Ohio will have to wait another week. According to Meyer Shank Racing‘s website, Pagenaud has yet to be cleared by the IndyCar Medical Team in time for this weekend’s doubleheader at Iowa Speedway.

The 2019 Indy 500 winner suffered a brake failure during Practice 2 at Mid-Ohio, causing his #60 Honda to barrel roll six times through the gravel before coming to rest against the outside barrier in Turn 4.

Conor Daly raced the car in place of Pagenaud for the race in Mid-Ohio, bringing it home in on the lead lap in 20th. MSR IMSA driver Tom Blomqvist was called in to drive the #60 last weekend in Toronto but was collected in a race-ending accident just two corners in. Since Daly has oval experience in IndyCar, he’ll step back into the car for the time being in Iowa.

“Iowa has definitely become one of my favorite tracks in the last couple of years.” said Daly. “Obviously I have qualified really well there – qualified on the pole and started in the top three the last two years. Hopefully we can replicate that qualifying performance, but also deliver in the race. The team does an incredible job to prepare the car, so we’re going to do our best for Simon again.”

Credit: James Black/Penske Entertainment

Conor Daly does indeed have some success at Iowa and on ovals. Although only able to convert one of those qualifying positions into a top ten, the 31-year-old led the most laps at the Indy 500 in 2021 along with four top-tens at Gateway in just six races.

The Noblesville, Indiana native has been without a full-time IndyCar seat since early June after he and Ed Carpenter Racing “mutually parted ways” due to a lack of results. Longtime Andretti Autosport driver and series veteran Ryan Hunter-Reay now occupies Daly’s former #20 Chevrolet.