Conor Daly just might wish that every IndyCar race was held on the Indianapolis road course.
The Ed Carpenter Racing driver fired the No. 20 Chevy into the Firestone Fast Six at last year’s Indy GP by securing sixth on the starting grid and he went two spots better on Friday after locking up a fourth-place start in front of the home audience.
Days after telling RACER he was determined to race his way out of an early season slump, the Hoosier set himself, and the No. 20 ECR team, up for a strong result in the 85-lap contest.
“It’s much nicer fighting with these guys than not, you know what I mean?” Daly said while sitting with pole-winner Will Power and second-place qualifier Alex Palou. “As Will Power says all the time, some of the most talented drivers in the world [are in IndyCar]. When you have a good qualifying, especially [here at Indianapolis] — this is an incredible track — I truly believe that. It’s so close. It’s insane how the gaps are so small. It’s nice to be able to just put three solid runs together. [It] would have been nice to maybe be on the front row, but I just had one moment on the lap and that’s all it takes. It’s still a great day for us.”
Daly is looking to avoid cartoon anvils and all other forms of adversity at the start on Saturday and see how the rest of the afternoon plays out.
“Me and luck at this place…I don’t know,” he said. “It’s interesting. We’re just going to go charge down to that first corner and avoid all the other people with four tires on their car, and hopefully the people avoid me too. We’ll see. You can’t hope for anything; you’ve just got to do your best to pass the guys in front of you, and I’m going to hope that [Palou] gets a nice jump and we can follow each other down in Turn 1 nicely.”