From my (Jake Query) IMS Radio perch atop the Northeast Vista, I’ve seen ya. I’ve seen ya pulling names from a hat and the driver’s name you pull end up being your favorite for the next 500 miles.
So, for the 33 days leading up to the race, I figured I’d let ya know more about the PEOPLE in the cockpit or the people you may end up rooting for when you pull a name out of a hat. A couple things you might want to know about these drivers is…
- Who shares YOUR passion?
- Who likes YOUR favorite musician?
- Whose story strikes a chord that connects beyond the strip of paper you pulled from the hat?
Strap in. Ride along for 33 days of “Get to know”.
Conor Daly – Ed Carpenter Racing – Car #20
All You Need To Know About Conor Daly.
He must have felt he’d finally made it onto “Nitro Circus.” That’s what Conor Daly seeks. High flying, adrenaline inducing challenges. A self confessed adrenaline junkie.
Just not then. Not amidst his dream Indy 500, one of those amazing days where, just 16 laps prior, Conor Daly ran out front in the biggest race in the world.
The world. He’s been to every corner of it. Raced in Europe. Won in India. Took part, with fellow NTT IndyCar driver Alexander Rossi, on the CBS reality show “The Amazing Race”.
Then his amazing race of 2021 was derailed. A tire fell from the sky, collecting Daly’s Ed Carpenter Racing Air Force Chevrolet. It had come off Graham Rahal’s car, bounced high into the air of Conor Daly’s hometown, and came down into the path of a guy going over 220 miles per hour.
It’s how Conor Daly lives. Full throttle. The 2010 graduate of Heritage Christian High School is always up for a challenge. When challenges are at the right time, of course.
By the time Daly realized what happened, he’d nearly come to the spot where, on lap 50, he’d first taken the lead.
Right there in turn 3, flanked by the Snake Pit stage that’ll soon be manned by Deadmou5, his favorite DJ. The crowd roared when he made that pass, surging his way from his starting spot of 19th to the front.
He led 40 laps, the most of anyone in last year’s race. But that tire. Fell from the sky.
Daly salvaged a 13th place finish in last year’s race, but it felt like he was owed better.
It’s true- the track where his step father is President and his Dad ran six “Indy 500”s owes no one anything- but it could have done Conor better that day, no?
All he’s done is plugged and pushed his way, resiliently running for 5 different teams in his 8 Indy starts.
The guy could probably get elected as Speedway’s Mayor, his quick wit and self deprecation building his own entourage that loves seeing him at the track. Away from it, he loves his TV Shows- Entourage and Mayor of Kingstown among them.
He was just 12 years old when he was the Yamaha Indiana State karting champion. At 30, the kid in him still exists. It takes a back seat, though, when he straps into the cockpit to
focus on his job; all four wheels steered towards another run to the front.