IndyCar Driver Conor Daly Reflects On Nascar Cup Series Debut

Conor Daly pulled a “Jimmie Johnson” this previous weekend, however in opposite.

For the previous two seasons, Johnson, a seven-time Nascar Cup Series champion and winner of 83 Cup Series contests, has switched gears and competed within the NTT IndyCar Series.

This previous weekend at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval, IndyCar veteran Conor Daly traded rides by way of making his Nascar Cup Series debut within the BankofAmerica Roval 400.

Daley drove the No. 50 Chevrolet for The Money Team, owned by way of former boxing champion Floyd Mayweather.

The race path at Charlotte Motor Speedway is a component oval, phase highway path. Because Daly has a limiteless background in highway racing, a number of Nascar groups employed highway path “ringers” to pressure their entries in ultimate Sunday’s race.

Those integrated former Formula One motive force Daniil Kvyat within the No. 26 in addition to highway racers Joey Hand within the No. 15, Mike Rockenfeller within the No. 77, and Loris Hezemans within the No. 27.

When a handle The Money Team was once finalized with the motive force of the No. 20 Chevrolet for Ed Carpenter Racing within the NTT IndyCar Series, he jumped on the alternative.

“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do,” Daly advised me race morning within the storage house at Charlotte Motor Speedway. “I watch the entirety. I had all of the Nascar die-cast vehicles rising up. It’s a lovely surreal feeling getting to try this.

“We had a bit of a mechanical issue in practice that caused us to get five laps so I’m going to use the entire race to learn.”

The alternative was once created when Daly’s IndyCar sponsor, BitNile, and Todd Ault, the Chief Executive Officer, and Chairman of BitNile Holdings, discovered a chance in Nascar.

BitNile is a BitCoin market doing trade at the NYSE as NILE.

“There is business to be done in the Nascar world and they want to strengthen their business as much as possible and that is why we are here,” Daly stated.

The nature of the Roval as phase oval, phase highway path, was once very best described by way of this 12 months’s Daytona 500 winner Austin Cindric as “an oval with an asterisk.”

“It’s a cool track,” Daly stated. “I find it irresistible. It’s been nicely completed. It’s well-manicured. It looks like a smaller Rolex 24 observe at Daytona. I just like the Rolex 24, and this looks like part the dimensions.

“It’s also like a street course with close walls. You don’t have a ton of runoff in certain places, so it has that street course feel to it, too.”

Because Daly had a subject in Saturday’s most effective Cup Series observe consultation and was once not able to compete in {qualifications}, he began 39th on Sunday.

In what could be a wild race on the finish, Daly completed 35th.

“Knowing where we were on the track, knowing who we were racing against and knowing the lap times we were running at one point, that’s what I’m proud of, for sure,” Daly stated.

Prior to Daly’s Nascar Cup Series debut, his inventory automobile profession consisted of 2 NASCAR Camping World Series begins, one in 2020, an 18th-place end at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, and one in 2021, a 40th-place end, additionally at Las Vegas.

In 2018, Daly drove a Roush Fenway Racing Ford to a 31st-place end in a Nascar Xfinity Series race at Road America at Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.

Daly has competed in 97 NTT IndyCar Series races in his profession and completed 17th within the 2022 championship standings.

“This automobile feels extra like a GT
Car now,” Daly stated of Nascar’s Next Gen automobile. “I’ve pushed a large number of GT vehicles in my lifestyles, even two Rolex 24 at Daytona races. I’ve pushed giant heavy vehicles ahead of. It’s loud. It has a large number of energy and it’s a large number of amusing to pressure.

“The dimensions of it are quite large. It’s a wide car. It’s a long car. It’s a big machine. That is different as well.”

Because the inventory automobile is heavier, the braking issues are a lot other than a nimbler Indy automobile.

“It doesn’t take a ton of time, it’s a matter of fine-tuning it,” Daly defined. “You can get inside 100 meters or 50 meters of the braking level, however that ultimate 50 meters may be very tricky.

“It’s figuring how much speed you can carry with a late brake point and it’s also doing that with other people around you as well. A lot of these people, I’ve never raced against in my life.”

Daly earned numerous recognize by way of the best way he drove in Sunday’s race. He was once now not curious about any incidents with some other drivers at the observe, was once in a position to conquer a significant tire factor and later {an electrical} hearth within the automobile to complete the race.

“There were multiple different stages in those races and multiple different stages in my race as well,” Daly advised me after the race. “We had a quite blank first level after which proper out of the gate in the second one level, we had a left entrance tire come aside. That was once because of particles, we were given offline. I needed to get round JJ Yeley after he made a mistake within the again chicane.

“Offline later within the ace, there was once stuff offline that most probably contributed to it. It delaminated the tire and it pealed one of the most frame paintings off the hood as nicely.

“I refocused from there, started to work my way forward again and other issue with the tire. The left front tire exploded on us from my mistake of a big, front lockup.”

Daly stated he was once the use of the rear bias all of the race “an absurd amount” simply seeking to get extra rear brake.

“Once the electrical far happened, that put us back too far because there were no yellows,” Daly stated. “A difficult scenario, however we completed the race, were given to the tip, and were given as a lot enjoy as lets.

“We were running quite quick at times when we were able to run consistently.”

He additionally had to be told a dramatically other racing taste. It’s a automobile that doesn’t need to boost up when a motive force hits the throttle, doesn’t need to forestall once they hit the brake and doesn’t need to flip once they flip the guidance wheel.

That’s a lot other than an Indy automobile, plus there’s continuously extra touch within the race.

“It’s different, but these cars are tough,” Daly stated. “A large number of drivers lean on different vehicles, and it sort of feels to be one thing that may be completed relatively simply. That is one thing I’ve to be told. Also, how the aero platform adjustments in grimy air.

“You learn more every lap.”

Daly raced in opposition to many of those drivers for the primary time, however he without a doubt is aware of them. In the racing neighborhood, IndyCar drivers watch Nascar and lots of Nascar drivers watch IndyCar.

“I’ve known Kyle Larson for a long time, but have not interacted with him a ton,” Daly stated of the 2021 Nascar Cup Series champion. “Chase Briscoe is a man I have interaction with always. I communicate to Chase Briscoe nearly on a daily basis. AJ Allmendinger is an overly, very shut pal of mine. I communicate to him always.

“Corey LaJoie is a in reality excellent pal of mine. There are a large number of folks on this paddock I want I may see extra however we’re on two utterly other schedules and at all times at the highway.

“I’ve were given an unbelievable recognize for Tyler Reddick as nicely. He stated we have been loopy doing what we do in IndyCar. I recognize that.

“There are a lot of good drivers here. A lot of people that I try to keep up with and get advice from.”

Daly was once inspired that his quickest lap was once on Lap 90, coming past due within the race.

The first 104 laps of the race have been run with out warning, the one yellows as much as that time have been for the tip of the 2 level breaks.

Because of extra time, the race went 111 laps as an alternative of the common distance of 109.

“I was really surprised by that, but at the end it was like I was driving in a completely different series,” Daly stated. “There was once a large number of craziness, vehicles spinning in all places.

“That was once the NASCAR I had undoubtedly watched for plenty of, a few years.

“It was fascinating. My spotters were telling me to hold back because they knew everyone was going to crash, and I did hold back. But, I wanted to have a good view of it, too, because it was my first Cup race. I certainly had a good view of it, it was crazy to see how much chaos was happening, but cool to be a part of it, also. It was definitely something new to witness and a very different scene from the two previous restarts.”

Daly described his most enjoyable side of the race.

“There was a stint in the middle where I was behind Martin Truex and Chase Briscoe and watching them go at it together and having Brad Keselowski behind me and we were right there in terms of speed,” he defined. “I thought of passing Truex however didn’t need to reduce to rubble someone.

“It was once excellent as a way to be told from the ones guys and spot the place their enjoy helped them. I in reality discovered so much right through that stint.

“I also learned a lot behind AJ Almendinger. He helped me a lot for those laps before I had the electrical fire.”

As for his IndyCar journey at Ed Carpenter Racing, that is the primary time in his profession the place he has a full-time deal locked up with the similar staff for the impending season.

“You can already start working on what’s next,” Daly stated. “By January, I’ll want to know what 2024 looks like, so I’m getting greedy, for sure. We are focused on 2023 and being better. We have a lot of improvements to make, and I think we can, and we are strong at several places, as well. We want to keep that strength going and help the rest of the tracks, too.”

When Daly was once a child rising up in Noblesville, Indiana, Tony Stewart of Columbus, Indiana was once the “Hoosier Hero” in racing. He may race any automobile, any place and tackle someone.

Daly is hoping to develop into a various motive force who has already competed in quite a lot of European Junior Series, the A1GP, IndyCar, Imsa, Usac Midgets and now Nascar.

From a aggressive viewpoint, Daly’s first Nascar Cup Series race was once a good finding out enjoy as he overcame a number of antagonistic eventualities however was once in a position to make it to the checkered flag. He drove laborious, but in addition drove good, and discovered in a Nascar cutoff race within the playoffs, he didn’t need to make any unwise strikes that might doubtlessly impact one of the vital playoff drivers.

He additionally was once inspired with the display itself and the way Nascar and Charlotte Motor Speedway provide its races in comparison to what he sees frequently in IndyCar.

“If I’m completely honest, it’s impressive what Nascar puts on,” Daly stated. “The massiveness of the weekend is spectacular. The folks that have been there tenting from Friday to Sunday finish of day was once spectacular. It really was once a big tournament.

“In IndyCar we now have a large number of nice, huge occasions, however there was once one thing about that weekend the place I want IndyCar may get again to this stage. It lovely cool to be part of.

“It was a pretty big weekend to be a part of it and I want to do it again. I wish the race would restart tomorrow. I learned a lot of things and would love to give Nascar another shot.”

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