Daly: Indy 500 lead stint "proved we belong up there" - Motor Informed
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Daly: Indy 500 lead stint “proved we belong up there”

Daly and team-mate Rinus Veekay led a complete of 72 laps on the 2021 Indy 500, the very best of any crew, however after late mishaps, their crew boss Ed Carpenter was the highest-finishing ECR driver in fifth.

VeeKay began his second Indy 500 on the entrance row and the winner of IMS’s street course race, the GMR Grand Prix, appeared determined to steer each Month of Might races.

With polesitter Scott Dixon and second-placed Colton Herta pleased to save lots of gasoline within the opening levels, the 20-year-old Dutchman took to the entrance and led the primary stint till his first pitstop.

An sadly timed yellow in the course of the first pitstop sequence eliminated a number of frontrunners from rivalry, together with Ganassi’s Dixon, whereas Daly vaulted from 18th to 3rd.

Native hero Daly was the subsequent ECR driver to command the race, main 40 laps, greater than another driver.

On lap 119 Daly’s fortunes modified when he was hit by a flying wheel from Graham Rahal’s wrecked Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing automotive.

Daly managed to hold on, however injury to his nostril precipitated his automotive to understeer, and he fell again to 13th on the line.

“The explanation we didn’t win was due to our entrance wing; after Graham Rahal crashed, an enormous tire simply fell out of the sky,” Daly mentioned.

“The automotive began understeering fairly a bit, but it surely was good to be out entrance within the first half. We proved as we speak that we’re succesful and belong up there.”

Conor Daly, Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet, Rinus VeeKay, Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet, Colton Herta, Andretti Autosport Honda, Helio Castroneves, Meyer Shank Racing Honda, Alex Palou, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda

Conor Daly, Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet, Rinus VeeKay, Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet, Colton Herta, Andretti Autosport Honda, Helio Castroneves, Meyer Shank Racing Honda, Alex Palou, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda

Picture by: Phillip Abbott / Motorsport Images

As a result of a sluggish closing pitstop VeeKay additionally misplaced contact with frontrunners Alex Palou, Patricio O’Ward and eventual winner Helio Castroneves, dropping him to an eighth-place end.

“Main over 30 laps as we speak feels nice,” VeeKay mentioned.

“I’m very pleased with how I did and with the ability to end eighth. 

“I used to be main within the first stint however we needed to avoid wasting gasoline so we labored with Conor to run second.

“When the final yellow got here out, we fell a bit quick and it did not go our method. 

“Girl Luck wasn’t on my aspect as we speak however there are a lot of extra races this season and plenty of extra Indianapolis 500s in my future.”

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Workforce proprietor Carpenter additionally left the observe pondering what might need been, combating again to complete within the high 5 after finger bother together with his automotive on the first pitstop.

“On my first cease, I made a rookie mistake of stalling the automotive so we dug ourselves a gap,” the 40-year-old three-time Indy polesitter defined. 

“The #20 SONAX Chevrolet boys kicked ass as we speak within the pits and with the technique. This one is all them.

“The automotive was good, but it surely was powerful deep within the pack. It was nice to have the ability to get again to the battle on the finish and get a high 5. From the way it was trying earlier within the day, to take residence a high 5 is not a nasty day. 

“It does nonetheless damage shedding this race and watching another person have a good time. [But] I’m pleased for Helio; he’s even older than me so it provides me hope nonetheless that I’ll preserve coming again and chasing this factor.”

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