Conor Daly did everything he needed to do in Detroit for SPM


Conor Daly did everything he needed to do this weekend, filling in for his injured friend James Hinchcliffe in the No. 5 Arrow/Lucas Oil Schmidt Peterson Honda on the streets of Detroit.

The American came up only 0.3 shy of advancing out of his group in his first street course qualifying effort with the team on Friday, and was in position for a decent result in the first race of the Verizon IndyCar Series weekend. He got up to fifth but inadvertent contact with Ryan Hunter-Reay set him back to 19th by the checkered flag.

“Sadly, the accordion effect got us. I don’t think it’s really anyone’s fault but we were just the victim,” Daly said.

Sunday provided new hope and for the second straight race, excellent strategy from the pit box and strategist Robert Gue got Daly into the lead by Lap 39.

Daly made two excellent restarts from the point, not losing any ground to the cars behind him or getting swallowed up into Turn 1.

He dropped back in the field after his last pit stop but rose back through the field. He had one hairy moment when called by Race Control for blocking on Lap 61, which dropped him to the back, but recovered to finish P6 by the checkered flag.

“Well, that was very interesting,” Daly said post-race. “Such a crazy race up and down but our car our Arrow car was fantastic the whole time – wet and dry. To lead the race, and to lead the race with the strength that we did, makes me over the moon.

“We got a little bit unlucky with the yellows but to come back and finish sixth, was so great. It was my goal to try and be here at the end of race two. I almost had a tear in my eye because I enjoyed it so much. It was wild and crazy, but I’m just happy to have it here and have a great finish.”

The fact he got the result and led 12 laps on Sunday were bonus factors, but consider what Daly has had to do in the three IndyCar weekends he’s done this year.

In Long Beach, he got drafted in for an injured driver, had his old GP2 firesuit, had never worked with the team or car before (not in this aero package), and had one 45-minute practice session to get acclimated.

In Indianapolis, he finally got a deal done to race with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, with a one-off crew, and while he had the month to get acclimated he didn’t even get the opportunity to race with a fire out the back sidelining the “FUELED by BACON” special before the green flag.

This weekend, in Detroit, he was in his third different car and with his third different crew in as many weekends, and he had his best weekend yet.

The last two drivers who raced in three different cars in as many weekends were Carlos Munoz (No. 26 Andretti Autosport, No. 4 Panther Racing, No. 5 Andretti Autosport) and Simon Pagenaud (No. 24 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, No. 22 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, No. 78 HVM Racing) in 2013 and 2011.

Munoz (Andretti) and Pagenaud (Schmidt Peterson) garnered full-time rides the next season.

Daly’s done enough to be listed alongside those two for 2016, if not the balance of this year in the No. 5 car.

Seattle Supercross by the numbers: Three riders separated by 17 points


Three riders remain locked in a tight battle with 17 points separating the leader Cooper Webb from third-place Chase Sexton and these are only a few Supercross numbers to consider entering Seattle.

Seattle Supercross numbers
Chase Sexton made a statement in Detroit with his second win of 2023. – Feld Motor Sports

For the fifth time in 10 rounds. Sexton, Webb, and Eli Tomac shared the podium in Detroit. Between them, the trio has taken 23 podiums, leaving only seven for the remainder of the field. Jason Anderson, Ken Roczen and Justin Barcia have two each with Aaron Plessinger scoring the other.

Webb and Tomac won the last four championships with two apiece in alternating years, but they were not one another’s primary rival for most of those seasons. On the average, however, the past four years show an incredible similarity with average points earned of 21.0 for Webb and 21.3 for Tomac. With five wins so far this season, Tomac (23 wins) leads Webb (19) in victories but Webb (43) edges Tomac (41) in podium finishes during this span.

Tomac has won two of the last three Seattle races and those two wins in this stadium are topped only by James Stewart. Fittingly, if Tomac gets a third win this week, he will tie Stewart for second on the all-time wins’ list. Tomac tied Ricky Carmichael for third with 48 wins at Oakland and took sole possession of that spot with his Daytona win.

Sexton still has a lot to say and after winning last week in Detroit, he is speaking up. The Supercross numbers are against him entering Seattle, however, because a points’ deficit this large after Round 10 has been erased only once. In 1983 David Bailey was 47 points behind Bob Hannah, and like Sexton he was also in third place. Bailey took the points’ lead with one race remaining.

The seven points Sexton was penalized last week for jumping in a red cross flag section in Detroit could prove extremely costly.

In fact, it has been a series of mistakes that has cost Sexton the most. In the last two weeks, he lost 10 points with a 10th-place finish to go with his penalty. Erase those, and all three riders hold their fate in their hands.

Plessinger’s heartbreak in Detroit is still fresh, but the upside of his run is that was his best of the season and could turn his fortunes around. Prior to that race, he led only seven laps in three mains. He was up front for 20 laps in Detroit with five of those being the fastest on the track.

Last week’s win by Hunter Lawrence tied him with his brother Jett Lawrence for 17th on the all-time wins’ list. With the focus shifting to 250 West for the next two rounds, Jett has a great opportunity to pull back ahead. The real test will be at the first East / West Showdown in East Rutherford, New Jersey on April 22.

Last Five Seattle Winners

2022: Eli Tomac
2019: Marvin Musquin
2018: Eli Tomac
2017: Marvin Musquin
2014: Ryan Villopoto

2022: Hunter Lawrence
2019: Dylan Ferrandis
2018: Aaron Plessinger
2017: Aaron Plessinger
2014: Cole Seely

By the Numbers

Anaheim 2
San Diego

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Power Rankings after Detroit
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Results and points after Detroit
Chase Sexton wins in Detroit, penalized seven points