INDYCAR

Foyt IndyCar exit came as ‘a bit of a surprise’ to Daly

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Conor Daly has conceded his departure from AJ Foyt Racing at the end of the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series season came as “a bit of a surprise” as he continues to work on finding a future in the championship.

Daly was dropped by the Foyt team after a single season in 2017 alongside teammate Carlos Munoz as it opted to draft in two new faces for 2018, picking up Tony Kanaan from Chip Ganassi Racing and signing Indy Lights race winner Matheus Leist.

Speaking to the official Verizon IndyCar Series website, Daly admitted that his departure from the Foyt team came as a surprise, but said he remains determined to try and resolve the situation to secure a drive for next year.

“I’m not going to lie, it is tough, but I want to see this through. I never want to give up on what I am doing,” Daly said.

“After the last two years, I’m extremely hungry for the right situation. I just have to continue to push hard and control my own destiny.

“It was a bit of a surprise to me. The seats at the [other] teams who had sponsors were full, so it just kind of compounded a difficult situation.

“But you’d also hate to know in July or August that by the end of it you’ll be out of a job.

“In the racing world right now, it’s a tough game.”

Dale Coyne Racing holds the only full-season seat that is vacant for the 2018 season, needing a teammate for Sebastien Bourdais. Daly raced for Coyne through 2016, taking his first podium in the series with a run to second in Detroit.

The only other option for Daly lies at Ed Carpenter Racing, which requires a driver to fill the street and road course schedule in the No. 20 Chevrolet in place of team boss Ed Carpenter, who only features on the oval rounds.

Report: Spencer Pigot out at Ed Carpenter Racing

Joe Skibinski / IndyCar
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Spencer Pigot will not return to Ed Carpenter Racing in 2020, according to a story Thursday by RACER.com.

The 26-year-old Floridian, who won the 2015 Indy Lights championship, is expected to be replaced in the No. 21 Chevrolet by 2019 Indy Lights runner-up Rinus VeeKay.

“I’m appreciative of the opportunity ECR gave me,” Pigot told RACER.com. “I understand the reasons they had to go in a different direction, and wish them all the best.”

In 56 NTT IndyCar Series starts, Pigot has 15 top 10 finishes, with a best finish of second at Iowa in 2018. He finished 14th in the 2019 point standings.

VeeKay, who tested in an Indy car twice for ECR in 2019, has six wins in 18 Indy Lights starts, including a weekend sweep of the final two rounds of the season at Laguna Seca in September.

A representative from ECR told NBC Sports Thursday that the team currently could not comment on any driver rumors as the team currently does not have any drivers under contract for the 2020 season, although it is presumed that owner/driver Carpenter will return to the No. 20 entry for the oval rounds.

NBC Sports will provide updates on the story once more information becomes available.