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INDYCAR: Conor Daly to fill in for Gabby Chaves in Sunday’s race at Toronto

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Harding Racing on Tuesday announced that Conor Daly will drive for the team in Sunday’s Honda Indy Toronto.

The second-year team (Harding ran three races in the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series season) will have the 26-year-old Daly in the No. 88 Chevrolet-powered Dallara for the annual race on the streets of Exhibition Place in downtown Toronto.

Daly will be replacing Gabby Chaves in the race in a one-off appearance, but also with an eye toward next season as well.

“At this point in the season, we are focusing all our attention on the 2019 season,” Harding Racing team president Brian Barnhart said in a media release. “If we can expand to a two-car team, all remaining races and testing will offer driver evaluation opportunities to determine who will become Gabby’s teammate in 2019.

“Gabby is still fully employed and still under contract with Harding for the remainder of this year and in 2019.”

Chaves has qualified for all of the first 11 races on the 17-race 2018 IndyCar schedule. His best start has been eighth at St. Petersburg, with his best finish being 14th (at both St. Petersburg and in the Indy 500). In three outings with Harding in 2017, Chaves scored a best finish of fifth at Texas Motor Speedway – Chaves and Harding also finished ninth at the Indianapolis 500 last year.

The Toronto race will be Daly’s second appearance on the IndyCar circuit this season. He started 33rd and finished 21st in the Indianapolis 500 for Dale Coyne Racing.

This will be Daly’s fourth career start at Toronto, with his best finish being 12th in 2015.

Overall, Daly has 40 starts in his IndyCar career with one podium finish.

Sunday’s race will be televised live on NBCSN, with the green flag slated to fall at 3:42 p.m. ET.

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Rinus VeeKay to drive for Ed Carpenter Racing in 2020

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Ed Carpenter Racing has signed 2019 Indy Lights runner-up Rinus VeeKay to drive the full 2020 NTT IndyCar Series season, the team announced Wednesday.

VeeKay will drive the No. 21 Chevrolet previously occupied by Spencer Pigot.

“I’m so happy!” the 19-year-old driver from the Netherlands said in a press release. “It’s a dream come true and something we have worked extremely hard for over the last couple of years. To step up from USF2000 to the NTT IndyCar Series in three years is really special.”

In his maiden Indy Lights season this year, VeeKay collected six race victories and seven pole potions. VeeKay previously won the 2018 Indy Pro 2000 championship, and finished second in the 2017 USF2000 standings.

VeeKay’s success in the ladder series caught the attention of Carpenter, who gave VeeKay the opportunity to first test for the team at Portland International Raceway in August.

“I have been following Rinus’s path through the Road to Indy, especially the past two years,” Carpenter said. “It was clear to me that he deserves to be in an Indy car. After his first day in a car at Portland this past season, that feeling became even more apparent. His pace, feedback and demeanor inside the car was very impressive for such a young driver.”

As a driver, Carpenter will be VeeKay’s teammate during the five oval races in 2020, once again returning to the team’s No. 20 entry. An announcement on which driver will pilot the No. 20 on the road and street circuits will be made at a later time.

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