Conor Daly got his first taste of Midget racing this September in the Driven2SaveLives BC39 support race for NASCAR’s Brickyard 400 on a newly designed track at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
He finished 10th (last) in his heat and 12th of 13 in his qualification race, but enjoyed the experience enough to add two more Midget races to his schedule.
Daly’s next race will be December 15, 2018 at DuQuoin, Illinois and he hopes that experience provides a suitable warmup for the prestigious Chili Bowl in mid-January.
Last year’s edition of the Chili Bowl was won by Christopher Bell.
“I got a taste last September at IMS, and the Chili Bowl is such a cool event and I want to try it,” Daly told Robin Miller. “I don’t have any great expectations, but I liked trying the dirt and I’ll get some laps at DuQuoin before the Chili Bowl, so that will help.”
Daly’s car will be entered by Jonathan Byrd Racing.
“To step out of your comfort zone and try the dirt shows me he’s a racer,” said David Byrd, who runs the organization named for his late father. “We’re renting a car from Jody Rosenboom of Iowa, and it’s a good car for a beginner, and hopefully Conor can get 30-40 laps under his belt at DuQuoin.”
The Red Bull Racing pit crew may have already made headlines last weekend when it completed the fastest pit stop in Formula One history, changing Max Verstappen’s tires in 1.82 seconds, but the team’s most recent stunt took their skills to new heights – quite literally.
With the help of the Russian Space agency Roscomos, a group of the team’s mechanics completed the world’s first zero-gravity pit stop, on-board a IIyushin II-76K cosmonaut training plane.
Using a 2005 BR1, the team filmed the viral video over the course of a week, enduring seven flights and about 80 parabolas – periods in which the plane climbs 45 degrees before falling again at a ballistic arch of 45 degrees, creating a period of weightlessness for approximately 22 seconds.
With such a short time frame between weightlessness periods, the car and equipment had to be both quickly and safely secured before gravity once again took effect. Each filming lasted roughly 15 seconds, and the stunt was the most physically and technically demanding activity the live demo team had ever undertaken.
“It pushed us harder than I thought it would,” said Red Bull Support Team Mechanic Joe Robinson. “You realize how much you rely on gravity when you don’t have any!
“It challenges you to think and operate in a different way – and that was brilliant. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity and honestly, I could have stayed and done it all month. It was amazing. I think it’s the coolest, most fun thing the Live Demo team has ever done with a show car.”
Though Red Bull was the first team to perform a pit stop in zero gravity, surprisingly Red Bull was not the first team to put a car through zero gravity. In 1999, McLaren driver David Coulthard and his car experienced zero gravity as part of a promotion for then-sponsor West Cigarettes.
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