Conor Daly back with Andretti Autosport for Laguna Seca

INDYCAR Photo by Chris Owens
INDYCAR Photo by Chris Owens
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Conor Daly’s impressive run in the 103rd Indianapolis 500 has earned him another shot in the United States Air Force Honda in the 2019 NTT IndyCar Series. Daly will drive the No. 25 entry in the September 22 season finale WeatherTech Raceway at Laguna Seca in Monterey, California, the team announced Thursday.

Andretti Autosport will run five cars in that race.

“I couldn’t be more excited to get back to my road course routes and take on Laguna Seca with Andretti Autosport and the United States Air Force,” Daly said.  “It’s been incredible to be a part of the team this year carrying the USAF colors and to represent them at the season finale will be very special.  I’m very proud of what we’ve been able to do with the USAF this year on and off the track and I can’t wait to get back in the No. 25 car.”

Daly made his sixth Indy 500 start in the 103rd Running of the Indianapolis 500 with Andretti Autosport, qualifying in 11th and finished 10th, his career-best start and finish for the famed 500-mile race.

The second-generation racer holds wins in both Indy Lights and the Pro Mazda (now Indy Pro 2000) series and claimed the 2010 Pro Mazda championship. Daly holds 46 career IndyCar Series starts with 11 top-10 finishes.

“We are thrilled to have Conor, as well as the U.S. Air Force, join us again for the season finale in Laguna Seca,” said Michael Andretti, CEO, Andretti Autosport. “Conor was a great addition during the month of May and being able to continue this great partnership with the Air Force at the series season finale is another special opportunity to show our support and honor the brave men and women serving our Nation.”

The United States Air Force served as Daly’s primary sponsor at the Indianapolis 500 and has been an associate sponsor for Andretti Autosport all season with branding featured across the team’s four full-season entries of Alexander Rossi, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Marco Andretti and Zach Veach.

“We were extremely proud of the effort that Conor (Daly) and the entire Andretti Autosport Team put in for the Indianapolis 500,” said Maj Ross McKnight, Chief Air Force National Events Branch. “The activation exceeded all Air Force Recruiting objectives and we are excited to continue that success at Laguna Seca and the IndyCar season finale.”

The season finale for the NTT IndyCar Series will broadcast live Sunday, September 22, on NBC with the green flag dropping at 2:30 p.m. ET.

Ganassi announces multiyear sponsorship extension with American Legion for No. 10

Chip Ganassi American Legion
David Allio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
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Chip Ganassi Racing announced a new primary sponsorship deal with The American Legion this week, shoring up the funding on its No. 10 Dallara-Honda of Alex Palou.

The 2021 NTT IndyCar Series champion primarily had driven with NTT Data sponsorship the past two seasons. But NTT Data will move next season to McLaren Racing as a primary sponsor for Felix Rosenqvist in 10 races and on the Indy 500 car of Tony Kanaan (who drove an American Legion car for Ganassi at the Brickyard last year).

It was the latest twist in a McLaren-Ganassi saga that included a contract dispute for the services of Palou (who is expected to move to McLaren in 2024 after reaching an agreement to race with Ganassi next year).

Ganassi stayed within its own walls to help plug the sponsorship gap left by NTT Data, re-signing The American Legion to a multiyear extension. The Indianapolis-based non-profit organization, which has been sponsoring Ganassi cars for the past few seasons, also will be associated with other Ganassi drivers, including Indy 500 winner Marcus Ericsson and development driver Kyffin Simpson in Indy NXT.

The Ganassi organization will continue promoting The American Legion’s “Be The One” campaign aimed at reducing veteran suicides. The team launched an online auction for the initiative this week.

“Supporting our nation’s veterans is of immense importance to our organization and we are humbled to continue supporting The American Legion’s mission in ending veteran suicide,” team owner Chip Ganassi said in a release. “We will do absolutely everything we can to help veterans get the support they need while raising public awareness of the ‘Be The One’ platform.”

“We have received an overwhelming amount of support from fans, active-duty military members and veterans as a result of this partnership and we’re pleased to see it grow,” said Dean Kessel, chief marketing officer at The American Legion. “Thanks to the continuous collaboration with the team’s other partners, and the promotion of the ‘Be The One’ initiative, we are discovering more ways to engage with the military community than ever before. We want all veterans to know that it’s okay to ask for help.”