Conor Daly returning to Ed Carpenter Racing for road and street courses, Indy 500

Conor Daly Ed Carpenter
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Conor Daly will return to Ed Carpenter Racing for a partial NTT IndyCar Series schedule next season of road and street courses and the Indy 500, the team announced Friday.

The U.S. Air Force will be the primary sponsor for Daly in the No. 20 Dallara-Chevrolet for 10 of the 13 road and street course races. Daly also will have Air Force sponsorship for the Indianapolis 500, which he will race in a third car for ECR as team owner Ed Carpenter takes over the No. 20 for the series’ four oval races.

ECR also will have 2020 rookie of the year Rinus Veekay returning next year in its full-time No. 21 Dallara-Chevy.

It’s the second consecutive season with ECR for Daly, who ran the full 2020 season in IndyCar by racing the ovals with Carlin.

He finished a season-best sixth in the June 6 season opener at Texas Motor Speedway and earned his first career pole position for the July 17 race at Iowa Speedway. His best ECR finish was 12th, twice at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.

“It feels incredible to have another year together with the U.S. Air Force and Ed Carpenter Racing,” Daly, 29, said in a release. “Continuity has always been helpful for me in my career; the fact that we are able to hit the ground running in 2021 already having experience together gives me a lot of confidence. Every day we learn more and develop a stronger relationship.

“This would not be possible without the support of the U.S. Air Force, who have been an incredibly supportive and loyal partner. I want nothing more than to win races and compete for the entrant championship for the Airmen, the guys at ECR and my boss Ed, who has become a true friend of mine. I can’t wait to get back to work!”

Daly has partnered with the U.S. Air Force since 2018, starting with a one-off entry for the Indy 500.

“This partnership draws a parallel with how we fly, fight and win,” said Maj. Jason Wyche, Chief, Air Force National Events Branch at Air Force Recruiting Service. “Both organizations rely on the principles of science, technology, engineering and math to accomplish the mission. … Everything just ties in perfectly with how we accomplish our respective missions.”