With a very full head of hair, Conor Daly still seeking a full schedule in IndyCar

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He has only one NASCAR race on his schedule, but Conor Daly showed up to an NTT IndyCar Series preseason media availability with a full-on stock-car head of hair.

Sporting a styled mullet that would have put Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Noah Gragson to shame, Daly said he had used “realistically enough hairspray to set a house on fire, but I’m excited about it either way.

It’s not always going to look like this. For today, we’re just going to let it eat and have a great time.

“Josef Newgarden even said to me this morning, ‘Wow, you look good.’ As a man who had to grow up going up against Josef Newgarden, not only in the driving category but also the looks category, because that guy is just a finely tuned specimen, he just looks like a Greek god, it’s impressive to hear that from him, so I feel pretty good about it.”

Newgarden, the two-time IndyCar champion, confirmed that Daly “looked amazing,” estimating with a laugh that it took at least three cans of hairspray.

“It’s not for me, but it fits him,” he said. “At this point he’s built a brand, OK? I think he should own it, which he clearly is. You show up with that type of a haircut, he is on brand for Conor Daly. That was professionally done. He went to a hairdresser this morning and got that done up. I admire the level of commitment he has for his brand. Good for him. He is a very committed person.

“I think Conor probably gets a bad rap at times. From a personal note, I’ve known Conor since he was a young kid. We grew up together racing karts. He’s a super talented individual. He does work very hard and tries to get the most out of himself and out of situations that he’s in. Don’t be deceived by this brand that he’s got going on around him.”

Indeed, the merry prankster also is among the most traveled drivers in IndyCar. Daly had to hustle from his media obligations Thursday in Indianapolis to Las Vegas. On Friday night, he will be racing with Niece Motorsports in the Camping World Truck Series at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, where he finished 18th in his truck debut last Sept. 25.

IndyCar Iowa Speedway qualifying
Conor Daly after winning a pole position last year at Iowa Speedway (IndyCar).

He would like to add more races – including possibly the Xfinity race during the August NASCAR-IndyCar crossover weekend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course – but “IndyCar for sure is the focus” for now. Vegas was a late add after the IndyCar season opener was rescheduled from this weekend.

“I want to race everything, everywhere, anytime,” he said. “I got to keep myself busy. I got to get the body rolling into race mode.”

After a breakout season in which he became a mega iRacing and Twitch personality while also enjoying success on track with his first IndyCar pole, Daly still is trying to nail down three more IndyCar races this season. He is slated to run the 13 road and street courses, plus the Indianapolis 500, for ECR in the No. 20 Dallara-Chevrolet.

“If I was a betting man, yes,” Daly said when asked if he’d run the full year. “I would enjoy doing the whole season. I think it’s possible. But it’s not up to me. … It’s a financial game. Obviously we need to have certain things to make certain things happen. Right now it’s the best situation possible for me and the U.S. Air Force. … To be honest, I would actually like more ovals on the schedule. If I can organize another program to end up doing the full season, it all fits really well.”

In the meantime, there could be more NASCAR races, but he will need help without having any sponsorship attached. Action sports star Travis Pastrana, who became a buddy through iRacing last year, helped set up Daly’s Vegas truck start last year.

“I don’t think anyone is just going to take a chance and say, ‘Hey, we like your hair, jump in this Xfinity car,’ “ Daly said. “We’ll see. Physically it’s going to be hard to do both (IndyCar and NASCAR at Indy) in the same weekend, that’s tough. But I’m a yes man. I learned that from saying yes to Travis Pastrana; anytime he asks you to do something you always say yes. I’m not a no man.”