Conor Daly will drive the No. 43 Honda-powered Dallara for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports (SPM) in the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500.
“I am ecstatic to partner with Schmidt Peterson Motorsport for the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500,” said Daly in an official team release. “I have had a great relationship with Sam Schmidt since driving for him in Indy Lights and I’ve always wanted a shot with his Verizon IndyCar Series team. It’s an honor to make my second attempt at running the Indy 500.”
Team owner Sam Schmidt was equally excited to bring the young talent to SPM as a third entry in the Indianapolis 500.
“Conor raced for our team in Indy Lights in 2011for a partial season before heading off to Europe, so we know what he is capable of,” said Schmidt. “He deserves to be competing in the IndyCar Series full time and we’re honored to be providing this opportunity.”
The 23-year-old raced at Long Beach in a one-off effort with Dale Coyne Racing, finishing 17th in relief of an injured Rocky Moran Jr. In only his second career start, Daly finishied on the lead lap while also lapping teammate and IndyCar regular, Francesco Dracone.
The second-generation racer made a previous appearance in the Indianapolis 500 with A.J. Foyt Racing, achieving 22nd in his first career IndyCar start.
The car number Daly will race with is no coincidence. Daly’s father, Derek, a former Formula One and IndyCar driver, has ties with seven-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Richard Petty. Not only will the car share the famed No. 43, it will also carry one of Petty’s primary sponsors along with the red, white, and blue livery.
The confirmation of Daly in a third entry for SPM leaves three rides open for the Indianapolis 500: two at Dale Coyne Racing and one at A.J. Foyt Racing.