By Christopher DeHarde, IndyCar & Road to Indy Writer
Conor Daly has undergone several changes this year in the Verizon IndyCar Series.
He changed teams. He changed manufacturers. He even changed his diet to become vegan around two weeks ago, losing about ten pounds in the process.
Whatever else he might have changed must have helped because on Sunday he finished 10th in the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, scoring AJ Foyt Racing’s first top ten on a permanent road course since Mid-Ohio in 2016.
Daly started 11th and ran as high as eighth before the first round of pit stops. Daly then found himself in 11th again a few laps after the late race restart and was able to get past James Hinchcliffe for 10th on Lap 84. But what caused the change in form?
“Everyone keeps pointing to the diet,” said Daly. “I don’t think it was the diet at all!”
“We had a pretty good car today. We got screwed with (Esteban) Gutierrez – I don’t know what he was doing a lapped down blocking us. I was trying to follow James (Hinchcliffe) and Marco (Andretti) and just got blocked, so that was unfortunate when we lost time and that yellow killed us.
“So it was just trying to work our way up from there and we were able to make some good moves, the car was really competitive so it was fun to finally be in an attack position.”
Daly tested at Mid-Ohio the previous week and pointed to that as why the car was really good.
“Probably just the test day, every test day counts for us, it’s just more information,” Daly said.
“This is an information battle, this is a development battle. We go out and see Will Power qualify on pole with a Chevy front wing that we’re told that isn’t recommended to run so it’s like all right, there’s got to be something that we still don’t know. But I’m excited for this day, it was just a good solid weekend for us overall.”
This isn’t the first good run the Noblesville, Indiana native has had at Mid-Ohio. Last season when he drove for Dale Coyne Racing, Daly finished sixth after leading during the late portion of the race.
“I hated this track until midway through the race last year, so I think it’s just good to get a couple of good results here and keep moving on,” Daly said.
The ABC Supply 500 at Pocono will be the next IndyCar race on August 20th.