Conor Daly finished on the podium for the first time in his Verizon IndyCar Series career with a great drive in race one around the streets of Belle Isle on Saturday, finishing a close second to race winner Sebastien Bourdais.
The young American took his Dale Coyne Racing car into race winning contention with a great strategy and a strong performance around the street circuit, despite admitting it was a tough race that ended up with bloodied thumbs and suffering slightly with dehydration.
Daly admitted it was a great feeling to claim the podium whilst battling Bourdais for the win and trying to keep Juan Pablo Montoya behind him in the final laps, something he eventually achieved with relative ease.
“This feels like a win,” admitted Daly. “I can’t believe we were trying to go after Bourdais and trying defend against (Juan Pablo) Montoya. I used to watch these guys here.
“It’s crazy. This is why you do it, to get on the podium. We made it this time now we need to do it more. It was a lot harder than I thought. I’m cramping up all over. I’ve got to get hydrated because it was a tough race and my thumbs are bleeding, but the car is good though so I’ll drive it like that any time.
“We were able to prove that we had a good car and this car has been good all weekend. It’s just sweet. We’re always having to fight from the back. We’re only making things difficult on ourselves.
“But it’s just small things, small gremlins every time. I’m still a rookie at this so there’s a lot for me to learn, but gosh, the guys on the stand called a beautiful race.
“The tires lasted all the way to the end. So, it was amazing because they kept getting better. It was really awesome and just gave us a shot to fight for the top three.”