IndyCar’s Conor Daly making Xfinity debut at Road America

by Justin Nguyen

Conor Daly, a veteran of the Verizon IndyCar Series, will make the transition to stock cars in August. On Friday, he announced he has joined Roush Fenway Racing for his NASCAR Xfinity Series debut at Road America. He will drive the #6 Ford Mustang as part of a three-car effort by Roush for the race.

Daly tweeted: “Guys, we are going [Xfinity] racing! Huge thanks to [Lilly Diabetes] for not only being a part of our [Indy 500] effort but also allowing me to compete against the incredible [Xfinity Series] drivers with [Roush Fenway]!”

The Indiana native competed full-time in the IndyCar Series in 2016 and 2017 for Dale Coyne Racing and A.J. Foyt Enterprises. He scored his first and only podium at the 2016 Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix‘s first race, where he finished second. Daly finished eighteenth in the points standings both years. Daly lost his ride with Foyt for 2018, though he will run the Indianapolis 500 with Thom Burns Racing.

Although Daly has experience at Road America, it will be his first time racing at the 4.048-mile course in a stock car. The open-wheel veteran won at Road America in the 2010 Star Mazda Championship, while he finished twenty-first and fifteenth in two IndyCar starts.

“I’ve raced at Road America almost every year since I was 16 and have won there,” Daly commented. “I have driven almost every form of car, but this will be my first stock car experience.”

Being a road course, it is not uncommon for teams to put in new drivers with road racing experience—nicknamed “road course ringers”—for the race. At the 2017 Road America race, such ringers included Nicholas HamannStephen YoungJames DavisonTim CowenErnie Francis Jr., and Sheldon Creed.

Lilly Diabetes will sponsor all three Roush cars. Daly, a Type 1 diabetic, was sponsored by the program at the 2016 Indianapolis 500, while Lilly also sponsors fellow Roush driver and Type 1 diabetic Ryan Reed. The third car will be driven by Ty Majeski.

“Lilly Diabetes has done so much for me and I’m excited to have them represented in full force at Road America,” Reed said. “Conor and I have been friends for a while and this is awesome that we’ll get to compete together as teammates. I can’t wait to see him behind the wheel of one of our Xfinity cars.”

The 2018 Johnsonville 180 will take place on 25 August.

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