Conor Daly to race Indy 500 for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) Conor Daly won't have to endure watching the Indianapolis 500 from a few thousand miles away this year.
He'll be a participant instead. Schmidt Peterson Motorsports announced Saturday at Barber Motorsports Park that Daly will drive its third entry, the No. 43 Honda, in the May 24 race.
The 23-year-old Daly also competed in the 2013 Indy 500 for AJ Foyt Racing and said he's ''over the moon'' to have another chance in IndyCar's premier race. He has been racing in Europe the past four years on the GP3 and GP2 series, trying to work his way up to Formula 1.
''It was killer to miss it last year,'' he said. ''I was really hurting watching every session on my computer while I was in Europe. Really, really nice to be back. Very satisfying.''
Daly drove for Dale Coyne Racing at Long Beach on less than an hour's notice before the final practice session when he switched from giving guests rides around the track to preparing to race. He finished 17th.
''We've always felt he was capable of being full-time in IndyCar,'' Sam Schmidt said, ''and he proved that last week.''
His father, Derek Daly, is a former Formula One and IndyCar driver and longtime motorsports broadcaster. Derek Daly twice won the 12 Hours of Sebring and competed in six Indy 500s.
Conor Daly said his father has been ''at the front of the fight'' in trying to get him back in an IndyCar ride for Indianapolis over the last few months.
''It's taken a lot of work,'' he said, adding that his father didn't get to see any of his races in 2014.
Owner Sam Schmidt says they ''know what he is capable of'' since he raced for the team during part of the 2011 IndyLights season before heading to Europe.
''Obviously, over the moon to just to be back at the 500 and to have a shot with such a competitive team and a good group of guys with Honda and the whole Schmidt Peterson organization,'' Daly said. ''I know most of those guys.
''It's really cool to be back working with them.''