Conor Daly has had a rough couple of races, but as the Honda Indy weekend gets underway, he hopes to turn his luck around.
“Well, I mean we want to rebound – rebounding is the key,” Daly told OnPitRoad.com on Friday. “For me, it’s nice to get back to a street course where I run so well. Road America was not a street course, but it was going well again, so we need just a nice weekend that we can get through. We need to get through a weekend with no stupid issues, or random problems.”
Daly’s rookie year has been full of ups and downs. He’s been solid at the road and street courses – leading laps at the Grand Prix of Indianapolis and St. Petersburg, and finishing second in the first Duel at Detroit. Along with some really strong runs have been some less than stellar runs at the oval tracks like Iowa Speedway this past weekend.
“I think we’ve done a good job with what we’ve got,” Daly said. “There’s things on my side, and within the team that we need to work on. I think our season’s a seven on a one-10 scale. We got a trophy (second at Detroit) within six or seven races. We have to be really happy about that. We’ve led a lot of laps at different races, and I think the Grand Prix of Indy was one of the best races of my life. I think that was one for sure that we have to be happy about.”
Toronto’s rough track surface often has drivers on the edge of control as the changes between concrete and asphalt patches leaves drivers scratching their heads at times.
“We’ve got a very similar setup to Detroit, but obviously when we went out there we needed to make huge changes immediately,” Daly said. “I think this track is unique. The concrete patches make it a really different animal, so it’s a tough place. I think no matter what, everyone will be making big changes unless you’re Bourdais, or any of the guys at the front.
“The big thing here is trying to get the car to navigate those patches in the most efficient manner.”
Daly started the year with Luca Filippi as a teammate at Dale Coyne Racing, but Gabby Chaves was put in the car for the month of May. Filippi’s back this weekend for Toronto, and after a strong second-place finish last year for Ed Carpenter Racing, Daly plans to lean on his experience and success for guidance.
“It’s good to have him (Filippi) here after he had a good race here last year,” he said. “The main thing is ‘how do we make both cars go as fast as we can go?’ We have information from another manufacturer, and I have a little bit of information from last year on the Honda side, so we just have to try and work the car as best we can.”
As for the remainder of 2016, Daly has no set goals, but he does want to continue improving.
“Constant improvement,” he said. “There’s no set goals. We came very close to winning a race, so it would be awesome to win a race before the end of the year, but we just need to consistently finish, and score points in the top-10.”