By: Ashley McCubbin
Driving for two different teams this year, Conor Daly has not experienced the season as he would have hoped for with no top-10’s under his belt through 12 races.
Fortunately, World Wide Technology Raceway this weekend could provide the perfect opportunity for Daly to turn things around. Through his previous four appearances, he has no finishes worse than 10th with a best result of fifth in 2017.
So what’s the secret to his success? He says commitment.
“I think there’s something about the way — I like fast corners on road courses,” he told NEWS FROM THE PITS. “There’s something about that level of commitment and kind of how that track feels. It’s not a typical oval. Three and four sort of is, but one and two is where all the time is really made.
“Yeah, I just love that track. The way you kind of enter the bowl of one and two is something that is cool. The fact that you have, like, these road course curves at the apex of an oval is really, really interesting.”
On the flip side, Alexander Rossi has began to turn his season around after a poor start, scoring a season-best fourth in the Indianapolis Grand Prix this past weekend, to go with three top-10’s in the last four races.
“It is what it is. I think the team is really doing a good job in a lot of areas,” he commented. “I think we had a good weekend in general at the GP. I think Nashville was really strong for the team. Yeah, I mean, I think coming out of the summer break, I think the pace and performance has been there.
“We’re really looking forward to this weekend. We had a great test back in July at Gateway. We were one of the few teams that tested there so we have an idea of what kind of the track is going to have for us on a one-day event. The tires are a little bit different for the weekend as well.
“We feel good about kind of our homework that we’ve done and the momentum that the whole organization has. Hopefully can be another strong weekend on Saturday.”
The success has people wondering if the past Indianapolis 500 winner will be back in victory lane soon, to which Rossi says “hopefully close.”
“Hopefully four days away, three days away – I don’t know, can’t do math. Hopefully Saturday,” he commented.
Unfortunately, he has not been able to have the same success as Daly at WWT with three straight appearances outside the top-10, following a sixth and second to start off.
“I really enjoyed that track, getting to race there,” Rossi told NEWS FROM THE PITS. “I love that we’re having the night race again. I think that’s critical for short oval racing. Short oval racing but for the 500 is meant to be raced at night, easier to follow cars.
“Everything about it is better. Looking forward to that, having the fans back. Yeah, I think it’s going to be an interesting kind of experiment for us to do a one-day event. See how that goes. Yes, pleased to finish out the oval side of the season at such a great track.”