It’s been a whirlwind of on-track action in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES with five races in only 15 days and the Carlin team has shown that in only their third year of competition in arguably one of the most competitive series in motorsports that they deserve to be there by recording their first INDYCAR career pole position. Conor Daly and the Carlin crew were able to outpace INDYCAR powerhouses Penske Racing and Andretti Autosport for the pole position in Race #1 of the Iowa INDYCAR 250s doubleheader.
The NTT INDYCAR SERIES introduced a new qualifying format for the Iowa doubleheader that allowed each driver to record two consecutive qualifying laps and then set the field by those individual laps. The speed of the driver’s first lap set their qualifying position for the first race and the speed of the driver’s second lap set their qualifying position for the second race.
Daly recorded his first qualifying lap at 175.188 mph, beating out reigning NTT INDYCAR SERIES Champion Josef Newgarden by .081 mph for the pole position. Daly’s second qualifying lap came in at 174.960 mph putting him in the second row of the second race’s starting lineup in third. He only missed out on starting on the pole for Race #2 also by .373 mph by Penske Racing teammates Newgarden and Will Power.
Daly and the No. 59 Gallagher Carlin Chevrolet ran strong during both races at Iowa Speedway and was headed toward Carlin’s first INDYCAR podium-finishes, but untimely yellows in both races and a gamble on a potentially race-winning strategy that didn’t play out hindered stronger race results for the team. Daly took the checkered flag for Race #1 in eighth and Race #2 in 13th.
“I’m so proud of the progress we’ve made and what we were able to achieve getting our first pole this past weekend,” said Daly. “We made such a huge jump this year in Texas from last year and then we were able to make an even bigger jump in Iowa. I know everyone was hoping to come away with a podium-finish and the Gallagher Carlin Chevrolet definitely had the potential to get us there, but unfortunately bad luck with yellows and a strategy gamble had different plans for us. I was pushing as hard as I could both nights and the team has been on it especially with so many races in such a short period of time, so it was understandably a bit of a letdown to not get those race results we deserved. Honestly though we should all be proud of what we did in Iowa and I’m looking forward to Gateway where we get another chance to get on the podium together.”
The Carlin team is no stranger to poles or podiums at Iowa Speedway after winning consecutive Indy Lights poles in the team’s first two years of competition in the US in 2015 and 2016 and winning every Indy Lights race at Iowa Speedway the team has competed in from 2015-2017.
The Carlin INDYCAR team will be back on track at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course the for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio on Sunday, August 9th for the seventh round of the 2020 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season.