By: Spencer Neff
December 18, 2020
Less than three months remain before the March 7 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. With the calendar ready to move to 2021, the teams and drivers of the NTT IndyCar Series are quickly shoring up their plans for the upcoming season.
This m morning, Ed Carpenter Racing announced that Conor Daly will return. to contest the road and street course portion of the calendar, as well as the 105th Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge with the team.
As was done last year, Team Owner Ed Carpenter will run the oval events in the No. 20 car, with Daly running a third ECR entry at the Indianapolis 500.
“It feels incredible to have another year together with the U.S. Air Force and Ed Carpenter Racing,” stated Daly.
“Continuity has always been helpful for me in my career; the fact that we are able to hit the ground running in 2021 already having experience together gives me a lot of confidence. Every day we learn more and develop a stronger relationship.”
“This would not be possible without the support of the U.S. Air Force, who have been an incredibly supportive and loyal partner. I want nothing more than to win races and compete for the entrant championship for the Airmen, the guys at ECR and my boss Ed, who has become a true friend of mine. I can’t wait to get back to work!”
10 of the 13 races Daly will run in the No. 20 entry, along with the Indianapolis 500, will feature sponsorship from the US Air Force.
“This partnership draws a parallel with how we fly, fight and win,” said Maj. Jason Wyche, Chief, Air Force National Events Branch at Air Force Recruiting Service.
“Both organizations rely on the principles of science, technology, engineering and math to accomplish the mission. The technology that goes into these cars is similar to what we rely on when flying our fighter jets. Also, teamwork is especially important with the Air Force just like at the Indy 500. Everything just ties in perfectly with how we accomplish our respective missions. That’s what makes this a great partnership!”
This season will mark Daly’s eighth year of IndyCar Series competition. In 2013, the second-generation driver made his debut at the Indianapolis 500 with A.J. Foyt Racing, starting 31st and finishing 22nd.
In 64 starts, he has a best finish of second (Belle Isle Race 1-2016). Last season, Daly split time between ECR and Carlin Racing. At the first Iowa Speedway race on July 17, the Noblesville, Indiana native earned his first career pole. In the season opener at Texas, Daly notched a sixth-place finish, also with Carlin Racing, for his best result of 2020.
During the July 4 GMR Grand Prix, Daly finished 12th and duplicated that result when the series returned to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course for Race 1 of the Harvest Grand Prix on October 2.
“It is a very exciting day to be able to announce the return of both the U.S. Air Force and Conor to Ed Carpenter Racing! We are looking forward to the 2021 NTT INDYCAR SERIES, having the same driver lineup to continue our progression back to a race-winning and championship-contending organization,” Team owner Ed Carpenter noted.
“We are very grateful for the support of U.S. Air Force and honored to represent everything that they stand for. We’re thankful for the opportunity to inspire and engage the next generation of men and women who join the U.S. Air Force!”
Header Image By Joe Skibinski/INDYCAR