IndyCar | Daly confident of securing his first podium of the season

Ed Carpenter Racing’s Conor Daly is hopeful that this weekend’s Hy-vee doubleheader at Iowa will see him secure his first series podium for over six years as the series gears up for what looks set to be the most demanding weekend of the year.

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IndyCar | Daly confident of securing his first podium of the season
Fuente imagen: @ECRIndy

Conor Daly believes the Iowa doubleheader will be his best chance to get a podium this season.

Daly, who has previously shined at the short track oval, took pole position at this track in 2019 with the Carlin team, and in spite of a bad run of races, the American veteran is hopeful that he can get his second series podium after six years of waiting.

Speaking in a pre-race press conference which MotorLAT attended, Daly expressed his view that although Iowa was their best shot yet of getting a podium, it wouldn't be easy trying to fight off the Chip Ganassi cars or Penske's Josef Newgarden.

"I think for sure up to this point. Indy GP was one we were aiming for, but obviously, the weather and everything kind of made that one a bit of a shot in the dark. But yeah, I've been looking forward to this all year, and especially since the test. In the test, we were really strong. I mean, we want to have two podiums. We want to win. So we'll see."

"But we also have to beat Josef Newgarden here, which is quite challenging, and he, I assume, is probably going to be right up front again. It's going to be tough, but honestly, just getting on the podium for us is big just to start, but we want to win. We don't come here to the racetracks to lose. Yeah, so we'll see. I think it's definitely our best chance, other than the 500. The 500, I think we had a great chance, but it was definitely going to be tough to beat those Ganassi cars."

As if a doubleheader, and a thinner format, weren't going to challenge the drivers enough, the weather for this weekend's race in Iowa is set to be extremely humid, with temperatures set to hit 36 degrees centigrade on Saturday for race one.

Daly believes that these factors, along with the aeroscreen, will make this weekend one of the toughest that the current IndyCar field has faced. Daly also revealed that he's been drinking litres of water to mentally prepare for this weekend's doubleheader.

"I mean, everyone is going to widen out the track. Like it's going to happen. I think the only difficult part is it's going to be so hot. I would much rather qualify up front and make people work to pass us than be like really good at lap 60 on tires, because a lot of people were like, oh, I think we're really good at lap 65 on tires or 60, and I was like, I don't even know if anyone is going to go that far on tires. So it'll be curious to just see how that plays out because the pace dropoff is substantial, substantial from like a qualifying sim to a let's say 40, 45 laps in."

"I would much prefer qualifying up front, and that's certainly what we're going to go for, but you're also dealing with a park for May situation. You've got to be ready for both qualifying and the race at the same time, and that's kind of unique to this event. It's why our engineers are asking, hey, do you think for qualifying do we run this gear here, this gear here, but will that be okay for the race, because you don't want to miss on either side, so what do you settle for and what do you slightly compromise to make sure that both of them are good."

"I think this weekend is without a doubt going to be the hardest we've been pushed in this era of INDYCAR racing for sure, with the aeroscreen, doubleheader at Iowa in the day. The forecast doesn't necessarily look super inviting or like wonderful. So yeah, we've never run the cool shirt yet at an oval, but I think we're going to try to run the cool shirt this weekend. In my case, I sweat an inordinate amount, so I've been drinking a gallon of water a day already this week with a big jug. I've got about as much hydration stuff as you could possibly fit into a human body for the next few days, and that's really it. It's going to be maximum effort to try to just make sure you're not only able to survive but perform. You can probably survive, but you also want to be competitive. When you start losing the physical capability, you start losing competitiveness. It's going to be a challenge, and if anyone says it's not, well, they're lying directly to your face."

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