Harding Racing has elected to keep Conor Daly in its No. 88 Chevrolet for its first race weekend at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course after first fielding the driver at the recent Honda Indy Toronto.
Continuing its quest to bring a fully prepared two-car effort to the Verizon IndyCar Series grid in 2019 by running pilots other than former full-time driver Gabby Chaves for the remainder of 2018, Harding will look to capitalize on the consistency offered by having Daly in the car for back-to-back events.
Daly finished in the top 10 in his two previous starts at the 2.258-mile road course in Lexington, Ohio. After taking the checkered flag 13th on the streets of Toronto, he’ll have to make up a few more positions to crack the top 10 again or improve upon his best Mid-Ohio result of sixth in 2016.
After racing to 21st at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in May and participating in the Toronto event, the 26-year-old will turn competition laps at all three types of IndyCar tracks — oval, street and road course — in 2018 once he begins his work at Mid-Ohio.
Despite being out of the car, Chaves worked closely with the team in Toronto and will continue to aid Harding’s progress as a full-time employee.
“We still appreciate Gabby’s cooperation and interaction because he is still very much involved with downloads, team debriefs and dialogue,” said Brian Barnhart, the team’s president. “In our search for more information and improvement, this will be our direction for Mid-Ohio, with an eye towards the future.”
Daly will bring his IndyCar experience — including a test with Harding at Mid-Ohio on the Tuesday following the Toronto weekend — to the table for his third start of 2018, scheduled to go green at 3:42 p.m. EDT on Sunday, July 29.