Conor Daly will drive for a third different NTT IndyCar Series team in 2019 when he replaces Marcus Ericsson in Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports’ No. 7 Honda during the Grand Prix of Portland while the Swedish rookie satisfies a request to be on site at the Belgian Grand Prix.
Still a reserve driver with the team after losing his full-time drive last season, Ericsson will be on standby at the Circuit of Spa-Francorchamps as Alfa Romeo Racing prepares to potentially take to the track without regular pilot Kimi Raikkonen.
Part-time driver Daly will team with James Hinchcliffe in Ericsson’s place at Portland International Raceway for the penultimate IndyCar race of 2019 for his sixth of seven races in North America’s premier open-wheel championship this season. Daly only originally planned to participate in the 103rd Running of the Indianapolis 500 with Andretti but replaced Max Chilton on ovals in one of Carlin’s cars and was added to Andretti’s roster for the WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca finale.
While Ericsson was approaching the four remaining 2019 races as a tryout period to prove his abilities to the group behind the new-for-2020 Arrow McLaren Racing SP team, Daly will have the chance to do so at Portland as one driver rumored to be in the running for a full-time seat next year.
That chance could grow for Daly as the Singapore Grand Prix on the weekend of Sept. 20–22 conflicts with IndyCar’s return to Laguna Seca, potentially sidelining Ericsson again if his F1 duties prevail once more. In that instance, Ericsson’s rookie campaign would have ended with a 16th-place finish during a challenging night at World Wide Technology Raceway — one spot worse than his season-long average.
Daly had an average finish of 12th when he stepped in for Hinchcliffe for three races in 2015 after the Canadian sustained injuries in a massive practice crash at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The Indiana native never made the start but also joined SPM for the Indianapolis 500 that year.
Fresh off back-to-back oval weekends with Carlin, Daly will drive for Sam Schmidt and Ric Peterson’s team for his first time since the 2015 Honda Indy Toronto when the first Portland practice goes green at 1:50 p.m. EDT on Friday, Aug. 30. The race is scheduled to begin at 3:42 p.m. on Sunday.