9/5/2017 4:01:00 PM Daly Frustrated With 11th at Watkins Glen
Christopher DeHarde IndyCar Contributor
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. - Conor Daly made progress during the INDYCAR Grand Prix at the Glen weekend at Watkins Glen, New York, but the Noblesville native was more frustrated than pleased with finishing 11th after Sunday's penultimate race of the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series season.
Daly qualified 14th out of 21 cars on the 3.37 mile natural terrain road course and the race began with a mad dash to pit road after the first lap. The track was drying after a rain storm earlier in the day and almost everybody pitted for dry weather tires. Daly came out of the pits and settled into 10th place before making his second pit stop on Lap 15.
From then on, the No. 4 ABC Supply Chevrolet would spend much of the day mired in 16th and 17th positions after a wet weather setup gamble backfired. Daly then managed to advance through some of the field after other drivers had misfortune and finished 11th, but that wasn't good enough to satisfy Daly.
"We're not here to finish 11th, we're here to compete for more than that and I think we can do better than that," said Daly.
"The car was so good but again, we were just short in sixth gear. The guys did a good job with the setup, the car was really fast through a whole stint but there's just spaces that we need to perfect. I mean, you have to be perfect in these races if you're going to make progress and our car was fast but again we couldn't make the passes that we needed to so it was a shame."
By going to a majority wet weather setup, Daly's car would be slower in dry conditions which hindered his ability to make passes against cars that were on a dry weather setup with less downforce and more top speed.
"We added downforce and it is what it is," Daly said. "I mean everybody said it absolutely was going to rain so that's something that we tried to aim for but it didn't work out but still, it's not the worst day in the world.
"We had a good car, so it's one of those things that there's other aspects that we need to continue to work on, but without a doubt we're at the more competitive end than we were at the beginning of the season which is nice."
Daly began the weekend 19th on the time sheet in the first practice session on Friday and moved up to 13th in the second practice session. On Saturday, Daly was 11th in practice before qualifying and in Sunday's morning warmup he was seventh quickest.
The final IndyCar race of the season is the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California on September, 17th.