Race Report: Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio

July 31, 2017

 

 

LEXINGTON, Ohio—When Conor Daly arrived at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, he was nine lbs. leaner thanks to a change in his diet, which he credits to “going vegan” two weeks ago. When he left, he had posted his best overall performance of the season in his No. 4 ABC Supply Chevrolet. Starting 11th, he finished a strong, hard-earned 10th in the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio.

 

Although he qualified 10th in the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix and finished seventh in the crash-filled Texas 600, his performance at Mid-Ohio was solid. It was the first time this season that he transferred out of the first round of qualifying and had a shot at the Firestone Fast 6.

 

 

In the race, his patience paid off. Running primary tires when others were running the softer compound alternate (red) tires, he lost a bit of track position and slipped back to 15th in the middle stint. On the final pit stop on lap 65, he took on new red tires and new speed.

 

A full course yellow on lap 67 for Ed Jones’ spin brought the field together. When the race went green four laps later, Daly set sail. He passed Charlie Kimball on lap 71 and overtook Marco Andretti the next. He set his sights on Scott Dixon but Dixie slipped past James Hinchcliffe before Daly could overtake him.

 

Over the next five laps, Daly and his close friend (and former housemate) ‘Hinch’

battled hard with Daly overtaking him with six laps left in the 90-lap race. Although strategist Larry Foyt told him to bring it home, Daly cut Dixon’s five-second advantage in half and posted his fastest lap of the race on lap 87.

 

 

“You know obviously it’s great to come away in the top 10 – a huge step for us – and just to be able to fight with those guys all day and be catching Dixon,” Daly said. “Really, challenging the 9 car any