WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. -- It appears the many changes that AJ Foyt Racing undertook this season are starting to pay off. Since Mid-Ohio, either Conor Daly or Carlos Munoz has finished in the top 10, and that momentum continued at Watkins Glen International where Munoz finished 10th and Daly 11th.
For Munoz, it was the third straight top-10 finish and the second time he transferred out of Round 1 in knockout qualifying.
The 60-lap INDYCAR Grand Prix at The Glen proved to be very entertaining with racing action going on throughout the field. After the lap 1 pit stop for nearly the entire field to change from rain tires to slicks, the ABC Supply Chevrolets were both in the top 10. Munoz was seventh and Daly was 10th which is where they ran until their lap 15 fuel stop.
Five cars didn’t pit and that helped shuffle both Munoz and Daly towards the back of the field. Over the course of the next stint, they climbed back to 12th and 13th respectively. They shuffled back a bit after the next stop as they were on the slower black tires but had climbed back to 13th and 14th before their final stop on lap 44. A full course caution for the pit road exit accident involving Josef Newgarden and Sebastien Bourdais, enabled Munoz and Daly to advance to 11th and 12th respectively.
The green came out on lap 49, and by lap 55 both drivers passed Marco Andretti to advance to 10th and 11th. Munoz started pressuring Simon Pagenaud but could not shake the defending Verizon IndyCar Series champion who held on to finish ninth, followed closely by Munoz and Daly.
“The race was good,” Munoz said. “We did have a little problem and we lost some positions on one stop. The first stint was really good on the reds. We had an intermediate setup so it was a compromise in case it rained, but we never had rain in the race. We had more downforce so it was slower on the straights. We have another top 10 finish – I think that’s three in a row, so we have to continue to do that.”
Conor Daly was happy with his car although the compromise in the setup to adjust for rain if it came, meant the car couldn’t perform at its optimum in dry conditions. But Daly was pleased anyway.
“I was really happy with our car today—it was a really good race car,” Daly said. “We found ourselves slightly short in sixth gear so I couldn’t make the moves I’d like to. The engineers made good adjustments during the race. I feel like we should have finished higher but we did the best we could. It was a decent result.”
Shannon Ambrosio, host of "Big Bad BBQ Brawl", caught up with Conor Daly at The Glen. Daly met Ambrosio on his cooking show.
Alexander Rossi won the race, making it a clean sweep for him with his Verizon P1 Pole Award earned yesterday. Scott Dixon finished second and closed the point gap between himself and Josef Newgarden Third through fifth were: Ryan Hunter-Reay, Helio Castroneves and Graham Rahal.
Finally, every car carried the #Race4Houston decal in the race as teams banded together to help spread awareness of where people can safely donate money to help those who were affected by Hurricane Harvey.
The 14 car carried a large version of the #Race4Houston decal but every car carried a smaller version in the race.
The final race of the season – the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma -- takes place at Sonoma Raceway on Sunday, September 17th. It will be broadcast live on NBC Sports Network starting at 6:30 p.m.