Daly On The Podium In Iowa Newton, July 11, 2009: Teenage Mazdaspeed driver Conor Daly put on an amazing passing show during last evening's Star Mazda Pizza Ranch 100 at Newton Iowa. Starting P8 at the green flag Daly immediately jumped up three...
Daly On The Podium In Iowa
Newton, July 11, 2009: Teenage Mazdaspeed driver Conor Daly put on an amazing passing show during last evening's Star Mazda Pizza Ranch 100 at Newton Iowa. Starting P8 at the green flag Daly immediately jumped up three positions to P5 by the end of the first Lap by applying a combination of high-side skill and pure guts. There was an immediate full course yellow at the end of lap one. At the restart Daly set his sights on his team mate and front row starter, Denis Navarro. A second full course yellow ensued when mid field runners Gancalvez and Hacquard tangled exiting turn four. At the restart Daly found himself caught up in a scoring mix-up that forced him to drop back to his original P8 position.
As the green flew again, however, Daly further enhanced his growing reputation of being one of the most prolific passers in professional open-wheel racing by quickly making his way to fifth place again with Navarro again in his sights. Just before half distance of the 100 lap race, and after moving past Nevarro for fourth place, Daly caught championship contender, Alex Ardoin. The high speed battle for third place got a little intense at times but both drivers took advantage of lapped traffic and passed British Formula Renault champion and double race winner, Adam Christodoulou . The battle was now for second place but it was resolved when Ardoin attempted to lap JC Kester and inexplicably chopped across the front of Kester which immediately sent both hard into the wall. Daly was just inches from Ardoin as he spun across his bow on the way to the wall. The full course yellow set up a potential showdown between leader Dempsey and Daly but Daly just did not have the speed to match Dempsey and had to settle for a well earned second place
"Dempsey's car was just faster than us all weekend and I had nothing for him at the end..." Conor said, "...but my mission at Iowa was to get my championship chase under control again and we clearly met that requirement. This high speed oval track racing is just nuts at times...but it was fun. My guys at Andersen Racing are working hard for me and with the Autobahn double-header coming up in two weeks, Iowa was a real confidence builder for the team and for me personally."
Conor's performance jumped him up from 7th to 4th in the Championship standings.