By: Spencer Neff
June 4, 2019 | 8:55 PM
Earlier today, the entry list for Saturday night’s DXC Technology 600 at Texas Motor Speedway was unveiled. Among the 22 drivers entered for the race, there was one notable change.
Carlin Racing has tabbed veteran NTT IndyCar Series driver Conor Daly to run its No. 59 Dallara-Chevrolet. Previously, Max Chilton had driven the entry in all 25 events since the team joined the series in 2018.
“I want to thank everyone at Carlin and Gallagher for the opportunity to get back in a race car at Texas Motor Speedway,” Daly exclaimed in today’s announcement.
“I thoroughly enjoyed working with Carlin back in 2011 as I started my European racing journey and to now drive for them in the NTT IndyCar Series is pretty special. I look forward to being able to contribute to the team as best I can.”
The 2011 stint at Carlin Racing that Daly is referencing is his time in the (formerly) GP3 Series. In 16 races, he earned a best finish of fifth in the feature race at Spa-Francorchamps.
As for Daly’s IndyCar career, he has been a part-time participant the last two seasons. So far this year, he has only run one race in the NTT IndyCar Series. Driving in his sixth Indianapolis 500, he teamed with Andretti Autosport for the first time.
Following his 11th-place qualifying effort, Daly turned in another career-best performance during the race. After completing all 200 laps for the first time in his career, the Noblesville, Indiana-native finished 10th.
In his two previous starts on the 1.5-mile Texas Motor Speedway, Daly has started 21st each time. During his last appearance on the oval in 2017, he worked his way up to seventh, driving for A.J. Foyt Racing.
Although Daly’s opportunity is currently a one-race deal, there may be a chance for races with Carlin to arise.
During the Belle Isle race weekend, team owner Trevor Carlin revealed that rookie Patricio O’Ward will not be running the races at Iowa Speedway on July 20 or Worldwide Technology Raceway at Gateway on August 24.
In today’s announcement, Chilton also revealed he will not be participating in any of the remaining oval races on the schedule. In addition to Texas, Iowa and Gateway, the series will run at Pocono Raceway on August 18 – and Chilton won’t be racing in any of those events. On May 19, Chilton failed to qualify for the Indianapolis 500.
In his seven starts this season, Chilton has earned a best qualifying performance of 13th at Circuit of The Americas and a best finish of 14th at Long Beach.
During his career in the NTT IndyCar Series, Chilton has raced at Texas Motor Speedway three times. In 2017, he started sixth and finished eighth, both career-bests for him at the track.
“I would like to thank Gallagher for being supportive of my decision to not compete in the remaining oval races this season,” Chilton expressed in the announcement.
Chilton will participate in the remaining five road and street course events on the schedule.
In the announcement, he also expressed gratitude for the recently-announced aeroscreen IndyCar has developed with Red Bull Advanced Technologies.
“I’m excited and pleased by the outstanding proactive work being done by INDYCAR around driver safety and the innovation of the solution developed in partnership with Red Bull Advanced Technologies that has created a new aero screen,” he said of the developments.
“The innovative solution will be the most advanced single seater driver head protection in the world and will be introduced in 2020. My focus remains on getting the best possible results for the No. 59 Gallagher Carlin crew and I will be helping the team and Conor in any way I can to that end.”
With Charlie Kimball returning to his No. 23 Chevrolet entry this weekend alongside Daly, Carlin’s driver lineup will have a different look to it yet again.
Header Image By Chris Owens/INDYCAR.