Sunday, March 26, 2023

‘Wild to Think Drivers Can’t Drive From Over Here’ – Daly

Madison, Ill. — Recent discussions about the NTT IndyCar Series and its place in the motorsports world have cultivated disagreements on social media about IndyCar’s status in racing.

For example:

A desire for an American racer in Formula 1 has been present for decades. Alexander Rossi was the last American to race in Formula 1, albeit for a very small number of races (five, to be exact) in 2015 for a team that was on its last legs financially.

Rossi, much like another American F1 hopeful, Conor Daly, went through the European ladder system, with both winning races. However, Daly felt like there wasn’t the same respect shown to him after winning GP3 races and finishing third in the 2013 GP3 standings ahead of Carlos Sainz Jr. and Jack Harvey.

“It was still like, ‘ah, he’s just an American guy,’ you know what I mean,” Daly said. “So it’s been that mindset for a long time. And for a series that is so popular in America now, it’s wild to think that they still think that for some reason; like either drivers can’t drive from over here or that IndyCar is in any way less of a competitive series.

“Because you look at what’s going on over here and it’s not like we haven’t had any of those guys come over here and drive. You’ve got Fernando Alonso, who is pretty good I would say, you know, double world champion. You’ve had Marcus Ericsson, who I think is really good. I think this French fellow, Roman Grosjean (is a) pretty good guy, you know what I mean? And is anyone wiping the floor with anyone here? No. So like, it’s something that, it’s just pure ignorance. We’re not asking to be ranked above Formula 1, just like a little bit more respect. That’s all.

“We respect Formula One. We love, everyone loves Formula One. I respect NASCAR. I respect the top levels of the sport. Like, why would you have to talk down to people like that? It doesn’t help anyone because like, I want to see Formula One succeed. I want to see IndyCar succeed. I want to see NASCAR succeed, because we’re all trying to make a living driving race cars.”

There currently is an American hopeful in Formula 2 that can potentially move to Formula 1 if circumstances fall his way. Florida’s Logan Sargeant is currently third in the 2022 Formula 2 standings with two wins, but Daly wonders if that right shot will go Sargeant’s way.

“Will that American driver get the right chance? I don’t know. That’s the thing that that’s already like, you’re kind of getting to conspiracy land when you start thinking about that,” Daly said. “But it’s true. Like, do they care to actually give anyone a proper chance, or if a driver does get a chance, will he just get rooted out after a year and be like, wow, well, we told you so, you know what I mean? I just, it’s almost like that type of weird thing. So I do hope someone gets a chance, whether it’s Colton (Herta), whether it’s Logan Sergeant, like, that’ll be awesome.”

Daly will start 15th in the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 at WWT Raceway near St. Louis. The 260-lap race will air live on USA Network with coverage starting at 6:00 p.m. ET.

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