“It’s been very frustrating. Maybe the most frustrating season I’ve had,” Daly said earlier this week. “It’s been a year of transition, I guess you could say. We ran last year with Dale (Coyne) Racing. With a new team, a new crew, this year, we’re learning. We haven’t had the best luck either.”
Currently 19th on the 2017 IndyCar Series points list, Daly will be in the field for the Bommarito 500 on Aug. 26 at Gateway. The race, the first IndyCar event at Gateway since 2003, will be the first for Daly in the St. Louis area.
Daly was at Gateway earlier this year for a test and is looking forward to running on the 1.25-mile oval.
“It’s a very fast track, and I was very pleased at how we tested at Gateway,” Daly said. “And most of all, we’re hoping to have a good, race with no mishaps. I know the car we have can be in the top 10 each week. Now we just have to do it.”
Competing in his No. 4 ABC Supply Co. Chevrolet, Daly has two top-10 finishes this season. He placed seventh at the Texas Grand Prix in June and most recently, placed tenth at the Honda Indy 200 Mid-Ohio at Mid Ohio Sports Car Course. He also finished 30th at this year’s Indianapolis 500.
He will compete in Pocono on Sunday before heading to Gateway.
He said he’d like to post his first IndyCar win at Gateway as a member of A.J. Foyt Racing. Foyt is one of three IndyCar drivers to have won the Indianapolis 500 four times in a career.
“In as much as it would mean to me, I think it would be great to win it for him,” Daly said. “He has been very supportive and patient with us. I just think it would be really cool to win a race for him.”
JJK to serve as grand marshal
East St. Louis native and three-time Olympic champion Jackie Joyner-Kersee will serve as the grand marshal for the Verizon IndyCar Series event.
“I am humble,” Joyner-Kersee said. “Very few people are asked to give the command, and I am grateful to be one of the few.”
Joyner-Kersee was the first American to win gold in the long jump and the first American woman to win gold in the heptathlon. Her record 7,291 points in the 1988 heptathlon still stands today.
Chuck Wallis, vice president of the Bommarito Automotive Group, will serve as honorary starter and will wave the opening green flag.
Tickets on sale
Tickets for the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 presented by Valvoline are available at www.gatewaymsp.com/indycar/ or by calling the Gateway Motorsports Park ticket office at 618-215-8888
Tickets start at $35. Kids 15 and younger are free (general admission) with a paid adult.
At a glance
This is the schedule for Bommarito Automotive Group 500 presented by Valvoline:
Friday, Aug. 25
- 1 p.m. — Parking lots open
- 2 p.m. — Spectator gates, paddock and Gateway Kartplex open
- 4-5 p.m. — First Verizon IndyCar Series practice
- 5:15-6 p.m. — Pro Mazda series practice
- 6:30 p.m. — Verizon IndyCar Series Bommarito Automotive Group 500 presented by Valvoline qualifying
- 7:30-11 p.m. — Music on Coors Light Main Stage
- 7:45-8:30 p.m. — Indy Lights series practice
- 9-10 p.m. — Verizon IndyCar Series Coors Light Happy Hour final practice
- 11 p.m. — Gateway Kartplex closed
Saturday, Aug. 26
- 10 a.m. — Spectator parking lots open
- 11 a.m. — Spectator gates and Gateway Kartplex open
- 1-1:30 p.m. — Pro Mazda Championship Presented By Cooper Tires qualifying
- 1:45 p.m. — Indy Lights Presented By Cooper Tires qualifying
- 3 p.m. — INDYCAR paddock open
- 3:30-4:30 p.m. — Verizon IndyCar Series driver autograph session in IndyCar Fan Village
- 4:55 p.m. — Pro Mazda Championship Presented By Cooper Tires race
- 6 p.m. — Indy Lights Presented By Cooper Tires race
- 7:15 p.m. — Verizon IndyCar Series pit stop competition
- 8 p.m. — Bommarito Automotive Group 500 presented by Valvoline
- 10:30 p.m. (time approximate) — Victory lane celebration