Ed Carpenter Racing will field another driver in the No. 20 Bitnile.com Chevrolet starting at the Sonsio Grand Prix at Road America presented by AMR on June 18 after ECR and driver Conor Daly mutually agreed to end their relationship, according to a team release June 7.
Daly, 31, from Noblesville, Indiana, joined ECR in 2020 by driving the road and street courses and Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge, continuing that program in 2021. Daly competed in all 17 races for the team in 2022 and the first seven races this season. He is 20th in the series standings.
"This is the most difficult decision I have made as a team owner because I respect Conor and know what he means to INDYCAR and its fans,” team owner Ed Carpenter said. “Our team has not been performing at the level we are capable of this year, and despite making technical changes and investments in the offseason, 2023 has been extremely challenging. I have put a great deal of consideration into the current state of our team and realize it is my obligation to our employees, partners and supporters to do whatever is necessary to elevate our team’s competitiveness.
“We sincerely wish Conor continued success and will cheer him on wherever he goes next.”
No replacement driver for the team’s No. 20 car was named yet. The team release also indicated the status of the No. 21 Bitnile.com Chevrolet driven in all events by Rinus VeeKay and the No. 33 Bitnile.com Chevrolet driven in the oval events by Carpenter is unaffected by this move.
Daly’s best finish for ECR was fifth at the GMR Grand Prix in May 2022 on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course. Daly also enjoyed success in the last two Indianapolis 500’s with the team. He finished sixth in 2022 in the “500,” leading seven laps, and followed by placing eighth this May.
“Although we’ve mutually decided that it’s in our best interests to take different paths, I’d like to thank ECR for the past three and a half seasons,” Daly said. “I’m grateful to everyone who has supported me – past, present and into the future. I look forward to taking on the next opportunities that await, and I want to thank the fans for being with me on this ride.”