PLAINFIELD, Ill. – Dale Coyne Racing will field an entry for American driver Conor Daly in the 102nd running of the Indianapolis 500 through a partnership with Thom Burns Racing and the United States Air Force.
Daly, 26, will look to make his fifth career start in the Indianapolis 500 aboard the No. 17 Dallara-Honda. The race is scheduled for May 27 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The entry with Thom Burns Racing for Daly will be the third entry fielded by Dale Coyne Racing this year at Indianapolis. The team will also field full-time entries in the race for Sebastian Bourdais and Pietro Fittipaldi.
“We’re very happy to have Conor Daly back with us for the Indy 500,” said team owner Dale Coyne. “Conor has done a great job for us in the past and we hope to continue that this year at IMS. We also very much look forward to working with Thom Burns Racing and we’re extremely pleased and honored to be partnered and representing the United States Air Force.”
The Air Force’s partnership with Dale Coyne Racing and Thom Burns Racing, and its initial involvement with the Indianapolis 500, will help the Air Force Recruiting Service to meet its mission to inspire the nation’s brightest, most competitive young men and women for service.
“We’re thrilled to announce our partnership with Dale Coyne Racing and with the United States Air Force and to be back at Indianapolis again in 2018,” co-entrant Thom Burns said. “It goes without saying that the Memorial Day Weekend is a very special time, and for many reasons. The Speedway has always been my dream and to bring an American icon like the Air Force here for Conor Daly gives me great pride. The Air Force helps to protect our freedom so that we can have the ability to participate in ‘The Greatest Spectacle in Racing,’ the Indianapolis 500.”
“It is our duty and privilege to assist with the recruiting efforts of the Air Force. Potential recruits will not only find us on the track but out in the community, as well, as we build awareness of the tremendous career opportunities that the Air Force provides.”
Burns, who owns an Indianapolis-based property development company, is launching Thom Burns Racing with experience gained from partnerships and many prominent Indianapolis 500 entries over the last 30 years. Burns has been involved at Indianapolis since 1987, with entries for drivers including 1996 Indianapolis 500 winner Buddy Lazier, 1996 IndyCar co-champion Scott Sharp, Steve Chassey, Dominic Dobson and Jeff Andretti.
Burns also was instrumental in forming CART team PacWest Racing with Bruce McCaw in the 1990s.
Daly comes to Dale Coyne Racing with Thom Burns Racing after a 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series season in which he recorded four top-10 finishes. His best results came on ovals, with a season-best fifth at Gateway and seventh at Texas.
This year’s Indianapolis 500 will mark a return to Dale Coyne Racing for Daly, who competed full-time with the team in 2016. The American driver scored a career-best second-place finish in race one of the Dual in Detroit with Dale Coyne Racing that year.
“It is an honor to have the opportunity to represent the Air Force at the Indianapolis 500,” Daly said. “Memorial Day Weekend is an incredible time of appreciation for those who serve our country. I can’t thank Dale Coyne enough for having me back on the team and Thom Burns enough for bringing this program together with the Air Force to give us a fighting chance at the 102nd running of the Indianapolis 500.”
“In conjunction with an incredible team of people at Dale Coyne Racing that I’ve had the pleasure of working with before, I think we will have a great opportunity to shine.”
CREDIT: Dale Coyne Racing