If it escaped anyone's notice that Carlin has been over-performing for a one-car IndyCar team, Conor Daly hammered it home in decisive style at Iowa Speedway last Friday, when he took pole for race one and third for race two. That he ended up only eighth and 13th in the races was not irrelevant, but shouldn't detract from the fact that this third-year team is punching above its weight.
Those who have admired the squad since its inception in 1996 won't be entirely surprised that it is excelling in a spec formula, but the fact that Trevor Carlin's squad is belying the obvious detriment of having just one source of data coming in - on gruellingly rapid-fire race weekends too - is testament to this squad's core strength.
This writer was among many who worried about the future of Carlin in US open-wheel racing last autumn. A rival team owner and team manager both asked me whether the team would continue because they'd heard Carlin was trying to sell his IndyCar chassis and parts. Trevor assured me the stories were fabrications, but still, that second IndyCar season had been difficult enough to the point where it wouldn't have been inconceivable to discover substance to the rumours.