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Daly to substitute for sidelined Pagenaud at Mid-Ohio IndyCar race

Conor Daly will race Simon Pagenaud’s #60 Meyer Shank Racing car at Mid-Ohio today, as the Frenchman wasn’t cleared to race following his dramatic IndyCar crash in practice on Saturday.

Conor Daly, Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet

Photo by: Geoffrey M. Miller / Motorsport Images

Daly, who was fired from his Ed Carpenter Racing ride ahead of the most-recent Road America round, will return to the series at the wheel of MSR's Honda-powered AutoNation/SiriusXM spare car.

IndyCar medics didn’t sign off Pagenaud to contest qualifying, and a follow-up test did not provide the suitable clearance for the 2019 Indianapolis 500 winner to race today either.

Daly was present on site in Mid-Ohio this weekend, having raced in Travis Pastrana’s Nitrocross series over the Road America weekend, although he needed his mother to drive from Indianapolis with his seat and racing gear.

This will be Daly’s eighth IndyCar start at Mid-Ohio, with a best finish of sixth in his rookie season in 2016 that included a run to the front of the field, leading 22 laps and moving up 16 positions.

“Obviously I have to think about Simon, you hate to see someone wreck like that,” said Daly. “The most important thing is to get him as healthy as possible, as soon as possible.

“This is his car and his group of folks and I am here to do the best job that I can for this team. I’ve known Mike [Shank] for a long time and I’ve tested for his sports car team many years ago.

“I’ve always had a lot of respect for this organisation. It’s an honour to be a part of this group and fill in – we will just do the best job that we can.”

Simon Pagenaud, Meyer Shank Racing Honda

Simon Pagenaud, Meyer Shank Racing Honda

Photo by: Jake Galstad / Motorsport Images

MSR is calling the cause of Pagenaud’s huge crash a ‘manufacturer brake failure’, which led to a violent series of six and half barrel rolls at the end of the 180mph back straight.

“First and foremost, I have to speak to the safety of these cars,” said team owner Mike Shank. “To walk away from an accident like that is incredible and we cannot thank everyone at IndyCar, the AMR IndyCar safety team and the IndyCar medical team for everything they did to get Simon out and evaluated as quickly as possible.

“This is obviously not a scenario that we had planned for, but everyone at MSR has pitched in to get our backup car ready for Sunday. It’s actually Helio’s Indy 500 car and the one he won the 500 with in 2021.

“We have to thank Conor for being here and stepping into this, he’s been super great through all of the chaos. Now we will get back on our feet and see what we can do in the race.”

Daly will start from the back of the 27-car grid.

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