Daly hails 'wizard' Coyne for outfoxing Penske in Detroit IndyCar

Conor Daly declared team boss Dale Coyne "a wizard" for the strategy that allowed him to beat Juan Pablo Montoya and claim a maiden IndyCar podium in Detroit

Daly hails 'wizard' Coyne for outfoxing Penske in Detroit IndyCar

Though Penske dominated the first half of Saturday's race, KVSH's Sebastien Bourdais and Coyne driver Daly ended up first and second.

Coyne, who won in Detroit in 2013 with Mike Conway, devised a strategy that brought Daly through from 16th on the grid to a late-race lead.

When he made his final pitstop with nine laps to go, he took on just four seconds' worth of fuel and was left the same set of 'black' tyres as Coyne felt the warm rubber was better-placed to handle the drizzle on track.

Though Daly could not stay ahead of Bourdais for first, he was able to deny Montoya second.

"Dale Coyne Racing puts me in positions far greater than I deserve at times," said Daly.

"They do all the right things strategically.

"Dale is a wizard, I think. He's up there calculating everything in his head. Maybe he can see the future...

"The car was good, though, too. We haven't been able to show our potential in the car.

"To finally run up front, not get gobbled up by the guys around us, proved we had the pace as well."

Daly pitted five times while the likes of polesitter Simon Pagenaud conserved fuel and stopped just twice.

Coyne left Daly out as the leaders pitted to gain track position, then topped him up off-sequence to ensure he had ample fuel when in clear air.

"We knew everybody was going to come in and try to make it to the end because that is what you normally do, so by staying out we leapfrog the field," Coyne said.

"If we get a couple of yellows you can make it to the end.

"The engineers sit there with their computers and their numbers but it's still a 'feel' so you have to make the right call at the right time.

"The feel is we had nothing to lose. We also knew if we got out on a clean track we could open up a gap because the car was pretty quick.

"It was a no-brainer decision."

Under current IndyCar rules, the pits are closed under yellow until the whole field has completed a lap behind the pace car.

Both Coyne and Bourdais felt their experience from the Champ Car era when pits stayed open at all times helped in Detroit.

"We've been doing this a long time and we're from the old days where they did not close the pits and you had to really had to focus on strategy all day long," said Coyne.

"This is easy for me and I enjoy doing it."

Bourdais added: "With these pits closed rules, that's why nobody can go winning six, seven or eight races like happened to me in the Champ Car days.

"It just throws the races up in the air where anyone can grab it."

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