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Daly missed loose wheel “by six inches”, questions speed of IndyCar caution

Conor Daly has relived the moment that he narrowly avoided a detached wheel in Sunday’s IndyCar Series race at Iowa, and questioned the speed at which the caution was thrown.

Stray tire being grabbed by AMR Safety team

Photo by: Phillip Abbott / Motorsport Images

Speaking on his Speed Street podcast, Daly explained the moment he came upon Sting Ray Robb’s left-rear wheel on lap 157 during his third outing subbing for the sidelined Simon Pagenaud at Meyer Shank Racing.

Robb’s car had left pitlane without the wheelnut attached to its left-rear corner, and when he got to Turn 3 at low speed, it detached from the car and rolled up the racetrack, directly on to the racing line.

Daly and Arrow McLaren’s Alexander Rossi swerved either side of the wheel as they negotiated the turn at over 150mph. Race weekend dominator Josef Newgarden also had to move up the track to avoid it, getting perilously close to Devlin DeFrancesco’s car to do so.

“I almost ended up with a tyre directly in my lap,” said Daly. “That was not fun. Crazy to see that tyre, I don’t know why we didn’t go yellow quicker.

“It should’ve been yellow as soon as that car was limping back to the pits. I definitely think there are going to be some questions about that.”

Daly struck a flying wheel in the 2021 Indianapolis 500, after Graham Rahal’s car also lost a left-rear after a similarly botched pitstop, and it struck his car’s nose at high speed – sending it flying much higher into the air.

He added: “This time I saw it, Indy two years ago, I never saw the tyre, it basically came from the sky like an alien. With this one, I was like ‘oh no!’ because these cars are just so on edge, you can’t just turn them, if you turn them you spin sometimes.

“I knew I had a McLaren, I don’t know if it was Rossi or [Felix] Rosenqvist [next to me], so I basically just got on the brakes and yanked the wheel left, just at the last second.

Conor Daly, Meyer Shank Racing Honda

Conor Daly, Meyer Shank Racing Honda

Photo by: Phillip Abbott / Motorsport Images

“I was looking at the onboard video, I must’ve missed it by six inches. I’m also blown away by whoever was on my outside also missed it! That was crazy. It was so dangerous.”

IndyCar officials parked Robb for the rest of the race.

Newgarden made rivals appear a “bunch of amateurs”

After the Iowa races, Arrow McLaren’s Pato O’Ward said that Newgarden “dominated, absolutely destroyed everybody” – and Daly agreed with that summation on his show.

“Josef Newgarden literally [sic] slapped all of us in the face,” said Daly. “Honestly just made us all look silly, made us look like a bunch of amateurs. Made us look like we all need to go back to oval racing class.

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“He couldn’t even be happy after his first race win because he was mad at lapped traffic, I mean, brother, you weren’t even in our race. He was in the A class and we were in the B class.

“It’s Penske being Penske: When they find what they have to be better than everybody else, they will execute to the highest level and destroy you. That’s what Team Penske does.

“It’s the same with Chip Ganassi when Alex Palou wins by 15 seconds. When they got it, they got it big. Pretty cool to see that, pretty much Red Bull-esque dominance.”

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