Veteran IndyCar driver Ryan Hunter-Reay will join Ed Carpenter Racing after Noblesville native Conor Daly and the team announced June 7 they were splitting ways.
The team, which announced it was ending its relationship with Daly as part of a mutual decision, said June 8 that Hunter-Reay will drive the No. 20 Chevrolet in the NTT IndyCar Series. Hunter-Reay will make his debut for the team next weekend beginning June 16 at the Sonsio Grand Prix at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis.
The 31-year-old Daly finished eighth in the Indianapolis 500 May 28 and most recently placed 15th at the Grand Prix of Detroit June 4. Daly finished sixth in the Indy 500 a year ago, while his previous best finish was 10th in 2019.
In a statement released June 7 on social media, Daly said, “Although we’ve mutually decided that it’s in our best interests to take different paths, I’d like to thank ECR for the past three and a half seasons. I’m grateful to everyone who has supported me – past, present and into the future. I look forward to taking on the next opportunities that await, and I want to thank the fans for being with me on this ride.”
Daly declined further comment when reached by Current by phone. Ed Carpenter Racing said in a statement that Hunter-Reay has an IndyCar career that spans two decades.
“I was surprised when I got the call from Ed. He described how frustrated he was that his team has not been able to realize its potential despite their efforts, investments, as well as technical and personnel changes over the past few years and asked for my help. Ed and I are very close friends and have been for a long time,” Hunter-Reay stated. “I’ve worked with the team in the past and they are a very talented group with high expectations and a committed partner in BITNILE.COM.”
Hunter-Reay, who is based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., said it is a “tough situation jumping in a car in the middle of the season without any testing in what I believe to be the most competitive series in the world.” He added that he remains “very confident in both my driving and technical abilities and believe by working with the talented people at ECR and Team Chevy, while representing BITNILE.com, we will make progress. I am going to do everything I can do to help the team achieve its long-term objectives,” he said.
Team owner Ed Carpenter stated the following about Hunter-Reay:
“We need to improve our competitiveness and I wanted to add a fresh perspective from a driver like Ryan who has a massive amount of experience and success as well as a reputation as a team leader. I am excited to welcome Ryan to the team,” Carpenter said. “We have worked together in the past as teammates as he tested for ECR at Barber Motorsports Park in October 2021, where he made an immediate impact as we were able to qualify one of our cars on the pole following that test. I am confident his experience and technical abilities will be an asset to ECR as we move forward toward our goals as a team.”