Conor Daly has been a regular fixture in the NTT IndyCar series since his debut at the 2013 Indianapolis 500, and he has noticed the series gaining more talented drivers as time goes on.
Daly joined IndyCar after racing a few years in the GP2 and GP3 series, and recognizes that other drivers following similar paths from other major series over to IndyCar are helping to fill the field with considerable experience and talent.
There have also been multiple young stars advancing through the Road to Indy series in recent years, who have considerably raised the competition level each and every weekend.
This includes the 2020 Rookie of the Year Rinus VeeKay, who will again be partnering Daly at Ed Carpenter Racing for this season.
Daly has yet to break through as a race-winner himself, but he has partnered with many talented drivers over his years in the series and makes it a point to gain valuable tips from each friend he makes in the paddock.
Now the always-smiling 29-year-old is looking ahead to the new drivers making their way into IndyCar this season and is relishing the chance to race against the incredible talent they bring with them.
“This whole championship is just stacked,” said Daly. “It’s pretty cool to be a part of, for sure. I think this season without a doubt has so much excitement.
“You have some real heavy hitters coming here: V8 Supercar legend Scott McLaughlin, Romain Grosjean, Pietro Fittipaldi, two former F1 guys, man the world. Incredible talent.
“I think we have to take advantage of that as a series and say, ‘Look, we have the best in the world coming here to race. It’s no joke.’
“Then you’ve got Jimmie Johnson who has more trophies than all of us combined.
“I would love to beat Jimmie! That sounds like a great plan. I just think he’s taken on this opportunity so perfectly. He respects the heck out of what we’re doing.
“Also I respect the heck out of what he’s doing. He’s getting out there, testing as much as he can. He’s doing everything he can.
“That’s super cool to have him part of the series.”
Daly will get a chance to go up against Johnson and the rest of the talented newcomers at the first IndyCar race of the 2021 season at Barber Motorsports Park on April 18.