Detroit, MI (June 4, 2016) – Dale Coyne Racing played the strategy game in Race 1 of the Dual in Detroit and it paid dividends with Conor Daly picking up his first Verizon IndyCar Series podium with a second place finish, and with Gabby Chaves placing 12th, his best result this season.
The podium finish was the team’s first podium since 2014 and it all came down to a fantastic strategy call by the team and a great drive by Daly who moved up from his 16th place on the grid.
The American gained positions early on in the race, thanks to his team’s strategy call which placed him as high as eighth by the halfway mark of the 70-lap race.
Following his pit stop on Lap 37, Daly found himself 17th, but he would quickly move back up to seventh when cars ahead of him pitted during a full course caution that came out on Lap 42.
When green flag racing resumed, Daly was fifth and that’s when he received the call from his engineer to push and start building a gap on the cars behind him. With the cars ahead of him pitting one after the other, the driver of the Jonathan Byrd’s car found himself in the lead for four laps before also heading to pit lane.
With a 22-second lead before his fuel only pit stop, Daly came out of the pits just behind new leader Sebastien Bourdais. With nine laps remaining following his stop, Daly kept a 1 to 3 second gap on the leader, and also managed to keep Juan Pablo Montoya behind him by nearly four seconds before taking the checkered flag in second place.
Gabby Chaves in the #19 Boys Scouts of America car wasn’t as fortunate with his strategy, which was different from his teammate. However, starting 20th, the Columbian made his way as high as sixth with less than 30 laps remaining and went on to finish 12th. The team was hoping for a shorter yellow near the end which could have allowed him to gain even more positions, but it wasn’t meant to be this time around.
There won’t much time for the team to celebrate its podium finish tonight, with the crew already hard at work preparing for Dual #2 that takes place tomorrow, Sunday, June 5. The second race of the weekend will be broadcast live on ABC from 3:30pm ET.
What they have to say:
Conor Daly – #18 Jonathan Byrd’s Hospitality
“This feels like a win. I can’t believe we were trying to go after (Sebastien) Bourdais and trying to defend against (Juan Pablo) Montoya. I used to watch these guys here. It’s crazy. This is why you do it. To get on the podium. We made it this time, now we need to do it more. It was a lot harder than I thought. I’m cramping up all over. I’ve got to get hydrated because it was a tough race and my thumbs are bleeding but the car is good though so I’ll drive it like that anytime! We were able to prove that we had a good car and this car has been good all weekend. It’s just sweet. We’ve been through a lot this year, especially coming off of Indy. That was such a punch in the gut. We had a great car there too. We’re always having to fight from the back. We’re only making things difficult on ourselves. I’m still a rookie at this so there’s a lot for me to learn but gosh the guys on the stand called a beautiful race.
“(On decision not to take tires at the end) Thanks Firestone. Yeah, it was great. The tires lasted all the way to the end. So, it was amazing because they kept getting better. It was really awesome and it just gave us a shot to fight for the top three.”
Gabby Chaves – #19 Boy Scouts of America
“It was a pretty interesting race. We were enjoying our time out there and improving every session, every lap and finding speed. We had a good strategy with the team and it was a great team effort, so I’m really happy with that. We’re just going to keep working hard to be where we know we can be.”