until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

IndyCar

Pagenaud ruled out of Mid-Ohio IndyCar race, stand-in named

by Valentin Khorounzhiy
3 min read

until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

Conor Daly will drive for Meyer Shank Racing in the Mid-Ohio IndyCar race as a substitute after Simon Pagenaud was not cleared to race following a huge somersaulting crash in practice.

Pagenaud was ruled out of qualifying on Saturday following the crash, which had been caused by a brake-related issue at the end of the track’s longest straight.

He was already airborne heading into the gravel run-off and once his car landed it immediately began to flip before Pagenaud was pinned against the barriers.

Simon Pagenaud Meyer Shank IndyCar crash

Pagenaud said he felt fine but understood there were protocols in place to protect the drivers, and the series champion and Indy 500 winner will not race in another blow to a woeful season where he lies 24th in points.

Despite missing the last race at Road America when his deal with Ed Carpenter ended early by what was described as mutual consent, Daly is two positions ahead of Pagenaud in the points and has received the shock late call-up.

He was at Mid-Ohio already but didn’t have his racing equipment, which his mum had to drive over from his Indianapolis home.

The Meyer Shank team took Pagenaud’s car back to its Columbus, Ohio base, which is within driving distance of the Mid-Ohio track, but it is actually set to use a back-up car liveried in team-mate Helio Castroneves’ colours.

“First and foremost, I have to speak to the safety of these cars,” said MSR team co-owner, Mike Shank.

“To walk away from an accident like that is incredible and we cannot thank everyone at IndyCar, the AMR IndyCar safety team and the IndyCar medical team for everything they did to get Simon out and evaluated as quickly as possible.

“This is obviously not a scenario that we had planned for, but everyone at MSR has pitched in to get our backup car ready for Sunday.

“It’s actually Helio’s Indy 500 car and the one he won the 500 with in 2021. We have to thank Conor for being here and stepping into this, he’s been super great through all of the chaos.

“Now we will get back on our feet and see what we can do in the race.”

Daly said his thoughts were with Pagenaud ahead of the surprise outing.

Conor Daly ECR IndyCar

“Obviously I have to think about Simon, you hate to see someone wreck like that,” said Daly.

“The most important thing is to get him as healthy as possible, as soon as possible.

“This is his car and his group of folks and I am here to do the best job that I can for this team. I’ve known Mike [Shank] for a long time and I’ve tested for his sportscar team many years ago.

“I’ve always had a lot of respect for this organisation. It’s an honor to be a part of this group and fill in – we will just do the best job that we can.”

Despite parting ways with Ed Carpenter, Daly still has a sponsor and is expected to be a player in the silly season for seats in the 2024 IndyCar season.

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