IndyCar, NASCAR driver rules out Memorial Day Double

Conor Daly, Ed Carpenter Racing, Indy 500, IndyCar (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Conor Daly, Ed Carpenter Racing, Indy 500, IndyCar (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) /

Conor Daly is set to compete in both IndyCar and the NASCAR Cup Series throughout the 2023 season, but he has ruled out the Memorial Day Double.

The 2023 IndyCar season is set to be Conor Daly’s fourth season with Ed Carpenter Racing and second as the full-time driver of the No. 20 Chevrolet.

But before the season gets underway next month on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida, Daly is set to attempt to qualify for another big race in the Sunshine State: the Daytona 500.

Daly made his NASCAR Cup Series debut at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval last October, driving the No. 50 Chevrolet for The Money Team Racing.

He is set to compete part-time throughout the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season, beginning with an attempt to qualify for the Great American Race.

His schedule hasn’t yet been solidified, but he is expected to compete in as many as six races for the Floyd Mayweather Jr.-owned team this year.

Daly’s NASCAR schedule brought to the forefront a thought that has been asked about a number of drivers as of late, that being the possibility of a Memorial Day Double.

Could the 31-year-old Noblesville, Indiana native compete in the Indy 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and then fly to Charlotte Motor Speedway for NASCAR’s Coca-Cola 600?

Usually the NASCAR drivers are the ones who are discussed as possibilities for the Memorial Day Double, at least a lot more so than IndyCar drivers.

So with a full-time IndyCar driver in Daly set to compete part-time throughout the 2023 Cup Series season, a rare opportunity could present itself.

But Daly has already ruled it out.

After Daly shared his Daytona 500 announcement on social media, a fan commented on the post: “You could do the Coke 600 and Indy 500 in may and call it the Daly Double! Just a thought”

Daly responded: “nope. Just focused on the indy 500.”

Daly’s focus on the Indy 500 is something that should come as no surprise to any IndyCar fans. He has been a contender in each of the last two years, leading the most laps in 2021 after starting all the way back in 19th place before damage from a flying tire left him unable to finish better than 13th.

Then last year, he led laps again, despite starting all the way back in 18th place, and he ended up settling for sixth, his best finish in nine starts at the Brickyard. Notably, in 33 races since the start of the 2021 season, the two Indy 500s are the only races in which he has led laps.

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Just four drivers have ever attempted the Memorial Day Double, the most recent one being Kurt Busch in 2014. Kyle Larson is set to do it in 2024, while Jimmie Johnson remains undecided for 2023. Kyle Busch has also expressed interest in doing it in the near future and was in talks to make it happen this year before that fell through.