Conor Daly attempting rare Daytona 500, Indy 500 feat

Conor Daly, The Money Team Racing, Daytona 500, NASCAR (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
Conor Daly, The Money Team Racing, Daytona 500, NASCAR (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images) /

With Conor Daly attempting the feat in 2023, when was the last time a driver competed in both the Daytona 500 and the Indy 500 in the same year?

The Money Team Racing’s Conor Daly was a popular pick among NASCAR fans to be one of the two drivers who failed to qualify for the Cup Series season-opening Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway.

Daly’s Cup Series experience is limited to a single road course race, and The Money Team Racing have made just four Cup Series starts, including one in last year’s Daytona 500 after Kaz Grala needed to make a last-lap pass on a backmarker car in his Bluegreen Vacations Duel race just to qualify.

After an electrical issue burned a hole in the oil line of his No. 50 Chevrolet and prevented Daly from attempting to qualify in the single-car qualifying session on Wednesday night, he needed to finish ahead of both 23XI Racing’s Travis Pastrana and Beard Motorsports’ Austin Hill in his Duel race on Thursday evening.

When he finally got behind the wheel of the No. 50 Chevrolet, he described it as a “bucking bronco”, as the car’s bouncing made it look like even starting the race was pointless.

Daly himself had already booked a flight to Los Angeles.

But when Pastrana and Hill were involved in a multi-car crash, the door opened for Conor Daly to lock himself into the Daytona 500.

Just two drivers in this year’s Daytona 500 field, Legacy Motor Club’s Jimmie Johnson and Kaulig Racing’s A.J. Allmendinger, have ever had the chance to compete in the Indy 500 as well as the Daytona 500. Daly is set to become the third when he takes the green flag on Sunday afternoon.

But neither one of those other two drivers did it in the same year, which is what Daly is aiming to do this year. Allmendinger’s lone Indy 500 start came in 2013, and Johnson’s came in 2022. Johnson could still technically pull it off in 2023 as well, as he has a big upcoming decision to make.

While there will likely be between 34 and 36 drivers attempting to lock into the field of 33 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in May, Daly should be pretty comfortable, having not qualified for the race lower than 19th place since joining Ed Carpenter Racing in 2020.

The last driver to compete in both the Daytona 500 and the Indy 500 in the same year was Danica Patrick, who pulled it off back in 2018.

This effort, which came about after Patrick announced that the 2017 season would be her final full season of racing, was dubbed the “Danica Double”. She competed for Premium Motorsports in the Daytona 500 and ironically Ed Carpenter Racing in the Indy 500. She crashed out of both races.

While Daly has already shot down the idea of running the Memorial Day Double and flying to Charlotte Motor Speedway for NASCAR’s Coca-Cola 600 immediately after finishing the Indy 500, he has a chance to the “Daly Double” and become the first driver to make such an attempt in five years.

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Sunday afternoon’s Daytona 500 is set to be broadcast live from Daytona International Speedway beginning at 2:30 p.m. ET. Begin a free trial of FuboTV now and be sure not to miss it!