Ryan Hunter-Reay is set to replace Conor Daly at Ed Carpenter Racing for the remainder of the 2023 IndyCar season, beginning at Road America.
Ed Carpenter Racing announced on Wednesday that Conor Daly will no longer drive the No. 20 Chevrolet. Daly was due to become a free agent at the end of the 2023 IndyCar season anyway, but the two sides cut ties effective immediately, just seven races into the 17-race 2023 IndyCar season.
The team confirmed that, despite Daly’s departure, the No. 20 Chevrolet would continue to be a full-time entry, and interestingly with Daly’s primary sponsor, BitNile.com, remaining on the car.
On Thursday, they announced that 2012 series champion and 2014 Indy 500 winner Ryan Hunter-Reay is set to take over behind the wheel of the No. 20 Chevrolet for the remainder of the 2023 season, starting in next weekend’s Sonsio Grand Prix at Road America presented by AMR.
Ryan Hunter-Reay hasn’t competed full-time in IndyCar since 2021, when he was in his 12th and final season with Andretti Autosport.
He did not compete at all in 2022, but he landed a ride to return to the Indy 500 in 2023 with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing and finished in 11th place.
Whether or not Hunter-Reay replaces Daly beyond the conclusion of the 2023 season remains to be seen. Reigning Indy NXT (Lights) champion Linus Lundqvist had been seen as one of the top candidates to replace Daly moving forward, given the fact that he is testing with Ed Carpenter Racing at Sebring International Raceway on Thursday.
But the team opted for experience. Given Ed Carpenter Racing’s lack of performance throughout the 2023 season, and even going back to much of last year, going with the veteran made sense.
Ed Carpenter himself only competes in the oval races, and the 22-year-old Rinus VeeKay is still only in his fourth season of IndyCar, so the team hope that adding Hunter-Reay will be the missing ingredient to bringing a winning formula back.
The team’s most recent victory came in May 2021, when VeeKay secured his first career win — and Ed Carpenter Racing’s first win since 2016 — at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.
The Sonsio Grand Prix at Road America presented by AMR is set to be broadcast live on USA Network from Road America beginning at 1:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, June 18. Be sure to begin a free trial of FuboTV and don’t miss it!