Daly to replace Hinchcliffe for IndyCar doubleheader in Detroit
INDIANAPOLIS — Conor Daly will replace James Hinchcliffe for this weekend’s doubleheader in Detroit.
Daly will drive the No. 5 for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports at Belle Isle Raceway on Saturday and Sunday. Hinchcliffe has been hospitalized since suffering a life-threatening leg injury during a crash practicing for the Indianapolis 500 on May 18.
Hinchcliffe’s recovery period is undetermined, and the team said Monday it will use a replacement driver until he returns.
"I’m honored to have the opportunity to fill in for my close friend James this weekend," Daly said. "I can’t wait to continue working with the Schmidt Peterson guys and do the best job I can to keep James’ seat warm."
Daly drove for Schmidt Peterson in the Indianapolis 500, but a mechanical issue caused his car to catch fire before the green flag and he didn’t make a single lap.
Daly, who was also a last-minute replacement driver at Long Beach in April for Dale Coyne Racing and finished 17th, drove for Schmidt in Indy Lights in 2011 and was leading the points standings when he left the team to drive GP3 in Europe.
"We’ve been impressed with what we’ve seen from him and after the bad luck at Indy, we’re pleased to give a young, American, uprising star another opportunity to compete," Schmidt said.
Hinchcliffe recorded an audio message thanking the IndyCar safety team and it was played during Monday night’s Indianapolis 500 award ceremony. Hinchcliffe’s left thigh was pierced by a broken suspension part and the safety team stopped massive bleeding as he was raced into surgery in critical condition.
The safety team, considered the gold standard in auto racing, received a standing ovation Monday night from industry colleagues before Hinchcliffe’s message was played.