Daly in for Chaves at Toronto

Gabby Chaves around Belle Isle Turn 1 in Harding Indy car
Harding Racing, a new full-time IndyCar team in 2018, finished 19th twice and 18th once in its first three street circuit races with Gabby Chaves. | Photo: Andy Clary / Spacesuit Media

Harding Racing will field Conor Daly in its No. 88 Chevrolet for the final street circuit race of the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season in Toronto.

Daly has started at least one IndyCar race in five different seasons dating back to his debut at Indianapolis in 2013. Since, he’s collected 10 top-10 finishes including a single podium in the first race of the 2016 doubleheader in Detroit.

Gabby Chaves has contested 14 races in the No. 88 car for the Speedway, Indiana-based team since Mike Harding’s foray into IndyCar at the 2017 Indianapolis 500. Chaves’ finishes of ninth in that Indy 500 and fifth in the following superspeedway race at Texas Motor Speedway mark his best results in the series with his average finishing position through 11 races in 2018 standing at 17th.

Conor Daly on Indy 500 pit lane during Bump Day
The Indy 500 and a NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Road America were on Conor Daly’s calendar for 2018. | Photo: Andy Clary / Spacesuit Media

The team’s decision to have Daly participate in the Honda Indy Toronto instead of Chaves was not based on performance, however, and Daly may be the first of several new drivers to step into the No. 88 as the second half of the 2018 season continues.

“At this point in the season, we are focusing all our attention on the 2019 season,” team president Brian Barnhart said.

“If we can expand to a two-car team, all remaining races and testing will offer driver evaluation opportunities to determine who will become Gabby’s teammate in 2019. Gabby is still fully employed and still under contract with Harding for the remainder of this year and in 2019.”

Daly’s first session with Harding and first laps in an Indy car since the 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500 this past May will come Friday, July 13 at 10:40 a.m. EDT on the streets of Toronto. The race itself will go green at 3:42 p.m. Sunday.

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