Daly started fourth and finished fifth in arguably the finest race weekend of his 85-race IndyCar career.
Afterwards, however, he said he had issues with water build up around the dividing ridge in the center of his aeroscreen in the worst of the conditions in the final stint. Although IndyCars tested in the wet preseason at Circuit of The Americas in February 2020, and then qualified in the wet at Mid-Ohio that summer, this was the first time that IndyCars had raced in the wet with the aeroscreen.
“I’ve never seen anything like it before,” said the 30-year-old from Noblesville, IN. “It was like the water just stayed in the center of the screen. I don’t know why, but even as you went faster, which you would hope it would clear, it didn’t…
“Obviously, this is very much a scientific test run. Obviously, we have a lot of data to go through with the series, and I’m sure Jay Frye [IndyCar president] will look at it as well. And he hates when I talk about the aeroscreen, but I’m just describing what I saw. That’s all. It was challenging.
“Thankfully, we had a great spotter in Packy Wheeler, who was literally guiding me into Turn 1. I couldn’t see the brake zone or the cars in front of me or the end of the pit wall, but I could look out the side of the aeroscreen, so I was looking right and left to go straight, which was neat!”
Daly later added: “I used to race in the rain all the time, so we had a visor that you can work with, but this is a new era, so obviously there are things that we can figure out. We go from here.
“I do think it was tough. It was definitely hard to race like that because you don’t want to, obviously, end up on the wrong side. Even under yellow, I couldn’t see the cars in front of me. I had to be guided into pit lane, and that’s concerning.
“Hopefully we can figure that out, but hopefully we also have very shiny weather for the rest of the year.”
Daly had early issues when he plummeted down the order but good strategy calls, good pace and fewer mistakes than many more illustrious rivals meant he climbed the order.
“[It was a] difficult first stint for us,” he recalled. “I don’t know what happened on the first set of reds, but they were used reds, and we just went straight backwards. Car was an absolute handful, and I have no idea why.
“Then it kind of forced our hand, and we put on new reds, and it was right back to the great car that it was. So I think we did second fastest race lap, and we were just hauling, making up some of the ground that we lost. Then, obviously, the skies opened up a little bit so, that made for an interesting rest of the afternoon.”