Conor Daly has left Ed Carpenter Racing after a disappointing start to the NTT IndyCar Series season.
Daly was ranked 20th in the points standings with a season-best eighth in the 107th Indianapolis 500 last month. He was in the final year of a multiyear deal with ECR, which he had been driving for since 2020.
After a schedule of road and street courses in 2020-21, Daly moved full time in 2022 at ECR with sponsorship from BitNile (which also has backed his three starts in the NASCAR Cup Series).
BitNile.com became the primary sponsor this year of ECR’s thee cars — the two full-time entries of Daly and Rinus VeeKay (in the No. 21) and an ovals-only No. 33 entry driven by Ed Carpenter.
Ed Carpenter Racing said in a release that BitNile will remain with the team, and that a replacement driver will be announced “in due course” for Daly’s No. 20 Dallara-Chevrolet.
[DRIVER UPDATE] Ed Carpenter Racing and Conor Daly have mutually agreed to end their relationship, effective immediately.
— Ed Carpenter Racing (@ECRIndy) June 7, 2023
“This is the most difficult decision I have made as a team owner because I respect Conor and know what he means to IndyCar and its fans,” Carpenter said in a release. “Our team has not been performing at the level we are capable of this year, and despite making technical changes and investments in the offseason, 2023 has been extremely challenging.
“I have put a great deal of consideration into the current state of our team and realize it is my obligation to our employees, partners, and supporters to do whatever is necessary to elevate our team’s competitiveness. We sincerely wish Conor continued success and will cheer him on wherever he goes next.”
In the same release, Daly said, “Although we’ve mutually decided that it’s in our best interests to take different paths, I’d like to thank ECR for the past three and a half seasons. I’m grateful to everyone who has supported me – past, present and into the future. I look forward to taking on the next opportunities that await, and I want to thank the fans for being with me on this ride.”