INDIANAPOLIS -- Ed Carpenter Racing's No. 20 Chevrolet has a new driver.
Ryan Hunter-Reay, who has not driven full-time in the IndyCar series since 2021, will replace Conor Daly in the No. 20 Bitnile car, Ed Carpenter Racing announced Thursday.
Daly and ECR "mutually agreed to part ways" for the rest of the 2023 IndyCar season, it was announced Wednesday. Daly drove for Ed Carpenter Racing for over three years. Bitnile.com, the sponsor Daly acquired to become a full-time driver with ECR in 2022, will stay with the team.
"It is great for Bitnile.com to be aligned with an Indy 500 winner and an NTT IndyCar Series champion," Milton Ault, executive director of Bitnile.com Inc., said in the statement. "I have followed Ryan's career for years and I am confident he will challenge the entire ECR team to perform at a higher level."
Hunter-Reay will start his stint as an ECR driver at Road America in Wisconsin on June 18.
"I was surprised when I got the call from Ed," Hunter-Reay said in a statement. "He described how frustrated he was that his team has not been able to realize its potential despite their efforts, investments, as well as technical and personnel changes over the past few years and asked for my help. Ed and I are very close friends and have been for a long time. I've worked with the team in the past and they are a very talented group with high expectations."
Hunter-Reay tested for ECR in October 2021 at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama.
That test also served as the last time Hunter-Reay competed on an IndyCar road course.
Hunter-Reay has been racing IndyCar since 2007, starting his career with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing. Over his 16-year career, he he won the IndyCar Series once (2012) and the Indy 500 once (2014).
Hunter-Reay announced he would be taking a sabbatical from full-time racing in 2021 and driving select events, including the Indianapolis 500, with Dreyer and Reinbold Racing. He placed 11th in the 107th Racing of the Indianapolis 500 in May. In contrast, Daly finished 8th at the Indy 500.
Hunter-Reay already has experience driving Chevy cars this season, as Dreyer and Reinbold operate a Chevy fleet.
"We need to improve our competitiveness and I wanted to add a fresh perspective from a driver like Ryan who has a massive amount of experience and success as well as a reputation as a team leader. I am excited to welcome Ryan to the team," Ed Carpenter said in a statement.
Hunter-Reay will join Rinus VeeKay, who is driving the No. 21 Bitnile Chevrolet, as the other ECR full-time driver. Carpenter, who does not drive full-time, will join Hunter-Reay and VeeKay at Road America, driving the No. 33 Bitnile.
This article originally appeared on Indianapolis Star: IndyCar: Ryan Hunter Reay replaces Conor Daly in No. 20 Bitnile Chevrolet for Ed Carpenter Racing