A late change of plans could have Zachary Claman De Melo’s debut with Harding Racing pushed back by one event to keep Conor Daly in the car for Pocono.
RACER understands the American, who took over the No. 88 Chevy at Toronto, will be inserted for this weekend’s ABC Supply 500 in favor of Claman De Melo. The French-Canadian rookie’s two-race deal is likely to shift to the Gateway short oval and Portland road course after Daly is done at Pocono, but considering the fluid nature of Harding’s driver rotation, there’s also a possibility the team could place other drivers in the car after Pocono.
With two finishes at the big 2.5-mile oval and six total starts on superspeedways, Daly will bring considerable experience to bear in his third consecutive race in the Chevy-powered No. 88 entry.
After Pocono, Daly will change gears the following weekend to make his NASCAR Xfinity debut for Roush Fenway Racing in the no. 6 Ford Mustang.
Depending on who ends up in the No. 88 for Gateway and Portland, and provided the Mike Harding-owned team fields one of the Indy Lights drivers it covets for the finale at Sonoma, Pocono could mark Daly’s last IndyCar race of the season.