Conor Daly led the seven-car private NTT IndyCar Series test at the Iowa oval on Thursday. With the three-car Ed Carpenter Racing team and the four drivers from Andretti Autosport in attendance, nearly 2000 laps were turned on the 0.875-mile oval where Daly’s best unofficial tour came on lap 87 from the 236 he produced in the No. 20 Chevy. He was followed by Andretti’s Colton Herta, whose best came later in the day on lap 217 of 262. Teammate Alexander Rossi was third.
“We all just tried to get running as soon as possible,” Daly told RACER. “There was literally a 100-percent chance of rain, so everyone was thinking to get after it right away because we probably were not going to do much once it began to rain, but there wasn’t a drop all day.
“Our best lap come from an early run, which was still good enough to hold for the rest of the day. The track’s still really hard to get around and we’re going to need people to get up in the middle lanes. They’re definitely going to have to rubber in a wider line to get some good racing going.”
Herta was pleased with findings that came from his No. 26 Honda.
“Right away we got on pace and I did an 18.7s run, the car felt really good, and then we focused more on long runs and dialing the car in,” he said. “It didn’t come together until the end of the day with an 18.3s, so we were still off on Conor on quali pace, but our race pace was good.”
The test comes after the recent 14-car outing at Iowa where Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden led the group — albeit in much hotter conditions — with a lap of 18.377s. The Iowa doubleheader is set to run across July 22-24, with the Friday portion of the event having been announced as free to all fans and families.
BREAKING: All fans are welcome for FREE Family Friday on 7/22 for the 1st day of @HyVee #INDYCAR Race Weekend! Watch @IndyLights & @INDYCAR practice from the grandstands + get evening access to the @IowaSpeedway track & infield paddock for free! https://t.co/b8kNE0N6ip pic.twitter.com/gY6eV8cXAE
— Hy-Vee INDYCAR Weekend (@INDYCARatIowa) July 7, 2022
All times unofficial
1: Conor Daly, 18.249s
2: Colton Herta, 18.371s
3: Alexander Rossi, 18.395s
4: Ed Carpenter, 18.412s
5: Romain Grosjean, 18.434s
6: Rinus VeeKay, 18.499s
7: Devlin DeFrancesco, 18.577s