Conor Daly posted a strong run in his NASCAR Xfinity Series debut at Road America, driving his No. 6 Roush Fenway Ford Mustang into the top-10 before succumbing to a late part failure that forced a 31st-place finish.
“I had a blast,” said Daly as the final laps wound down at the mid-western road course. “As it stands now we would have been in the top five. I just want to thank Roush Fenway Racing for the opportunity. I have such an appreciation for the sport of NASCAR and to be out there with those guys today and a part of it all was a wonderful experience. I learned a lot and hopefully I’ll have more opportunities to do it again.”
Daly qualified 15th after taking only one lap during the morning’s qualifying session. Despite an admitted ‘learning experience’ on each lap, the IndyCar Series driver steadily made his way through the field on each lap. By lap 18 he had driven the No. 6 Ford into the top-10. Issues getting onto and off of pit road would cost the NASCAR rookie several positions on the first two pits stops, forcing him to battle his way back from as far back as 23rd.
Despite the setback, Daly was able to continue to make his way through the field. A quick learner, he corrected much of the pit road issue on the team’s final stop on lap 30. He made his way back to 11th position and was poised to move back inside the top-10 on lap 34, but with just over 10 laps remaining in the race, he reported the car had developed an issue. Unfortunately, a broken part on the rear of the car would then bring an end to Daly’s otherwise successful debut.