Conor Daly made his IndyCar debut in a one-off drive for AJ Foyt Racing at the Indy 500 in May of 2013, and with his confirmation today as the Texan's newest driver, the Indiana native has come full circle.
Daly, who chronicled his IndyCar debut for RoadandTrack.com, will join Colombian phenom Carlos Munoz at Foyt after the four-time Indy 500 winner purged the unsuccessful pairing of Takuma Sato and Jack Hawksworth from the program.
At 24 years old, they represent the youngest lineup in IndyCar, and despite their youth, Daly and Munoz should be able to lift the team from the bottom of the championship standings to a solid midfield presence . Munoz will carry the familiar No. 14 and Daly will wear the No. 4; both entries will feature sponsorship from longstanding Foyt supporter ABC Supply.
Foyt's offseason switch from Honda engines and aero kits to Chevy's all-conquering package will also expedite the team's turnaround.
"It's been a busy off season, which to me is a great thing," Foyt said. "There are many moving parts as we grow and continue to strengthen our weaknesses as a team. It's wonderful to continue our relationship with ABC Supply and adding two young and fast drivers is exciting for our program. I can't remember a time when the Verizon IndyCar Series has been this competitive from top to bottom, so we know we have to work around the clock this winter to meet our goals before the season starts. We've had a great deal of changes in a short amount of time, but the team is committed and the group as a whole is moving in the same direction. I'm looking for this positive momentum to translate to on-track results."
Coming off an impressive season with Dale Coyne Racing—his first full-time drive in IndyCar, Daly says it's fitting to return to the team where everything started.
"I am thrilled to be reunited with AJ Foyt Racing for the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series season," Daly said. "A.J. and Larry [Foyt] were the ones who gave me my first chance at not only getting in an IndyCar for a test at Sebring but also the greatest race in the world, the Indianapolis 500 in 2013. Now we get an opportunity to compete as a team for the full season and I couldn't be happier. It will also be very special to me as an American to be in a red, white and blue ABC Supply machine. This will be a great opportunity for me to continue building my IndyCar career and I can't thank A.J., Larry and ABC Supply Company enough for believing in a young American to deliver for them."
For Munoz, who was the top driver at Andretti Autosport in 2016, becoming a leader at Foyt is a natural progression after spending three years as an understudy.
"I am really excited about this new chapter in my professional career," Munoz said. "I'm looking forward to driving the No. 14 car, which has so much history, and working with Larry and his dad A.J., who is a legend in auto racing. One of my main goals is to be an Indy 500 champion and I know they want to win another one so hopefully we can do it together. It is a whole new package for AJ Foyt Racing in 2017 the team is adding some new personnel, and we will be pushing hard to be competitive every time out. I can't wait to get started."