Conor Daly will team with DIAEDGE Racing for the 2022 Chili Bowl Nationals.
The second-generation racer, who turned 30 last month, will pilot the No. 47D midget at Tulsa Expo Raceway.
After shaking down his car at Millbridge Speedway alongside Chase Briscoe and Christopher Bell on December 13, Daly can’t wait to incorporate what he gleaned from the dirt veterans.
“I’m pretty pumped after testing in North Carolina,” Daly said. “Chase invited me out to get some more laps. It’s definitely the most laps I’ve ever probably run in a midget in one day. So it was really good.
“The Chili Bowl is such an iconic event. I’m happy that DIADGE is willing to give me a shot at this and the opportunity to get better. Each time has been better than the last, so hopefully, we can get it going.”
Like many racers, the Noblesville, Indiana native is drawn to the Super Bowl of Midgets to race against some of the best dirt and open-wheel drivers on the fifth-mile oval.
Daly loves testing his limits, whether he's behind the wheel of an NTT IndyCar ride—as he has been for the past two seasons in a Chevrolet with Ed Carpenter Racing—or trying his hand in the sports car ranks or NASCAR’s Xfinity or Camping World Truck Series.
“Honestly, I think the whole idea of driving anything, any time, anywhere, was always really attractive to me,” Daly said. “I was always pretty dedicated just to open-wheel racing growing up, but as soon as I got into a sports car for the first time—like in the (2014) Rolex 24 Hours—that kind of gave me this idea of like, ‘Why don’t I try and drive more?’
“At the time, I seemed to be competitive getting into other things. I had the opportunity to get into a NASCAR Xfinity race as well, which we were competitive in also, so I just wanted to continue to diversify what I could do.
Daly believes the additional seat time has benefited his race craft.
“I feel like every single time I drove something else, it broadened my level of experience in everything,” Daly said. “Honestly, ever since I’ve been racing a midget, I’ve been better at oval racing. I don’t if that directly correlates but it certainly can’t hurt.
“Why not drive new and other things? I feel like you’re always learning something new every day no matter what you drive. I feel like I’ve driven pretty much almost everything now—and I’m trying to keep that up.”
Daly drove for Al Niece in the last two spring truck races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. He finished 18th in his debut. While Daly isn’t at liberty to discuss his IndyCar or NASCAR plans for 2022—yet—expect to see more of the affable racer in both series this season.
“I can see myself running a couple of truck races—that’s definitely on my list to do,” Daly said. “We’ve talked to some partners on that, which would be really, really good. But also, I really want to run a Cup race at some point. I think that would be really cool—especially the road course at IMS. That’s my home track. It’s a road course and a great, great event, Brickyard weekend.
"My priorities are to remain in IndyCar for now. There should be more clarity on that by the end of January. But we’ll see what happens.”