Belle Isle, MI – May 31, 2015 – Schmidt Peterson Motorsports drivers Conor Daly and James Jakes finished sixth and fifteenth, respectively on Sunday afternoon in the second “Dual in Detroit presented by Quicken Loans” race at Belle Isle Raceway.
Twenty-two-year-old Daly, who is filling in for the injured James Hinchcliffe at Detroit in the No. 5 Arrow Electronics car, drove an impressive race. The first half of the 70-lap competition went caution free, and Daly’s fuel strategy paid off in the second half. As other cars around him stopped to pit, Daly advanced to the lead and held it through two caution periods.
The final quarter of the race was filled with yellow flags. Despite a blocking call issued to Daly, forcing him to the back of the field, he fought his way back and finished sixth.
“Well, that was very interesting,” said Daly. “Such a crazy race up and down but our car our Arrow car was fantastic the whole time – wet and dry. To lead the race, and to lead the race with the strength that we did, makes me over the moon.
“We got a little bit unlucky with the yellows but to come back and finish sixth, was so great. It was my goal to try and be here at the end of race two. I almost had a tear in my eye because I enjoyed it so much. It was wild and crazy, but I’m just happy to have it here and have a great finish.”
Jakes, who normally enjoys racing in the rain, was a victim of bad weather luck at the start of the race. The British driver made a pit stop on lap one in an attempt to go off strategy with slick tires.
When the rain started up again just a few laps later, Jakes had to pit again for a change to wet tires. Those two stops put Jakes one lap down, where he’d stay until a 21st place finish when the checkered flag fell.
“It was a very frustrating day for us in the No. 7 SPM MediaTech Honda car,” said Jakes. “We just made the wrong call at the start and weren’t able to make any progress from that. It’s a shame because we had very good pace with the car this weekend, so we’ll take that as a positive and just move on.”
The Verizon IndyCar Series now heads south for the Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway. The 248-lap competition on the 1.5-mile oval will take place on Saturday, June 6. Fans can buy tickets online at TexasMotorSpeedway.com or catch all the action on the live NBC Sports Network Broadcast from 8-11 p.m. ET.