Although Conor Daly at thoust proverbial Powerhouse Andretti Autosport, winner's of 3 of the past 5 events shouldn't exactly be an Underdog, should he?
Otay motor racing Fans, welcome to Thee No Fenders second annual "Award Winning" Indy 500 One Offers' preview, which this year sees eight teams fielding a total of Nine cars to round out a fairly stout 36 Contendahs' for the 103rd Indianapolis 500. Seeing an increase of one entrant vs. last year's tally of 35, when Pippa Mann and James Hinchcliffe failed to qualify.
And due to their running earlier at Circuit Of The Americas, (COTA) and possibly a few more events this year? Certainly Laguna Seca? I'm not categorizing Juncos Racing as a "One Offer" for Indy, even if that's what they're beginning to look like this year...
#25. Conor Daly, USA
First Race: 2013
Sadly, like many drivers who go to A.J. Foyt enterprises, it becomes an IndyCar career Killer, for which seemingly sapped Conor Daly's Open Wheel Racing career.
As Conor's been bounced from two IndyCar teams now, first losing his Dale Coyne Racing ride after the 2016 season, then being Dumped from Foyt following his dismal 2017 campaign.
Whilst unfortunately, when I think of Conor, who was my former Numero Uno IndyCar Driver until losing his Fulltime ride in 2018.
Will forever be thou irony of chauffeuring the Smithfield Foods "fueld by Bacon" Special , whilst driving the iconic #43 for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports during his second outing at Mother Speedway. When the car Done Caught On Fire during the Parade lap; YOUCH!
Nah Folks, N-O "Fueled by Bacon" Grease Fire Jokes Here!
Interestingly, Conor's best finish at Thee Brickyard to date, since Obviously, SNAP! He's expecting a big improvement this year, by stepping up into a Platinum ride with Mikey A',
Was last year's mostly unnoticed finish of 21st after starting Dead last for the Minnowesqe Dale Coyne Racing concern! Partnering with longtime Indy 500 car sponsor Tom Burns, who previously joined forces with Lazier Partners Racing to form Lazier Burns Racing in 2016.
As Daly's previous Indianapolis 500 career best finish was P22 during his rookie outing for 'Ol SuperTex', (A.J. Foyt) along with finishing last in 2015 and finishes of 29th & 30th from 2016-17 respectively being nothin' to write home about.
And whilst I'm happy for Conor to once again be racing in a competitive ride at Mother Speedway, unfortunately I simply cannot get too excited about his draping the Flag round himself and racing for the Military this May...
Even if Y'all cannot find yourself enjoying his ah Shucks' Demeanour. Not to mention getting a Raw Dealio from Eli-Lilly last year, when wrongly pulling their Sponsorship from him, regarding his Father Derek's controversial Firing...
#39. Pippa Mann, UK
First Race: 2011
(Last Race: 2017)
Pippa Mann, who'd become a fixture at Dale Coyne Racing for the Month of May for the majority of her Indianapolis 500 career, has moved to a brand new team this year, in hopes of rebounding from last year's agony of failing to Qualify
Previously, Pippa had been steadily improving each year since her worst finish of 30th in 2013, before last year's setback. With her past two Indy 500 starts netting finishes of 18th & 17th respectively.
And while we're all accustomed to seeing Pippa sporting the colour Pink, she changed hues last year with her then new sponsor. And now will attempt making the stout field with the never raced before Clauson-Marshall racing concern - Sporting the No. 39 in honour of the late Brian Clauson.
As the team's comprised of Tim Clauson, Brian's father and co-owner Richard Marshall, longtime sponsor of Brian's. Although I fear this team is on a shoe-string Budget and will be hard pressed to make the Show, which I noted previously on No Fenders prior to Qualifying.
As Congratulations to Clauson-Marshall Racing and Pippa Mann for triumphantly locking their selves into Thee Show, by Qualifying 30th on Saturday's Pole Day activities, since I certainly didn't think they'd make the race this year...
Dale Coyne with Byrd-Hollinger-Belardi
#33. James Davison, Australia
First Race: 2014
Dale Coyne and his Alphabet Soup Brigade once again returns to Mother Speedway with one of his multi-car entries being in conjunction with Jonathan Byrd's Racing, Hollinger Motorsports and Belardi Auto Racing this May.
With the trio effectively switching Thar allegiance from A.J. Foyt Enterprises to DCR this year, after campaigning the No. 33 entry with James Davison at the Keyboard of Foyt's Dallara-Chevrolet.
Whilst still not exactly sure why, perhaps it's his "Aussie Grit?" That finds Mwah always Rootin' for this underrated Aussie', even if he seemingly got lambasted last year for running Tail-gunner Charlie, before getting into Taku-san's, nee Takuma Sato's way.
As Davison's previously driven for Dale Coin Racing, in what will now be his third time at Mother Speedway. Most notably when filling in for le Hamburgular', nee Sealmeister B', aka SeaBass' or commonly known here in Nofendersville as Sebastain Bourdais. After the frenchman's Uber Nasty shunt during 2017's Indianapolis 500 Qualifying!
Davison has a decade's-plus association with Indy Cars, having contested the 2008 Firestone Indy Lights season for Sam Schmidt Motorsports before finishing runner-up to 2009 Indy Lights Champion J.R. Hildebrand, driving for lil Napoleon, or simply TG', aka Tony George's Brand New Vision Racing team.
and my 'Ol Memory recalls that James took the number 33 for his rookie outing at Mother Speedway in 2014 for KV Racing Technology, in deference to being the 33rd and final Indy 500 entry that year. When he finished 16th, his best Indy 500 finish to date.
For the other One Off Drivers in this year's Indy 500 field racing for Dreyer & Reinbold Racing and McLaren Racing, see; INDY 500: An International Star plans upon Outshining the rest of the One Offers' this May