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NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Conor Daly in for James Hinchcliffe at Detroit

Aspiring IndyCar hopeful Conor Daly will replace the injured James Hinchcliffe this weekend for the Dual in Detroit at the Belle Isle Street Course event.

Daly will pilot the No. 5 for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports for both races on Saturday and Sunday afternoon. Hinchliffe was in the first season of a multi-year deal with the organization when he suffered a life-threatening leg injury during practice last week for the Indianapolis 500.

Daly drove a separate No. 43 entry for Schmidt Peterson during the Month of May, but an electrical fire ended his run at the Borg Warner Trophy before the race even began.

“I’m honored to have the opportunity to fill in for my close friend James this weekend,” Daly said. “I definitely want to thank Arrow Electronics, Lucas Oil and all the team sponsors for giving me this shot. I can’t wait to continue working with the Schmidt Peterson guys and do the best job I can to keep James’s seat warm.”

It is not known when Hinchcliffe will return although team owner Sam Schmidt said it’s possible that the affable Canadian could return by August if all goes well. The team will use a series of replacement drivers until he returns.

Ryan Briscoe drove the Schmidt Peterson Honda in the 500-mile Race and finished 12th, despite having to start on the back row due to the driver change.

As for Daly, he was also a last minute replacement for Dale Coyne Racing last month and finished 17th at the Grand Prix of Long Beach. He drove for the SPM Indy Lights program in 2011 and was leading the championship standings when he left to try his hand at the FIA GP3 championship. Combined with their tenure over the past month at Indy, Daly the 23-year-old was an easy pic for the former driver and veteran team owner.

“We’ve been impressed with what we’ve seen from him and after the bad luck at Indy, we’re pleased to give a young, American, uprising star another opportunity to compete,” Schmidt said.