Verizon IndyCar Series drivers were asked to rank the five most interesting storylines leading into the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg that opens the 2017 season on March 12. Today, we feature the third of those five.
No. 3: A.J. Foyt Racing reorganizes with Chevrolet, Munoz and Daly
If moving half of the Texas-based team to Indianapolis wasn’t enough to merit a spot on the Verizon IndyCar Series’ most-interesting list, team owner A.J. Foyt and his son Larry, the team president, switched engine manufacturers (from Honda to Chevrolet), drivers (Carlos Munoz and Conor Daly are new to the team) and various crew members. The combination is an intriguing mix.
Munoz will drive the team’s legendary No. 14 ABC Supply Chevy, which could land the Foyts back in victory lane at Indianapolis Motor Speedway given the Colombian’s penchant for strong Indianapolis 500 drives. Clearly, Munoz has shown capable in the season’s most important race, finishing in the top four three times in four attempts, including a second-place finish last year and in 2013. Such a run to start an IMS career has been equaled or exceeded only a handful of times in event history.
Munoz figures to be strong on road/street courses, too, as he has a race win in the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix (2015) and three other podium finishes on such tracks in his career. But here’s something to consider about Munoz: All but one of his 53 starts have been with Andretti Autosport, so there figures to be an adjustment period, especially given that team has four cars from which to draw information and resources.
Meanwhile, there’s Daly, whose stock continues to rise. He finished second last year in the first of the Detroit races and he finished fourth in the INDYCAR Grand Prix at The Glen. Remember, those were in his first full Verizon IndyCar Series season, with Dale Coyne Racing.
The team isn’t alone in starting fresh with Chevrolet. Munoz and Daly were both with Honda last year. Munoz had three Chevrolet races as a series rookie in 2013; Daly will be powered by one for the first time in his career.
Tomorrow: No. 2 on the list.
Past top storylines: No. 5, Sebastien Bourdais; No. 4, Takuma Sato.