The final full-time seat was filled today when Ed Carpenter Racing announced that Conor Daly would return to the team in the No. 20 Chevrolet. Unlike the past two seasons, Daly will now be the full-time driver with team owner Ed Carpenter putting his sole focus on a third entry for the 106th running of the Indianapolis 500. Carpenter may elect to drive in some of the other oval races this season but that will be determined at a later date.
The deal for Daly got even better, as the Noblesville native announced that it is a multi-year deal, giving the team some strong continuity between Daly and Rinus VeeKay in the No. 21 machine. This will mark Daly’s return to full-time competition for the first time since the 2017 season when he was with AJ Foyt Racing. The full-time seats have all been spoken for, and there are only a few opportunities remaining for drivers seeking a ride for the Indy 500 in May. The full press release from today is below.
[Ed Carpenter Racing Press Release]
Ed Carpenter Racing announced today a new partnership with BitNile Holdings, Inc. to serve as primary partner for the No. 20 Chevrolet in a multi-year deal. ECR welcomes back Conor Daly, who will become full-time driver of the No. 20 BitNile Chevrolet for the 2022 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season. BitNile will also serve as an associate sponsor on ECR’s second entry, the No. 21 Chevrolet.
BitNile Holdings, Inc. is a diversified holding company specializing in disruptive technologies, including cryptocurrencies and innovations in the field of Decentralized Finance (“DeFi”). BitNile focuses on large-scale crypto mining with energy-efficient, powerful operations strategically located in North America. In addition, they currently operate their own high-density data center. With a mission to simplify the DeFi process for all involved, BitNile invests in technology platforms that provide crypto holders a vehicle to earn interest on their crypto assets.
BitNile Founder and Executive Chairman, Milton “Todd” Ault, III, has spent his entire career investing in undervalued assets and disruptive technologies. He believes joining in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES with Ed Carpenter Racing will yield similar rewards. “I’ve been a fan of Indy car racing for a long time, and we are proud to have the opportunity to team up with Ed Carpenter Racing. It’s a natural fit for BitNile to join an Indiana business like Ed’s as we have a number of investments in the Midwest, including our mining facilities,” stated Mr. Ault. “BitNile operates with a ‘Risk On’ philosophy where risk is an integral element if you want to win. Conor Daly and ECR share that mindset, making us in perfect alignment.”
The upcoming season will mark Daly’s return to Ed Carpenter Racing for a third year, though it will be his first as full-time driver of the No. 20 BitNile Chevrolet. For the past two years, Daly has split his talents between two teams. For the road and street course events and the Indianapolis 500, Daly raced for ECR; for the remaining oval events, he drove for Carlin. Over the past eight years, the Noblesville, Ind., native has competed in 80 Indy car races. The 2021 Indianapolis 500 proved a career highlight for the hometown favorite as he paced the field for nearly a quarter of the race, leading the most laps of all drivers.
Daly, who turned 30 in December, is thrilled to be a part of BitNile’s very first sponsorship program and introduce the company to motorsports. “Being chosen to represent BitNile is without a doubt one of the most important opportunities of my career. This is an incredible partnership that we look forward to being able to strengthen and grow as we go after race wins together!” Daly continued, “To be able to come back to Ed Carpenter Racing for the full season is incredible. I haven’t had the chance to be with one team for the entire year since 2017, so this is something I am very, very thankful for. I have a lot of faith in ECR and each year we continue to get better together. I couldn’t be more excited to get on track in the BitNile Chevrolet!”
Team owner Ed Carpenter became well-known in the Bitcoin space in 2021 as he welcomed the first decentralized sponsorship in the history of racing. The Bitcoin community supported all necessary on-track activities for ECR’s Bitcoin Chevrolet during the Month of May. Carpenter later spoke at the Bitcoin 2021 conference and continues to be recognized as a paddock leader in the crypto industry. “I am extremely proud to welcome BitNile to the ECR family! It is exciting to be able to expand our team’s involvement in the culture of Bitcoin after running the Bitcoin car last May,” said Carpenter. “We will also represent a few other exciting brands within BitNile Holdings as the year progresses, so there is more to come!”
ECR will continue to compete in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES with two full-time entries in 2022. Daly’s season-long teammate is fellow third-year ECR driver Rinus VeeKay, who remains in the No. 21 Chevrolet. Carpenter, a three-time Indianapolis 500 pole winner, will join Daly and VeeKay to round out ECR’s three-car program for the 2022 500-mile race. Confirmation of Carpenter’s participation in the three additional oval events may come at a later date.
Always eager to hone his driving talents, Daly returns to dirt track racing this weekend as he competes in the Chili Bowl Nationals today and tomorrow. Next Wednesday, January 19, Daly and Carpenter will be guests on Mr. Ault’s podcast, Risk On. Viewers can watch a live stream from the ECR shop on YouTube at 4 p.m. ET. The 2022 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season will begin on Sunday, February 27 in the streets of St. Petersburg, Fla.