Conor Daly will be at the wheel of the #18 Dale Coyne Racing entry for the full 2016 season with sponsorship provided by Jonathan Byrd's Hospitality & Restaurant Group for the entire season, with the exception of the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500.
"This is truly the most meaningful announcement of my career,” said Daly. “After experiencing what I have in my career, especially the last three years, it is an incredible honour and opportunity to work with Dale Coyne Racing for a full season.
"To be able to go head to head and take the fight to other drivers every weekend is very exciting," added the 23-year-old son of Irish former F1 and Champ Car driver Derek Daly, who first raced for the team earlier this year as a late-notice replacement driver at Long Beach.
Daly went on to make several other starts during 2015 at Schmidt Peterson Motorsports in place of James Hinchcliffe after the popular Canadian was injured in practice for the Indy 500 in May and played no further part in the season. Daly subsequently clinched a career best sixth place in Detroit.
"I cannot thank Jonathan Byrd's Hospitality & Restaurant Group and all of Jonathan Byrd's Racing's partners enough for their effort in putting this program together," he continued. "I am ready to get to work and try my best to outwork everyone else in the field every weekend to get results for this team."
“At one point in time, I specifically remember saying to Conor's father, Derek, that if we ever had a chance to make it work, I would want Conor full time in an IndyCar and now here we are with it coming to pass,” said Jonathan Byrd II.
"What Conor did in Europe with his incredible talent has always impressed me and his dogged determination to work hard to get a ride in the series makes me know he will do incredible work in the Jonathan Byrd's machine!"
Dale Coyne Racing is exploring a number of options for primary sponsorship of Daly's car for the Indy 500, which sees Jonathan Byrd's sponsorship switch to the team's second entry, the #88 car which will be driven by four-time USAC champion Bryan Clauson who will be making his third entry in the iconic event.
"All of us at Dale Coyne Racing are excited about the relationship with Jonathan Byrd's," said team owner Dale Coyne. "Their continued support of Bryan and expanded support of Conor is unique in racing today.
"Conor stepped in for us at Long Beach last season and impressed everyone very much. Bryan has a storied oval racing history at a very young age and together we look for a very competitive Indy 500 in 2016."