Cole Pearn making return to racing, but at Indy 500

DAYTONA BEACH, FL – FEBRUARY 09: Crew chief Cole Pearn stands in the garage area during practice for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series 61st Annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 9, 2019 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

Cole Pearn’s return to racing comes with a caveat. Rather than returning to NASCAR, Pearn will be the lead engineer on Conor Daly’s car for the Aug. 23 running of the Indianapolis 500.

Pearn resigned as the crew cheif of Martin Truex’s No. 19 Toyota Camry after the 2019 season and has provided analysis for  events on NASCAR’s website.

“I am super excited to get a chance to compete in the Indy 500 with Conor Daly and Ed Carpenter Racing. I wasn’t sure when I would want to get back to racing, but this is a great opportunity to do so. To be able to do it at a high level was too hard to pass up,” Pearn said in an Ed Carpenter Racing statement. “Obviously, it will be a steep learning curve but getting to work with [ECR engineer] Pete Craik again and the rest of the ECR team is about the best situation I could hope for.”

Daly will be competing in the third entry for ECR at the 500 joining Rinus VeeKay and Ed Carpenter.

In five seasons as the crew chief for Truex the duo won 24 races and made the title race four times culminating in the 2017 title.

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