VeeKay Earns Ed Carpenter Racing’s First Road Course Pole; Conor Daly Starting From Row 7

(INDIANAPOLIS) October 1, 2020 – Race 1 Qualifying Notes
Ed Carpenter Racing’s rookie Rinus VeeKay will lead the field to the green flag in tomorrow’s Race 1 of the INDYCAR Harvest GP presented by GMR. VeeKay earned the NTT P1 Award for his first career NTT INDYCAR SERIES pole position tonight at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, setting the fastest lap of all 25 competitors. Teammate Conor Daly’s qualifying run was cut short when a red flag closed the track, saddling him with the 14th starting position.

Today’s on-track activity at IMS kicked off at 2:25 p.m. ET with a 75-minute practice session. Daly set his fast lap only five circuits in at 123.415 mph, then focused on improving the handling of the No. 20 U.S. Air Force Chevrolet. VeeKay’s quick lap of 123.974 mph was on the 24th of 27 laps he turned.

Qualifying would see the field split into two groups based on practice times. Each group would receive 14 minutes of track time with at least five minutes of green-flag running. Daly was assigned to Group 1 and was out first when qualifying began at 6:25 p.m. ET. After four laps on Firestone’s primary black Firehawk tires, Daly sat 7th at 123.777 mph. He and the rest of his group had just stopped for a switch to red Firehawks when a red flag flew. As the five minutes of guaranteed green time had been satisfied, Daly did not have a chance to go out and improve his speed. He will start 14th in Race 1.

Group 2 was out next for their 14-minute session, including VeeKay. Once the No. 21 SONAX/Autogeek Chevrolet was outfitted with red Firehawks, the 20-year-old shot to the top of the scoring sheet. His lap of 125.992 mph put him in the first position and the team anxiously watched as rest of the drivers in Group 1 set their fast laps. When the checkered flag waved, the No. 21 sat atop the pylon, awarding VeeKay the NTT P1 Award for Race 1 of the Harvest GP.

It is VeeKay’s first career NTT INDYCAR SERIES pole position, earned in just his 12th start. Prior to today, his best qualifying effort was also at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as he started 4th in the 2020 Indianapolis 500. Of Ed Carpenter Racing’s five NTT P1 Awards, four have come at IMS as team owner Ed Carpenter is a three-time Indy 500 pole sitter. This is also the first pole for ECR on a road course in the team’s history.
Race 1 of the INDYCAR Harvest GP presented by GMR is set for tomorrow, October 2, 2020. Live coverage of the 85-lap race on the 14-turn, 2.439-mile IMS road course starts at 3:30 p.m. ET on USA Network. 
CONOR DALY, No. 20 U.S. Air Force Chevrolet: “We made some great improvements from practice to qualifying. The U.S. Air Force Chevy was so much better! It was a shame we weren’t able to run on red tires. Our time on black tires was actually better than our teammate’s, which is really encouraging because Rinus (VeeKay) has always been strong on the black tires. We had so much of a time gain on the reds when we were here on July 4th, we were really wanted to see what we had this time. It is what it is though, we know we have a good car! We made some great improvements, tomorrow should be a lot of fun and we’ll go to the front!”
RINUS VEEKAY, No. 21 SONAX/Autogeek Chevrolet: “What a great qualifying! A pole position, I can check that off my list! The only thing that should follow is a podium or a win, I would like to end the season with at least one of those too! The SONAX car was fine on black tires, but it really came alive on the reds. We made a little wing adjustment and had a great lap. We worked hard in the hours between practice and qualifying, then the car was amazing! I am very happy! Thank you to all of my guys, SONAX, Autogeek and Chevrolet!”