(INDIANAPOLIS) May 12, 2021 – Ed Carpenter Racing announced today that the team will enter the No. 21 Bitcoin Chevrolet for Rinus VeeKay in this year’s Indianapolis 500. ECR will also be the first NTT INDYCAR SERIES team to integrate Bitcoin as a payment option for all of its employees. The first decentralized sponsorship in the history of racing will empower not only ECR on the track but the Bitcoin community off. In addition to the No. 21’s black and orange scheme, Bitcoin will be present on ECR’s other Indianapolis 500 entries.
ECR is in its 10th season of competition in 2021 and is led by the only owner/driver in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES, Ed Carpenter. “I could not be more excited that this project is becoming a reality. To bring my personal interest and immersion in Bitcoin to our industry is historic,” stated Carpenter. “Just as Bitcoin is revolutionizing our financial system, I see it as an opportunity to transform how we operate within our own motorsport industry.”
Ed Carpenter Racing has partnered with Strike to fundraise on behalf of the Bitcoin community and support all necessary on-track activities for the Month of May. Strike will handle all payments and donations for the effort through its lighting network and payment application. The Bitcoin car is for the people and supported by the people. A unique QR code enables the world’s first peer-to-car contribution model allowing anyone in the world to donate. Bitcoin has a fixed supply at 21 million with no more to ever be made and ECR is honored to represent Bitcoin on the No. 21.
“Ed’s message is simple; he doesn’t want to race for potato chips or soft drinks at the Indy 500,” stated Jack Mallers, founder of Strike. “This year, Ed is racing for human freedom, financial literacy, financial inclusivity, and is using the platform he’s earned throughout his career to promote the most powerful message possible in pushing humanity forward. We’re tremendously proud to support his efforts.”
Born in Hoofddorp, Netherlands, Rinus van Kalmthout launched his U.S. career in 2017 driving as Rinus VeeKay. After a meteoric rise through the Road to Indy program, VeeKay joined ECR and earned the 2020 NTT INDYCAR SERIES Rookie of the Year title. By starting 4th in his first Indianapolis 500 last August, he recorded the best qualifying result by a teenager in Indianapolis 500 history and was the fastest rookie in the field. Later in his debut season, he won his first NTT INDYCAR SERIES pole position, led the first laps of his Indy car career and earned his first podium finish on the IMS road course, where he will race this weekend in the GMR Grand Prix. Now 20 years old, VeeKay’s second season has started off with 3 Top 10 finishes in three weekends, each coming on a different kind of track.
Carpenter continued, “With the power of the Bitcoin community backing ECR in our 10th season of competition, our team is more than ready to attack the Indy 500 and capture our first Borg Warner Trophy. We want to kiss the bricks, drink the milk, then watch Bitcoin race past $100k!”
With the No. 21 competing as the Bitcoin Chevrolet in the Indianapolis 500, the SONAX USA scheme campaigned by VeeKay in the first five races of the seasons will transfer over to Carpenter’s No. 20. Carpenter, an Indianapolis native, is one of only 10 drivers in the 100-plus year history of the Indy 500 to win three or more pole positions. His best career finish of second came after starting from the coveted first spot in 2018 race. An ECR Chevrolet has qualified in the Top 9 every year since 2013, with at least one car starting from the front row for six of those years. The Indianapolis-based team’s three-car lineup will be rounded out by another hometown favorite, Conor Daly, driving the No. 47 U.S. Air Force Chevrolet.
VeeKay will take his first laps in the No. 21 Bitcoin Chevrolet when the Indianapolis Motor Speedway opens for Indy 500 practice on Tuesday, May 18. Practice will continue through Friday May 21, before the Field of 33 qualifies on Saturday, May 22 and Sunday, May 23. The 105th Running of the Indianapolis 500 will take place on Sunday, May 30, 2021 with coverage beginning at 11 a.m. ET on NBC.