Rinus VeeKay Finishes 8th; Conor Daly Leads Most Laps of All Drivers in 500-Mile Race
INDIANAPOLIS (May 30, 2021) – Indianapolis 500 Race Notes
• The 105th Running of the Indianapolis 500 is now complete and Ed Carpenter Racing capped off a strong Month of May with solid finishes by all three cars. The only owner/driver in the field, Ed Carpenter, led his team today with a 5th place result. Rinus VeeKay paced the field for 32 laps and finished 8th in only his second 500-mile race. Conor Daly led the most laps today (40) and was able to manage a 13th place finish after a loose tire struck his car near the midway point of the race.
• Carpenter continued to show his prowess at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this month. He earned the 4th starting position, which was the 6th time Carpenter has had a Top 10 start at IMS in the past nine years. A stall of his engine on his first pit stop dropped the No. 20 SONAX Chevrolet from 4th to 28th. Carpenter’s 18 years of experience, combined with smart strategy and quick work by the No. 20 crew in the pits, helped him rejoin the fight at the front with a quarter of the race remaining. His 5th place result today is one the 40-year-old’s strongest Indianapolis 500 finishes.
• VeeKay qualified 3rd, placing an ECR car on the front row of the Indianapolis 500 for the 7th time in nine years. Today, he became the youngest front row starter in ‘500’ history. The 20-year-old took the lead for the first time on Lap 2 and led 32 laps, the third-highest of all drivers in the field. VeeKay’s No. 21 Bitcoin Chevrolet was trapped behind a slow car entering the pit lane for his last stop, costing him multiple positions. In the final 10 laps of the race, VeeKay made up six of those spots to finish in 8th. Today’s result continues a string of solid finishes as he earned his fifth Top 10 in six races so far this season.
• Daly’s U.S. Air Force Chevrolet was consistently one of the fastest cars of the month as he turned Top 5 lap times in five of six practice sessions. The first caution came at an opportune time for Daly and vaulted him from his 19th starting position to the front of the field. Five laps after the restart, Daly took the lead of the Indianapolis 500 for the first time. He would go on to lead 40 laps, the most of all drivers. On Lap 119, a Firestone Firehawk from Graham Rahal’s car bounced across the track, striking the nose of the No. 47. Daly completed the rest of the 500-mile race with a damaged car and took the checkered flag in the 13th position.
• Carpenter’s 5th place finish moved the No. 20 Chevrolet he shares with Daly up to 11th in the entrant points. VeeKay, full-time driver of the No. 21, now sits 5th in the driver point standings. The ECR team will enjoy a weekend off before turning their attention to the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix. VeeKay and Daly will race in two full-length, points-paying races on the Belle Isle street course on June 12 and 13.
ED CARPENTER, No. 20 SONAX Chevrolet, Finished 5th: “On my first stop, I made a rookie mistake of stalling the car so we dug ourselves a hole. The No. 20 SONAX Chevrolet boys kicked ass today in the pits and with the strategy. This one is all them. The car was good, but it was tough deep in the pack. It was great to be able to get back to the fight at the end and get a Top 5. From how it was looking earlier in the day, to take home a Top 5 isn’t a bad day. It does still hurt losing this race and watching someone else celebrate. I am happy for Helio (Castroneves) – he is even older than me so it gives me hope still that I will keep coming back and chasing this thing!”
RINUS VEEKAY, No. 21 Bitcoin Chevrolet, Finished 8th: “Leading over 30 laps today feels great. I am very happy with how I did and being able to finish 8th. I was leading in the first stint but we wanted to save some fuel so we worked with Conor (Daly) to run second. When the last yellow came out, we fell a bit short and it didn’t go our way. I was running 13th with a few laps to go so I have nothing to complain about. Lady Luck wasn’t on my side today but there are many more races this season and many more Indianapolis 500s in my future.”
CONOR DALY, No. 47 U.S. Air Force Chevrolet, Finished 13th: “The reason we did not win was because of our front wing. After Graham Rahal crashed, a giant tire just fell out of the sky! It is about par for the course for my luck and we had to work with what we had from there. The car started understeering quite a bit, but it was nice to be out front in the first half. We proved today that we are capable and belong up there. Everything has to go perfect so if you hit a flying tire, it’s tough!”