Excitement Runs High For Big Machine Music City Grand Prix; Conor Daly and Rinus VeeKay to Race Through Downtown Streets
INDIANAPOLIS (August 3, 2021) – Race Preview
- After a month-long summer break, Ed Carpenter Racing will return to action this weekend for one of the most highly-anticipated events of the season. Conor Daly and Rinus VeeKay will compete in the brand-new Big Machine Music City Grand Prix, held in the downtown streets of Nashville, Tennessee. The ECR teammates most recently raced at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on the 4th of July; the NTT INDYCAR SERIES has been on hiatus while NBC has carried coverage of the Tokyo Olympics.
- The Big Machine Music City Grand Prix is the first new street course event added to the NTT INDYCAR SERIES calendar since 2011. It will be staged on a temporary 2.17-mile grand prix circuit in downtown Nashville and around Nissan Stadium, home of the Tennessee Titans. It will also be one of the one only events in motorsports to cross over a body of water as the field will race across Korean Veterans Memorial Bridge, which spans the Cumberland River.
- VeeKay is aiming to continue a breakout sophomore season with ECR. The driver of the No. 21 SONAX Chevrolet earned six Top 10 finishes in the first seven races of the year, including his first career victory at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course in mid-May. One week later, the 20-year-old became the youngest front row starter in Indianapolis 500 history as he qualified 3rd. At the most recent street course event, the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix, VeeKay returned to the podium with a second-place finish in Race 1. Despite missing the Road America round while recovering from surgery to repair a fractured clavicle, VeeKay remains eighth in the overall championship standings.
- Daly is also in his second season with ECR. The No. 20 U.S. Air Force Chevrolet is split between Daly for the road and street course events and team owner Ed Carpenter for the ovals. Daly transitioned to the No. 47 for the Indianapolis 500 and was consistently one of the fastest cars during the Month of May, turning Top 5 lap times in five of six practice sessions. On Lap 50 of 200, Daly took the lead of the 500-mile race for the first time in his career. He would go on to lead 40 laps, the most of all drivers. Earlier in the month, Daly made his first Firestone Fast 6 appearance in qualifying at the IMS road course.
- Before the NTT INDYCAR SERIES gets on track, Daly and VeeKay will attend the first autograph session of the year, Thursday at 5:30 p.m. CT. Located on Broadway between 1st Ave. and 2nd Ave., FanFest is free and open to the public. Drivers will take to the circuit for the first time on Friday for first practice at 3:10p p.m. Saturday will feature second practice at noon and qualifying at 3:30, followed by a warm-up session at noon on Sunday. The 80-lap Big Machine Music City Grand Prix will be broadcast live on NBC Sport Network, with coverage starting at 4:30 p.m. CT on Sunday, August 8.
|CONOR DALY, No. 20 U.S. Air Force Chevrolet: “Every single driver on the grid should be as excited as they possibly can be for Nashville! New events are a lot of fun. I am excited to get there, embrace the city and hopefully go really fast. Being on the first podium would be a great way to be a part of the history of the Big Machine Music City Grand Prix and we’d love to do that with the U.S. Air Force Chevy. We’ll do our best, we have done a lot of simulation work in preparation. I am ready to get out there and see what the track is all about!”|
|RINUS VEEKAY, No. 21 SONAX Chevrolet: “I’m extremely excited to race in Nashville, not just because it’s the first race after the Olympic break but also because this will be a totally new track for everyone! It looks to be very iconic and I am happy to be a part of the first Big Machine Music City Grand Prix!”|