Conor Daly Qualifies 8th for Big Machine Spiked Coolers Grand Prix; Rinus VeeKay Will Start 9th

INDIANAPOLIS (August 13, 2021) – Qualifying Notes

  • Both of Ed Carpenter Racing’s cars will roll off inside the Top 10 when the green flag flies for the Big Machine Spiked Coolers Grand Prix. Conor Daly and Rinus VeeKay turned in strong qualifying efforts for tomorrow’s race on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course. Daly will start 8th at his home race track while VeeKay will be just behind in 9th. 
  • Defending race winner VeeKay picked up right where he left off in May after scoring his first career victory. He spent much of the one-hour practice session at the top of the charts, settling for the 2nd position. Daly kept improving throughout the session, turning his quickest lap as his final lap. It was the only practice session before this evening’s qualifying session.  
  • Qualifying featured an abbreviated format, concluding with the Firestone Fast 12 versus the usual Fast 6. Both VeeKay and Daly were assigned to Group 1 and had 10 minutes to set a lap time that would allow them to advance. Daly’s quick lap had him 3rd at the checkered flag. VeeKay narrowly held on to the 6th position, allowing both ECR Chevrolets to move on to the final round of qualifying.
  • After Group 2 took their turn and a 10-minute window to ready the cars for the Firestone Fast 12, Daly and VeeKay returned to the track. When they had three laps on the black Firestone Firehawk tires, they both came back into the pit lane for sticker reds. Daly set his fastest lap of the weekend, earning the 8th position on tomorrow’s starting grid. While VeeKay struggled for grip in his closing laps, he still managed to set the 9th-fastest lap of qualifying. 
  • Race day will begin early with a warm up session at 8:45 a.m. ET, streamed on Peacock. Coverage of the Big Machine Spiked Coolers Grand Prix will begin at 12:30 p.m. on NBC Sports Network. The green flag is scheduled to fly for the 85-lap race at 1 p.m ET. 
CONOR DALY, No. 20 U.S. Air Force Chevrolet, Qualified 8th: “It was a pretty good day for us today! Our cars are quick here again. We qualified 6th in May and 8th here today, with our teammate in 9th. We have a good racecar, we just want to not get taken out on the first lap! I’m just really happy to have gotten a good qualifying result here. It’s so much easier starting at the front than at the back!”
RINUS VEEKAY, No. 21 SONAX Chevrolet, Qualified 9th: “I am bummed. We had really good pace in practice, but all of a sudden I was struggling to find any grip in the car and it was tough to keep the car on track. We’ll look at it tonight and get heading back the right way tomorrow.”