CHEVROLET RACING IN NTT INDYCAR SERIES
INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY
TEAM CHEVY QUALIFYING FULL PACKAGE
MAY 22, 2022
RINUS VEEKAY PUTS CHEVROLET POWER ON FRONT ROW
FOR 106TH INDIANAPOLIS 500
SEVERE WEATHER COMPLICATED FAST FRIDAY
- RINUS VEEKAY POSTS THIRD-FASTEST FOUR-LAP AVERAGE QUALIFYING SPEED TO PUT CHEVROLET ON FRONT ROW FOR THE 106TH INDIANAPOLIS 500 ON SUNDAY
- BOSS AND TEAMMATE ED CARPENTER WILL START FOURT
- A TOTAL OF 16 CHEVROLET-POWERED DRIVERS WILL START
INDIANAPOLIS (MAY 22, 2022) – And…now we race. After an exciting Top-12 qualifying round, followed immediately by a record-breaking Firestone Fast Six, the field is now set for the 106th running of the Indianapolis 500. Team Chevy’s Rinus VeeKay laid down the third fastest time and will start on the outside of the first row with a four-lap average of 233.385 MPH.
The driver of the No. 21 Bitcoin Racing Team with BitNile Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet will lead a 16-car contingent of Chevrolet 2.2 liter V6 twin turbocharged powered drivers in Sunday’s 106th Indianapolis 500.
VeeKay’s boss and teammate Ed Carpenter also transferred from the top-12 to the Firestone Fast Six. Behind the wheel of the No. 33 Alzamend Neuro Chevrolet, Carpenter laid down the fourth fastest four-lap average of 233.385 mph to nail down the inside of the second row.
Scott Dixon won the pole with the second fastest four-lap average in track history – 234.046 mph. Alex Palou will start in the middle of the front row. The second row is completed by Marcus Ericsson in the middle and Tony Kanaan outside.
The remaining Team Chevy drivers from the Top-12 flight were:
- Pato O’Ward, No.5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet – Seventh
- Felix Rosenqvist, No. 7 Vuse Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet – Eighth
- Will Power, No. 12 Verizon 5G Team Penske Chevrolet – 11th
Romain Grojean, Takuma Sato, will start ninth and 10th with Jimmie Johnson starting 12th.
The remaining 11 Chevrolet-powered drivers start as follows:
- Josef Newgarden 14th
- Santino Ferrucci 15th
- JR Hildebrand 17th
- Conor Daly 18th
- Callum Ilott 19th
- Sage Karam 22nd
- Scott McLaughlin 26th
- Kyle Kirkwood 28th
- Dalton Kellett 29th
- Juan Pablo Montoya 30th
- Stefan Wilson 33rd
The 200-lap 106th running Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge around the famed 2.5-mile oval is scheduled to take the green flag Sunday, May 29th at 12:45 pm EDT with flag-to-flag coverage on NBC.
TEAM CHEVY QUOTES
RINUS VEEKAY, NO. 21 BITCOIN RACING TEAM WITH BITNILE CHEV/ROLET, ED CARPENTER RACING: “I’m very happy with qualifying. Looking at yesterday, I think I and many people expected me as a hot prospect for the pole. I gave it all I had out there. We could’ve maybe found some speed to get second in qualifying, but Scott (Dixon) was just very fast and a little bit out of our league! I’m very proud that Ed (Carpenter) and I are very fast. Fastest Chevy in Indy 500 qualifying, third year in a row. Happy me!”
ED CARPENTER, NO. 33 ALZAMEND NEURO CHEVROLET, ED CARPENTER RACING:
“We’re in a really good spot for next week. Not ultimately where we wanted to be, but at the same time, it’s great that Rinus is starting third, then fourth for me! That’s the same as last year, so I’ve got a little deja vu here. It’s great to be able to put some Chevrolets in the fight and show off the hard work and dedication of the ECR crew and have a BitNile and an Alzamend Neuro up front. We’re in a good spot for next Sunday and we can do work from there!”
PATO O’WARD, NO. 5 ARROW McLAREN SP CHEVROLET, ARROW McLAREN SP:
“I was extremely happy with my car man. I think it’s probably the best balance that we’ve had in qualifying. We need to dig into what really happened and why we randomly just lost speed from one day to another. It’s the same on the 7 side. We’ll just look at that, but the 5 guys did a great job. They gave me a great car. We just kept getting better and better, so I’m really happy and this is a great position for the race. It’s so, so long; 500 miles. Yeah, I’m not worried. This is a great spot to work from.”
FELIX ROSENQVIST, NO. 7 VUSE ARROW McLAREN SP CHEVROLET, ARROW McLAREN RACING SP:
“Mixed feelings I’d say. I don’t think we could have been in the top-six today. I think Pato (O’ward) showed that. We had some issue this morning. We lost a lot of speed and kind of have to go to plan C into qualifying to change all of our gears and everything to match the lower speed that we suddenly had. We still don’t know why we lost speed, but we are pretty happy to be P8 instead of P12 I’d say. That’s kind of what it felt like when we started the day. It was a good run. I think we did everything we could with our run and honestly pretty gnarly, so good fun. Yeah, third row. I mean you can win from there, we’re good.”
WILL POWER, NO. 12 VERIZON 5G TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET:
“Really stoked to get the Verizon 5G Chevrolet in the Top-12. I would love to make a run for the pole, but we are so much better than we were last year, we will focus on improving our race car and be ready for Sunday. We have strong Chevy power so I’m looking forward to a good race.
THE MODERATOR: Welcome, everybody. Wrapping up qualifying for the 106th running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge. Again, Scott Dixon, Alex Palou, and Rinus Veekay make up the front row.
Joined as well by Rinus VeeKay, drives the No. 21 machine for Ed Carpenter Racing.
Just some opening thoughts, and I’ll begin with this. So many accolades coming with today’s qualifying run, but we can confirm that this is also the quickest front row in Indianapolis 500 history with a four-lap average amongst the three at 233.643 miles an hour. That just edges out the 96 front row at 233.233 miles an hour. Pretty fast, right? Congratulations.
Rinus, we’ll start with you. You’re the one paying attention. Just your thoughts on being back in the front row. Obviously, a second front row for you in the Indianapolis 500.
RINUS VEEKAY: Very proud to be in the front row again. Haven’t qualified worse than fourth in my three qualifying attempts at the 500, so very proud of that, especially at my age.
Yeah, I think as a team, we maximized everything we had. We made all the right decisions, and I had the best car I’ve had in qualifying weekends during the Fast 6 qualifying, so that shows how on point we were today. The car was fast.
Q. How do you go out there and go 233, 234 miles an hour?
RINUS VEEKAY: Well, I was actually pretty nervous for today. I knew there was, well, many people counted on me to go for the pole position, so we were very fast yesterday. Of course, a bit lucky with the draw and driving in cold conditions, but, yeah, having to go two times today was not ideal.
The first run just, like Scott’s, was very much on the limit. I could stay flat, but turn four was, yeah, very close to disaster, but stayed flat. Then we changed the car. Took some downforce out for the Fast 6 and really matched the balance of how I liked it. I was more comfortable in my Fast 6 run than my Fast 12 run.
Q. One more for Rinus. How do you break through that gaggle of Ganassi guys and win the race?
RINUS VEEKAY: Well, try to count on my experience that I got in Texas and in the race here last year. Of course, I was very pumped leading the race last year, and I think the second or third lap, but it really only counts at lap 200, so really I think we have to make sure we stay out of trouble, stay in the top five always, and yeah, just make sure we save some cars for the end.
Q. Real quickly, for Rinus. When you see those numbers pop up for him and you are sitting there, because you’re not racing against each other. He is out there running; you guys are watching. What is it like, I guess, to know you can’t go back out there and do it again?
RINUS VEEKAY: It’s unique about Indy 500 qualifying. I think really after my run and knowing Scott wasn’t going to go out, I expected him to improve my time. And, yeah, seeing his first lap, I knew it was going to be very, very hard for him to actually make a mistake and finish and qualify behind me.
Q. For all three of you: There were two eight-minute “work periods” with a two pray lap in between. How much were you able to adjust your cars from the first run to the second run to fine-tune them that much more to the Nth-degree?
RINUS VEEKAY: I think we made some minor changes. Really some balance changes, but nothing crazy on the car. We knew what we had was pretty good. We didn’t have to step too far away from what we had, so we basically tried to straighten out the balance a little bit, and that’s exactly what we’ve done.
ALEX PALOU: (Speaking Spanish).
Q. I have one question for Rinus. If you could for the benefit of the assembled media, could you pronounce your full name and the name of your hometown?
RINUS VEEKAY: So my full name is Rinus van Kalmthout, and the name of my hometown is Hoofddorp.
THE MODERATOR: That might be the easiest question of the month. Well done.
RINUS VEEKAY: I knew that just from when I could talk.
Q. The format of having to do two four-lap runs in basically less than two hours to win the pole, it seemed like that was somewhat born of there being 33 cars and no bumping, but now that you guys have done it, even if they had more than 33 cars, should they keep this kind of format?
RINUS VEEKAY: I think it’s around even. Everything has its positive and negative sides, but I think it definitely brings more excitement, especially when there’s no bump day, but I think for the drivers it’s more nerve-wracking. If I could choose, I would go back to fast lane qualifying.
Q. Obviously, got a question for the young man from the village in the Netherlands. Rinus, second front row start in a row. Your third time in the Fast 9. Is there anything you learned from the first two times in terms of process and mental prep to get yourself ready and in the zone for today and those very important qualifying runs?
RINUS VEEKAY: I think I definitely have learned from my past two qualifying runs in the previous years. Of course, I have kind of done this before, and I have had a very sketchy moment last year in 2021.
It’s not going to be easy to qualify high up the order, so you’ve got to be at the edge, and sometimes people go over the edge to find the sweet spot. I think I felt really comfortable finding that sweet spot. I was never this encouraging of a team to go further on trimming, and I think confidence-wise it definitely felt very cool in the car.
THE MODERATOR: We’ll wrap things up. I’ll throw out one more stat for everyone. We’ve been crunching the numbers. Based on the 32 qualifying speeds this year, this is also the fastest field in Indianapolis 500 history. Just eclipsing last year’s speed. This year’s speed average 231.023 miles an hour. Last year was 230.294.
A little bit of history this weekend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Congratulations to the fastest front row in 500 history. Scott Dixon, Alex Palou, and Rinus VeeKay. Thanks, everyone.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports