ECR’s No. 21 Chevrolet Will Be Piloted by Young Dutch Talent for a Fourth Consecutive Season in 2023
(NASHVILLE, Tenn.) August 4, 2022 – Ed Carpenter Racing announced today that Rinus VeeKay will remain the driver of the No. 21 Chevrolet for the 2023 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season and beyond as part of a multi-year agreement. The 21-year-old joined ECR prior to the 2020 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season and has spent the entirety of his Indy car career with the Indianapolis-based team. VeeKay will compete in the full 2023 NTT INDYCAR SERIES schedule behind the wheel of the No. 21, which he will campaign for a fourth consecutive year.
“I am very excited to continue with Ed Carpenter Racing for what will be my fourth year in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES! Ed Carpenter gave me the opportunity to drive for the team when I came out of Indy Lights and has let me showcase my talents in an Indy car ever since,” VeeKay stated. “The continuity at ECR is great, there have barely been any changes in my time here and it’s very nice to have the same group of people around me all the time. We have been stepping up our game every season and with the support of Todd Ault and BitNile, we can really move forward as we head into 2023.”
Raised in Hoofddorp, Netherlands, Rinus van Kalmthout began karting in 2009 at the age of 8. With sights set firmly on the pinnacle of North American open wheel racing, he transitioned to the Road to Indy in 2017 and launched his U.S. career driving as Rinus VeeKay. Just four years later, VeeKay not only reached the NTT INDYCAR SERIES but earned the 2020 Rookie of the Year honors. The following season, he joined the ranks of NTT INDYCAR SERIES race winners with his first career victory on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.
ECR team owner Ed Carpenter watched VeeKay’s progression through the Road to Indy, which included one championship, two second-place finishes in points standings, 16 wins and 36 podiums in just 48 races. Carpenter selected the Dutch driver for his team in late 2019 and VeeKay has been with ECR for every race since. “I am so happy to be able to extend our relationship with Rinus, he is an extremely versatile and talented driver,” stated Carpenter. He continued, “It has been and remains our hope to build our team to new heights with Rinus helping lead the charge. Our goals and expectations are to win races and to compete for championships. With Rinus’s growth and the support from BitNile and Todd Ault, we are primed for success.”
VeeKay is midway through his third season as an NTT INDYCAR SERIES driver and continues to build on his impressive resume. In addition to his Rookie of the Year title, his debut season included his first pole position and first podium finish. Two weeks after his first victory in May of 2021, he started on the front row of the Indianapolis 500. He replicated that in 2022, again starting from the 3rd position. VeeKay has been the fastest Chevrolet-powered driver in the field for each of his Indianapolis 500 starts. He also earned his second pole position this season, this time at Barber Motorsports Park, where he took the checkered flag in 3rd. VeeKay has put together a string of strong results in the recent summer stretch, finishing in the Top 6 in three of the five races that took place in July.
VeeKay is grateful for the support he has received. “I really want to thank Ed, Tony George, Stuart Reed for giving me the opportunity to continue with ECR. The entire team deserves my gratitude, everyone out in the race shop that works so hard every day to make me fast on track.” He continued, “We still have a season to finish this year, but it’s great to know future plans. It motivates me, the team and everyone around us to get more great results before we focus on next year!”
VeeKay is the longest-tenured full-time driver in Ed Carpenter Racing’s 11-year history. Since its inception in 2012, ECR has raced exclusively in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES. The team has shown its versatility by earning eight wins across each style of track the series competes on – street and road courses, short ovals and super speedways. ECR boasts 40 Top 5 results to date, 24 of which have been podium finishes. For 10 of the team’s 11 Indianapolis 500s, ECR has had at least one car qualify in the first three rows. An ECR Chevrolet has sat on the front row eight of those years, including three pole positions by Carpenter (2013, 2014 and 2018).
Four races remain in the 2022 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season, including this weekend’s Big Machine Music City Grand Prix in the streets of downtown Nashville, Tennessee. ECR’s 2022 campaign includes two full-time entries: VeeKay in the No. 21 Bitcoin Racing Team Powered by BitNile Chevrolet and the No. 20 BitNile Chevrolet, driven by Conor Daly. Carpenter competes in the oval events in a third ECR entry, the No. 33 Alzamend Neuro Chevrolet. The 2023 NTT INDYCAR SERIES schedule will be announced at a later date.