ROAD AMERICA RACE NOTES
|12th: RINUS VEEKAY No. 21 Direct Supply Chevrolet|
17th: RYAN HUNTER-REAY No. 20 BITNILE.COM Chevrolet
NEXT RACE: Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, July 2 (USA Network, 1:30 p.m. ET)
RYAN HUNTER-REAY, NO. 20 BITNILE.COM CHEVROLET
RYAN HUNTER-REAY, No. 20 BITNILE.COM Chevrolet, Finished 17th: “All in all, I feel it was a pretty positive day in that we have a direction for the future. We did have some setbacks today, we had to use a set of Firestone primaries that were just off the whole way through. Unfortunately, we had to pit for tires and here at Road America, you need to be pitting for fuel on an empty tank. That set our race on a different path and from there, we had to save a lot of fuel. We could only do what we could do. Moving up 10 spots today was a good start and there were a lot of positives behind the scenes.”
LAPS COMPLETED: 55/55
- After an incident in qualifying yesterday, Ryan Hunter-Reay had to start from the last position in his first race with Ed Carpenter Racing and first NTT INDYCAR SERIES race on a road course since 2021. He was off to a strong start, up four positions in the first lap alone and was running 23rd when the first full-course caution was called on Lap 2. As he started the race on the alternate red Firestone Firehawks and had completed the two minimum laps on that compound, he took advantage of the caution and made his first stop for sticker black Firehawks.
- He resumed his charge forward, moving up to 19th before his second pit stop. Anticipating another full-course caution, Hunter-Reay dove into the pit lane with the majority of the field on Lap 12. Running 18th at the restart, he maintained the position until a Lap 25 yellow flag brought the field in for another round of pit stops the following lap.
- Hunter-Reay continued to have spirited battles with the cars around him, using every available opportunity to pick up positions. Even though he was tasked with hitting a difficult fuel number after his final stop on Lap 40, Hunter-Reay defended and maintained his position. By the checkered flag, he had gained 10 spots and finished the race in 17th.
RINUS VEEKAY, NO. 21 DIRECT SUPPLY CHEVROLET
RINUS VEEKAY, No. 21 Direct Supply Chevrolet, Finished 12th: “Pretty happy! It was a roller coaster race. I got a penalty leaving the pit box, but I had no time to stop or I would have held the other guy up even more. I just stayed flat and hoped for the best. It was a pretty harsh penalty, going all the way to the back. From then on though, we maximized the day. I was P23 and made it all the way back to P12. Quite happy, the car felt good. I could really attack on the restarts and that’s how I moved my way forward. It was a pleasure to drive the Direct Supply car! If we had not had the penalty, we could have had a Top 10 but we maximized what we had, so I am happy. It was a fun race on my favorite track! This is the first time in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES I have had fun race at Road America. It was a pretty good job by Ryan (Hunter-Reay) as well in his first race back! Good day for the team and on to the middle of Ohio!”
LAPS COMPLETED: 55/55
- Rinus VeeKay qualified 15th for today’s Sonsio Grand Prix at Road America, but didn’t stay in that position for long. By the first caution on Lap 2, VeeKay was up four positions to 11th. Contact with another competitor cost him several spots and he ultimately fell back to his starting position of 15th.
- He stretched his opening set of black Firestone Firehawk tires to Lap 12, when he made his first pit stop prior to the second caution of the day. Several laps later, VeeKay was penalized for an unsafe release in the pit lane. The penalty was to drop from 12th, where he was running following his pit stop, to 24th. Since he had been sent to the back of the field, he brought the No. 21 Direct Supply Chevrolet in for an additional pit stop, including fresh tire and a full load of fuel.
- After his third pit stop under caution on Lap 26, VeeKay was back in business. Running 20th prior to the restart, he gained seven positions in six laps to move up to 13th. He made his final pit stop on Lap 41 and focused on the closing laps. He picked up another spot with eight laps to go, slotting himself into the 12th position where he would finish the race.