Archives for Ed Carpenter Racing PR

DOUBLEHEADER WEEKEND AWAITS ED CARPENTER RACING AT ROAD AMERICA

Conor Daly and Rinus VeeKay in the Midst of Five NTT INDYCAR SERIES Races in 15 Days

(INDIANAPOLIS) July 8, 2020 – Preview Notes

  • Back-to-back race days await Ed Carpenter Racing this weekend at Road America. One week after competing at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Conor Daly and Rinus VeeKay will find themselves racing at the picturesque road course minutes from downtown Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. Both drivers have experience competing in doubleheader events at Road America, which should prove beneficial as they continue on in a stretch of five NTT INDYCAR SERIES races in 15 days.
  • The REV Group Grand Prix, originally scheduled for June 21, has been moved to this coming weekend. It now features two full-length, points paying races with Daly and VeeKay competing on both Saturday, July 11 and Sunday, July 12. Road America will be the first track to welcome back INDYCAR fans and will provide all active-duty first responders with a free entry. Under the guidance of public health officials, medical experts and local, state and federal authorities, INDYCAR and Road America will observe safe social distancing practices and provide enhanced hygiene and safety precautions for all fans attending the event.
  • Last Saturday, Daly and VeeKay participated in the GMR Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course. In Daly’s first race with ECR, he advanced to the second round of qualifications and was able to complete the 80-lap race with only two pit stops. After running as high as third, the second half of the event proved difficult for saving fuel. However, he still managed a 12th place result in his first race of 2020 in his U.S. Air Force Chevrolet.
  • VeeKay rebounded from a disappointing NTT INDYCAR SERIES debut last month at Texas Motor Speedway by earning a 5th place finish at IMS last weekend. The Dutch teenager was left with the 18th starting position after only getting in one lap at speed on red tires during qualifying. Once the race started, he was the first car to pit. The early stop paid dividends as it enabled him to race forward and he reached the Top 10 by Lap 21. He moved into the Top 5 by Lap 43, only relinquishing the position during his final pit stop. In only his second start, Veekay would record his first NTT INDYCAR SERIES Top 5 finish.
  • Daly has two previous starts in an NTT INDYCAR SERIES car at Road America, which occurred in 2016 and 2017. He advanced to the second round of qualifying in 2016, his first full-time Indy car season. Daly will return to Road America with the advantage of already having experienced a doubleheader weekend at the track. In 2019, Daly competed in two Lamborghini Super Trofeo races, reaching the podium in the first and finishing 4th the next day.
  • VeeKay is also no stranger to a doubleheader weekend at Road America, having competed in two races at the four-mile road course each of the past three years. After transitioning to the U.S.-based Road to Indy program in 2017, VeeKay swept the USF2000 weekend by winning both races. Race 1 was not only was it his first win in the U.S., it was also his first win in an open-wheel race car. Last year, VeeKay started from the pole in both Indy Lights races and took the victory the second race.
  • This weekend, VeeKay’s No. 21 Chevrolet will showcase the blue and white colors of longtime ECR partner Direct Supply. Headquartered in nearby Milwaukee, Direct Supply is committed to enhancing the lives of seniors and those who care for them. Since 1985, the company has helped Senior Living providers create amazing environments, improve care and outcomes, optimize building operations, streamline procurement and more. Direct Supply has been featured on the No. 21 Chevrolet at Road America since the NTT INDYCAR SERIES returned to the track in 2016.
  • Daly will bring his U.S. Air Force Chevrolet to Road America for the first time this weekend. Historical U.S. Air Force components were woven together to create the No. 20’s striking livery, including the recognizable Tiger Shark teeth war paint often carried into battle by the A-10 Thunderbolt and the P-40 Warhawk. Each location where the bodywork of Daly’s car comes together is marked with rivet detailing, a tribute to the P-51 Mustang. A lightning bolt featured on the rear wing end fence is a nod to the Air Force Academy. The red and white striping is reminiscent of the tail flashes seen on aircrafts of the United States Army Air Corps, the aerial warfare service component of the United States Army prior to the creation of what is today’s U.S. Air Force.
  • Both races of the REV Group Grand Prix will be 55 laps in length. Saturday’s schedule will feature both practice and qualifying before the race, while Sunday will only have a qualifying session prior to the green flag. All sessions will streamed on NBC Sport Gold and qualifying will also be broadcast on NBC Sports Network. The broadcast of Saturday’s race will begin at 5 p.m. ET (4 p.m. local) on NBC Sports; NBC will carry Sunday’s race beginning at 12 p.m. ET. (11 a.m. local).

CONOR DALY, No. 20 U.S. Air Force Chevrolet:“I am very excited to get back to Road America in an NTT INDYCAR SERIES car after a few years away! I enjoyed being there last year in a sports car, it went quite well. We are hoping to continue to use what we learned from the GMR Grand Prix, have a strong qualifying run and follow it up with a strong couple of races. The doubleheader will be really interesting. I can’t wait to get back in it, it’s nice to have a continuous flow of work now. We’re going to keep improving, keep getting better and go trophy hunting.”

RINUS VEEKAY, No. 21 Direct Supply Chevrolet: “Road America is a very successful track for me. I had my first-ever win in American racing there in 2017, which was also my first win in race cars. I swept the weekend, which was nice! It’s been a good track for me. It’s my all-time favorite track so it’s cool to be able to race an NTT INDYCAR SERIES car there this season! Being a doubleheader, it’s good for me! It’s also a pleasure to drive in the blue Direct Supply car this weekend. I’m really excited and looking forward to it. I think we can pull another great weekend out of our hats!”

TOP 5 FINISH FOR RINUS VEEKAY AT THE INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY

VeeKay Climbs to 5th in First NTT INDYCAR SERIES Road Course Race; Conor Daly Manages 12th Place Despite Tricky Fuel Saving Conditions

(INDIANAPOLIS) July 4, 2020 – Race Notes

Rinus VeeKay felt he had much left to prove after his NTT INDYCAR SERIES debut last month and he did so today at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. In only his second Indy car start, the rookie earned his first Top 5 finish. Conor Daly completed the 80-lap GMR Grand Prix with only two pit stops, but the second half of the event proved difficult for saving fuel. However, he still managed a 12th place result in his first race of 2020 in his U.S. Air Force Chevrolet.

VeeKay was left with the 18th starting position after yesterday’s qualifications. While he anticipated having two laps at speed on a set of red Firestone Firehawks, he was only able to get one in before the checkered flag and was much farther down the order than he hoped. Daly’s car came alive during his runs on red tires and he would ultimately advance to the second round of qualifications, earning the 8th spot on the starting grid.

VeeKay was the first of the 26-car field to make a pit stop in this afternoon’s GMR Grand Prix, bringing the No. 21 SONAX Chevrolet in on Lap 5. Committed to a three-stop strategy, he took the first available opportunity to switch from the black Firehawks he started on to a set of reds. He fell to 26th, but the early stop paid dividends as he reached the Top 10 only 15 laps later. The story was much the same after his second pit stop on Lap 31 and he immediately carved his way up through the field again.

The No. 20 U.S. Air Force Chevrolet team committed early to a two-stop strategy. Daly steadily moved up the order as cars planning on three stops came in for the first time. Daly would climb as high as second and was third at the time of his pit stop on Lap 26. The only caution flag flew ten laps later and the course was yellow from Lap 36 to Lap 39. Neither VeeKay or Daly elected to pit under the caution, knowing that it would not be enough to get them to the end. Daly would take the Lap 40 restart from the 3rd position.

Daly struggled to hold off the cars behind him on fresher tires, eventually having to let several pass so he could continue to save fuel. However, he held on to the 7th position until he was able to make his second and final stop on Lap 53 for a set of sticker red Firehawks. Near the conclusion of the race, the 28-year-old would have to concentrate on saving fuel once again to make it to the end. He would eventually be only of only three drivers that were able to complete the race on only two stops and finished 12th.

VeeKay had restarted the race in 6th, but moved into the Top 5 by passing Daly on Lap 43. VeeKay’s third pit stop took place on Lap 55 and he rejoined the field 14th. As everyone made their final stops, the 19-year-old cycled back to the front. He would rejoin the Top 5 by Lap 63, where he would stay for the remainder of the race. Despite many late race charges from the car behind, VeeKay held on to the position and finished 5th.

The second round of the 2020 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season was one of firsts for VeeKay and Daly. It was the first time VeeKay had been on track at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in an Indy car on either the road course or the oval. VeeKay would earn his first career Top 5 finish in his first NTT INDYCAR SERIES road course race. The GMR Grand Prix marked Daly’s first race with Ed Carpenter Racing. Daly was set to make his debut with the team in the streets of St. Petersburg in March, but had to wait until today to race the U.S. Air Force Chevrolet for the first time this year.

Next weekend, the NTT INDYCAR SERIES heads to Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. The rescheduled Road America weekend will now feature two full-length, points paying races. Daly and VeeKay will race on both Saturday, July 11 and Sunday, July 12. Road America will be the first track to welcome back INDYCAR fans and will provide all active-duty first responders with a free entry. Under the guidance of public health officials, medical experts and local, state and federal authorities, INDYCAR and Road America will observe safe social distancing practices and provide enhanced hygiene and safety precautions for all fans attending the event.

CONOR DALY, No. 20 U.S. Air Force Chevrolet, Finished 12th: “We had a really good start; really, a good first half of the race. I was happy with the car at the beginning, but fuel saving was tough for us. We had a bit of a difficult strategy call to make from there. But you know what, we put some points on the board, we hung with it, we’re still in the fight. Happy to get Race 1 with the U.S. Air Force Chevrolet under our belts!”

RINUS VEEKAY, No. 21 SONAX/Autogeek Chevrolet, Finished 5th: “I drove the best race of my whole career! The team just gave me a great car, great strategy to go from P18 to P5. I drove my butt off! I have never been this tired after a race, but that’s what you get when you give 110 percent. Thank you to my guys and everyone at SONAX and Autogeek. I’m the happiest guy on earth right now!”

GMR Grand Prix – rough race notes – SPOILER

By Steve Wittich

The National Anthem was performed by a virtual collection of Big Machine Label Group artists, including Sheryl Crow, Lady A, Brantley Gilbert and others. 

The command to start engines was given at two minutes past noon, by Pike High School graduate and Indiana governor  

Of note, unlike at Texas Motor Speedway, the engineers/technicians form Chevrolet and Honda, were on the grid and plugged into their twin-turbo V6 engines. 

When the cars were fired, the ambient temperature was 89F and the track temperature was 122F. Indianapolis Motor Speedway was bathed in hazy sunshine. 

The No. 15 of Graham Rahal and No. 9 of Scott Dixon did not immediately fire, but they were quickly started and joined the grid in their original starting positions. 

On the parade lap, Kellett let his crew know that he was not able to get a drink. 

The front row of Will Power and Jack Harvey got the green flag, the third time by the flag stand. 

Power got a great start, while Harvey was slow to get going. Rahal got a great start and it appeared that Rahal might have made front wing to rear wheel contact with Harvey when he tried to get by him. 

Everybody made it through the first laps cleanly. 

The running order at the end of the first lap was: 12 60 15 88 1 9 7 20 28 59 27 18 8 45 10 5 21 30 55 22 29 24 98 26 4 14

On the second lap, Daly was able to move past Askew for seventh. 

As the crossed the line to start Lap 3, Power’s lead over Harvey was 0.9 seconds. Last year’s winner Pagenaud, was only able to gain one spot from his 20th starting spot. 

Spencer Pigot, who started 16th had moved up to 11th by Lap 5. Alex Palou, who started 21st had moved up to 18th. 

The lead to start Lap 5 was still under one second. 

Race control announced that an incident between Karam and Hinchcliffe was being reviewed. Karam had to give up the position for exceeding track limits while overtaking. 

On Lap 5, VeeKay came to pit road.

Up front, on Lap 7, the top four of Power, Harvey, Rahal and Herta were all running nose-to-tail. They had a 2-second advantage over fifth place Newgarden. 

Coming to pit road early on Lap 8 were Andretti, O’Ward, and Hinchcliffe. On the next lap Pagenaud and Kimball pitted. Pagenaud went from blacks to reds. 

On lap 10, the Chip Ganassi Racing duo Dixon and Rosenqvist pitted, getting off their blacks and going to reds. 

On his second laps on reds, VeeKay set the quickest lap of the race to that point. 

On Lap 11, Ericsson, Rossi, Palou and Sato are on pit road. Up front Power’s lead was 1.5 seconds. On the next lap, it was Veach pitting. 

The drivers up front were running laps at 72.8 seconds, while the driers who had pitted were running laps in the high 71 second range. 

On lap 14, Dixon turns the quickest lap of the race to that point – that has to make the leaders think about their strategies. 

At lap 15, Josef Newgarden bailed on the two stop strategy and came to pit road. 

Up front, the lead for Power over Harvey was 1.2 seconds. Harvey’s crew was asking him to keep up with Power and save fuel at the same time. 

On Lap 16, Herta, Chilton and Hunter Reay pitted. 

Drivers that had yet to pit were: Power, Harvey, Rahal, Daly, Askew, Pigot, Ferrucci, Karam and Kellett.

On Lap 17, Power and Askew bail on the two stop strategy. Harvey follows them to pit road. 

That passed the lead over to Rahal, who was 11.5 seconds ahead of Daly. Rahal, who has a new strategist in Neil Fife, is told that he’s doing a great job. On Lap 20, Rahal turns his quickest lap of the race. 

On lap 20, Karam pits, leaving only Rahal, Daly, Pigot, Ferrucci and Kellett as the drivers who had not pitted. 

Lap 22 and Pigot gets by Daly for second, but is now 14.7 seconds adrift of his Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing teammate. 

The top 10 for the drivers who have pitted is Power, Newgarden, Harvey, Herta, Dixon, VeeKay, Rossi, O’Ward, and Ericsson. 

That early pit stop appears to have worked out well for VeeKay.

At lap 25, the top 10 are Rahal, Pigot, Daly, Ferrucci (who have not stopped), Power, Newgarden, Harvey, Dixon, Herta and VeeKay. 

On lap 26 Rahal, Pigot, Daly and Ferrucci all come to pit road. The Dale Coyne Racing With Vasser-Sullivan crew has a problem with the right rear wheel and the stop is slow. 

Rahal comes out in fourth place only 9.2 seconds behind Power. 

The running order after all cars have pitted is: Power, Newgarden, Harvey, Rahal, Dixon, Herta, VeeKay, Rossi, O’Ward, Ericsson, Askew, Rosenqvist, Pagenaud, Chilton, Hinchcliffe, Andretti, Pigot, Hunter-Reay, Daly, Palou, Kimball, Veach, Sato, Karam, Ferrucci, and Kellett. 

On lap 29, Power’s lead over his teammate Newgarden is 5.1 seconds. Harvey is in third, 2.8 seconds behind Newgarden. 

At this point in the race the only drivers in the top 10 on Blacks are Rahal and Dixon. 

On Lap 31, Pagenaud, VeeKay and Hinchcliffe are the first drivers to make their second pit stops. 

Rahal, on blacks, has now fallen 13.6 seconds behind Power and is complaining about his rear tires burning off already. 

On the next lap, Rosenqvist, Andretti, O’Ward, Kimball and Karam come to pit road. 

On lap 33, Dixon, Herta and Hunter-Reay make their second stops. Up front, the lead is 4.5 seconds. 

On lap 34, it’s Rossi and Ericsson that pit. Ericsson stop was slow as it appeared that they had issues with fueling.

On Lap 38, the caution came out, for Oliver Askew, who got oversteer in the final turn. He couldn’t catch it and made hard contact with the left rear against the SAFER Barrier in oval Turn 1. 

The Arrow McLaren SP rookie was able to get out of the car under his own power.  He was checked, released and cleared to drive. 

Oliver Askew told NBC’s Dave Burns:

“I’m OK, but a little bit dizzy and a little dehydrated. Super unfortunate. It’s unacceptable to have a result like this. I need to check the data… now watching the replay. I lost the rear of the car. The rears were starting to go away, and it caught me off guard. I need to apologize to the guys.” 

The highest running driver who had made his second stop at this point was Scott Dixon. 

On Lap 38, the pits opened for everybody.  Pitting are Power, Newgarden, Chilton, Harvey, Veach and Sato. 

The running order coming to the green flag is: Rahal, Pigot, Daly, Dixon, Herta, VeeKay, Rossi, Ferrucci, Pagenaud, O’Ward, Hinchcliffe, Andretti, Ericsson, Power, Newgarden, Harvey, Chilton, Sato, Veach, Kellett, Hunter-Reay, Kimball, Rosenqvist, Palou, Karam and Askew (out). 

On the restart, Rossi was slow on track falling back through the field, reporting that he has a misfire.  Rossi comes to pit road and gets out of his car. 

Alexander Rossi told NBC’s Marty Snider:

“We just lost power when we started getting going. It’s potentially a fuel pressure issue. We’ve had a couple of those gremlins throughout the weekend. This AutoNation Andretti Autosport Honda was good… we thought we’d be fighting for a top five.

“It sucks, but at least we have two doubleheaders the next two weeks. We will need to have to go hard to capitalize.”

Rahal led his teammate Pigot through the first corner and started to pull away. 

On lap 42, Daly falls behind Dixon and Herta falling into the clutches of teammate VeeKay. The Dutchman passes the American into Turn 1. 

On lap 45, the top 10 were Rahal, Pigot, Dixon, Herta, VeeKay, Daly, Pagenaud, O’Ward, Hinchcliffe and Ferrucci. 

On the next lap, Dixon moves to second and puts pressure on Rahal for the lead. 

Rahal comes on the radio to tell his crew that he can’t keep Dixon behind him. He lets him go and ask for a fuel number to hit. Dixon immediately starts to stretch his lead. 

On Lap 50, Dixon’s lead is 3.9 seconds over Rahal, who is struggling with pace on the Blacks. 

Rahal has one second over Pigot, who has Herta and VeeKay putting immense pressure on him. 

Power, who restarted 14th was only running 11th on Lap 53

Daly comes to pit road on Lap 53 for second and final stop. 

Rahal came to pit road for his second and final stop on Lap 54. He was over 10 seconds behind Dixon. Pagenaud also comes to pit road. Rahal goes from Blacks to used Reds. Ferrucci also pits. 

Dixon covers Rahal, coming to pit lane on lap 55. VeeKay, from fourth also pits. O’Ward, Power, Harvey and Andretti also pit. Power stalls the No. 12, the crew has to go get him as he’d rolled two pit stalls ahead, and falls down the order. 

That passes the lead to Pigot, who pits at the same time as Herta. That passes the lead over to Ericsson, who still needs to pit. 

Ericsson and Sato pit on Lap 57. Newgarden assumes the lead, followed by Hinchcliffe and Veach. Hinchcliffe, Kellett and Chilton make their final stops on the next lap. 

Newgarden and Veach are the only two cars that need to make their final stops. 

Dixon in third has a 12.35 second advantage over Rahal, who has his teammate Pigot 1.5 seconds behind him. 

Pigot is in the effective final spot on the podium, but is facing pressure from Pagenaud, Herta and VeeKay. 

On Lap 61 Newgarden pits, passing the lead over to Veach, who is the only driver to not make his final stop. 

In the battle for the final spot on the podium, both Pagenaud and Herta get by Pigot. 

On Lap 62, Veach finally pits, passing the lead over to Dixon. Dixon’s lead over Rahal is an insurmountable 13.5 seconds. Pagenaud is third, 4.4 seconds behind Rahal. He has 1.5 seconds over Herta and 2.5 seconds over VeeKay. 

Mike Hull is on the radio telling Dixon that the gap is the same and that the laps times are the same. At this point in the race, Ericsson, in sixth is quickest car on track. He should have a good chance to catch VeeKay, who is on the less preferred black tires. 

Pigot’s freefall continues as he drops down to 13th place, complaining of engine issues. His last lap time was six seconds slower than the leader. 

A lap 64 incident between Palou and Andretti was under review. Palou was penalized one position for avoidable contact. 

Mike Hull tells Dixon on the radio that his fuel number is good. 

On lap 69, Ferrucci gets past Daly for ninth. The quickest drivers on track are Rahal, Pagenaud and Ericsson. 

Ericsson is starting to put pressure on VeeKay for fifth with 10 laps remaining. 

With eight laps left, Pagenaud has caught Rahal and starts to put pressure on him for second. Behind them, Herta is working hard to hold off VeeKay and Ericsson. 

With seven laps remaining the lead for Dixon is 18 seconds. 

Further back in the field, Daly is struggling to hold off Sato, Hinchcliffe and Veach for the 10th place. 

With six laps to go, VeeKay has to get defensive against Ericsson. The last thing Ericsson needs to do is cause a caution, which would hurt his teammate. 

With five laps remaining, Rahal has one second over Pagenaud. 

With four laps left, Veach misses his braking point in Turn 7 and drops a spot are going through the grass. 

With 3 laps left, Newgarden is working hard to hold off O’Ward for 7th. 

Dixon gets the white flag with a 19.82 second lead over Rahal. The Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing driver is fighting furiously with Pagenaud for second place. Rahal is able to hold him off. 

Dixon: That was well done guys and girls. Thank you so much! 

Hull: You’re the first guy to get to go up on Penske’s new lift. 

Unofficial results of the GMR Grand Prix

RANKCAR NO.DRIVERTEAMENGINEDIFFERENCE
19Scott DixonChip Ganassi RacingHonda80 Laps
215Graham RahalRahal Letterman Lanigan RacingHonda19.9469
322Simon PagenaudTeam PenskeChevy20.5642
488Colton HertaAndretti Harding Steinbrenner AutosportHonda25.0882
521Rinus VeeKayEd Carpenter RacingChevy25.6361
68Marcus EricssonChip Ganassi RacingHonda25.7133
71Josef NewgardenTeam PenskeChevy31.8973
85Pato O’WardArrow McLaren SPChevy33.8363
918Santino FerrucciDale Coyne Racing with Vasser SullivanHonda43.0469
1030Takuma SatoRahal Letterman Lanigan RacingHonda44.8913
1129James HinchcliffeAndretti AutosportHonda46.1674
1220Conor DalyEd Carpenter RacingChevy49.9774
1328Ryan Hunter-ReayAndretti AutosportHonda50.4892
1426Zach VeachAndretti AutosportHonda52.2172
1510Felix RosenqvistChip Ganassi RacingHonda56.6884
1659Max ChiltonCarlinChevy60.2317
1760Jack HarveyMeyer Shank RacingHonda63.8457
184Charlie KimballAJ Foyt EnterprisesChevy65.5192
1955Alex PalouDale Coyne Racing with Team GohHonda66.4782
2012Will PowerTeam PenskeChevy71.6129
2114Dalton KellettAJ Foyt EnterprisesChevy– 1 LAPS
2298Marco AndrettiAndretti Herta with Marco & Curb-AgajanianHonda– 1 LAPS
2324Sage KaramDreyer & Reinbold RacingChevy– 1 LAPS
2445Spencer PigotRLL with Citrone/Buhl AutosportHonda– 2 LAPS
2527Alexander RossiAndretti AutosportHonda– 22 LAPS
267Oliver AskewArrow McLaren SPChevy-46 LAPS

Back with more later!

CONOR DALY ADVANCES IN GMR GRAND PRIX QUALIFYING

Daly Will Start 8th In His First Race With Ed Carpenter Racing; Rinus VeeKay Qualifies 18th


(INDIANAPOLIS) July 3, 2020 – Qualifying Notes

In his first qualification session with Ed Carpenter Racing, Conor Daly advanced to the second round and secured himself a solid starting position inside the Top 10. Daly has not raced at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course in several years, but it was not evident as he qualified 8th for tomorrow’s GMR Grand Prix. Rookie Rinus VeeKay came up short on time and was only able to get one flying lap in, which would give him the 18th starting position.

A one-and-a-half-hour practice session began today’s on-track activity, where both VeeKay and Daly enjoyed time near the top of the scoring pylon. This afternoon, the NTT INDYCAR SERIES held knockout qualifying. The field was split into two groups for the first round with those finishing in odd numbered positions in practice being assigned to Group 2 and even numbered finishing positions to Group 1. VeeKay finished practice in 17th, placing him in Group 2. Daly, who was 20th in practice, was out first in Group 1.

Daly started on a set of Firestone’s primary black Firehawks before switching to a set of sticker reds. He was 11th after his run of blacks, but the reds suited the setup of the No. 20 U.S. Air Force Chevrolet much better. With the switch, he went straight to the top of the scoring sheet. By the end of Daly’s 10-minute session he was 4th, which secured him a place in the second round of qualifying.

VeeKay was out next for his first experience with NTT INDYCAR SERIES qualifying. His run on black Firestone Firehawks started strong as he immediately went to the top spot at the conclusion of his first lap. It was anticipated that he would have time for two laps on his set of sticker reds, but there would only be time for one. The checkered flag came out just prior to the No. 21 SONAX Chevrolet crossing the timing line. With a lap of 124.180 mph, VeeKay will start 18th in the GMR Grand Prix.

The fastest six cars from both groups advanced to Round 2 of qualifications. Daly again headed out on black Firehawks to start and the handling of his car improved after a change to red Firehawks. A quick lap of 125.047 mph would put him 8th. As only the top six advance to the Firestone Fast 6, Daly’s starting position was set.

Daly has two previous starts on the 14-turn, 2.439-mile circuit, including a 6th place finish in 2016. The GMR Grand Prix will be VeeKay’s first NTT INDYCAR SERIES race on a road course and only his second overall. The Dutch teenager made his debut at the season-opening race at Texas Motor Speedway last month. He has six Road to Indy starts on the IMS road course and won the second race of the Indy Lights doubleheader last year. ECR Chevrolets finished 5th and 6th in the 2019 GMR Grand Prix.

Tomorrow will begin with a 30-minute warmup session at 9 a.m. ET, which can be viewed on NBC Sports Gold. The GMR Grand Prix will consist of 80 lap with the green flag waving just past noon. NBC will broadcast the event with coverage beginning at 12 p.m. ET.

CONOR DALY, No. 20 U.S. Air Force Chevrolet, Qualified 8th: “We felt like we had a lot of grip on the red tires. For some reason, there’s a big difference in tires for us. On the blacks, the car just doesn’t quite come in the way I like it. As soon as we put on reds, I can really get on it, even on Lap 1. We have to try and bring those balances a little closer together for tomorrow, but I’m super pumped. We’ve got the U.S. Air Force Chevrolet, all of us here together for the first time at Ed Carpenter Racing, this is a great start. We’re right in the fight starting 8th. That’s all we want a chance to be up there and get good points at the end of the day.”

RINUS VEEKAY, No. 21 SONAX/Autogeek Chevrolet, Qualified 18th: “It was a tough first qualifying in IndyCar. We had a pretty good first run on blacks, then went to reds. I anticipated having two flying laps, but at the end of my first one I caught the checkered. It’s a bummer, I think there was more time the car if we’d had a second lap. We’re starting 18th, which isn’t where we wanted to be but we’ll make the best of it.”

ED CARPENTER RACING TO COMPETE AT IMS ON THE FOURTH OF JULY

Conor Daly’s U.S. Air Force Chevrolet To Make 2020 Debut; Rinus VeeKay Will Drive an NTT INDYCAR SERIES car at IMS for the First Time
(INDIANAPOLIS) July 1, 2020 – Preview Notes

Ed Carpenter Racing will return to action this weekend with the GMR Grand Prix, the first of three NTT INDYCAR SERIES races to be held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this year. Conor Daly will race the No. 20 U.S. Air Force Chevrolet for the first time this season, coincidentally on the Fourth of July. While rookie Rinus VeeKay will be making his first INDYCAR start at IMS, he comes with years of experience from Road to Indy events on the road course.

The 2020 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season began on June 6 at Texas Motor Speedway, following a nearly three-month delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The race marked VeeKay’s long-awaited Indy car debut, though it was cut short following an incident early in the race. The Dutch teenager would have to settle for a 22nd place finish. For ECR team owner Ed Carpenter, the beginning of his 18th season of INDYCAR competition would result in a Top 5.

This year, the No. 20 entry is split between Carpenter on the ovals and fellow Indiana native Daly for the road and street courses. Carpenter, VeeKay and Daly will form ECR’s three-car lineup for the Indianapolis 500, rescheduled for August 23, 2020. At the four remaining oval events, including last month’s race at Texas, Daly competes with Carlin. The 28-year-old’s first start with ECR was set to be the original season-opener, the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. As that race was moved to October, the GMR Grand Prix will be Daly’s first as an Ed Carpenter Racing driver. He has two previous starts in the event, including a 6th place finish in 2016.

VeeKay reached the NTT INDYCAR SERIES after a successful three-year ascent of the Road to Indy ladder. USF2000, Pro Mazda and Indy Lights each hosted doubleheader events on the IMS road course, giving VeeKay six race starts on the 14-turn, 2.439-mile circuit. Of those six starts, he has four podium finishes including a victory in the second of the Indy Lights races last year. After finishing second in the 2019 Indy Lights standings, VeeKay is now ECR’s full-time driver of the No. 21 Chevrolet.

Saturday’s race will be part of a historic weekend where the NTT INDYCAR SERIES, NASCAR Xfinity and NASCAR Cup will all compete at the same track, with the first two using the road course and the latter using the oval. The GMR Grand Prix will also be the first of a string of five races in fifteen days as the Road America and Iowa Speedway weekends are now doubleheaders. VeeKay will compete in all events; Daly will drive the No. 20 at Indianapolis and Road America and Carpenter will take over at Iowa.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, spectators will not be permitted in the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this weekend. However, all-on track action will be shown. Friday’s practice and qualifying, as well as Saturday morning’s warm-up, will be streamed on NBC Sports Gold with an INDYCAR Pass subscription. Qualifying will also be aired live NBC Sports Network at 4:30 p.m. ET on Friday. NBC will broadcast the GMR Grand Prix with coverage beginning at 12 p.m. ET.

CONOR DALY, No. 20 U.S. Air Force Chevrolet: “After what seems like many months together as a team, we still have yet to race together! I’m very excited to get out there with Ed Carpenter Racing and complete our first race! The car looks incredible, I can’t wait to get out there for the U.S. Air Force. ECR has done well at the GMR Grand Prix before so it’s time to get out there and compete for a win! We’re looking to get some good points and start off this three-weekend stretch strong.”

RINUS VEEKAY, No. 21 SONAX/Autogeek Chevrolet: “I am really looking forward to the GMR Grand Prix, finally driving an Indy car at Indy! That’s something really special! I am excited to get to drive again and really get the season started now. We’ve got some really busy weeks coming up. I’m very confident and think we have a strong package for this weekend.”

ED CARPENTER BEGINS 2020 INDYCAR SEASON WITH A TOP 5 FINISH

Rinus VeeKay’s Rookie Debut Cut Short After Contact

(FORT WORTH, Texas) June 6, 2020 – Race Notes

  • The 2020 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season got underway tonight after a nearly three-month delay. It was worth the wait for Ed Carpenter, who kicked off his 18th season of competition with a Top 5 result. Ed Carpenter Racing’s owner finished the Genesys 300 at Texas Motor Speedway in the 5th position. Rookie Rinus VeeKay was finally able to make his long-awaited debut, but would have to settle for a 22nd place finish following an incident early in the race.
  • Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Genesys 300 race weekend was condensed to a one-day event. A two-and-a-half-hour practice session began the day with a 30-minute rookie session kicking things off. After only a handful of laps, VeeKay shot to the top of the timing sheet. On his 11th practice lap, he went below the white line and the car spun, making heavy left-side contact with the Turn 4 wall. Repairs to VeeKay’s No. 21 SONAX/Autogeek Chevrolet continued through qualifying and he was not able to make an attempt. He would automatically start the 200-lap from the back of the field in the 24th and final position.
  • Carpenter immediately got to work when the session opened for all cars as it was his first time on track at-speed in 2020. After a half hour of practice, Carpenter spun down the front straight but kept the No. 20 SONAX Chevrolet off the wall. Damage was limited to flattening the tires and the car was returned to the pit box. After a quick inspection, Carpenter hopped back in and went on to set his fastest lap of practice on his last lap. During qualifying, the 39-year-old’s two-lap average of 212.714 netted him the 13th starting position.
  • VeeKay’s NTT INDYCAR SERIES debut was off to a fast start as he found himself up seven positions to 17th by the end of the first lap. On Lap 11, he was able to gain another position as he worked his way around Pato O’Ward. VeeKay’s first-ever pit stop came on Lap 34 and he was down and away cleanly. However, the 19-year-old’s first race would come to an early end as he got high coming out of Turn 2 and spun, making contact with Alex Palou before both came to a stop on the backstretch.
  • Carpenter started the race from 13th, but immediately moved up three positions. He gained another spot after his first pit stop on Lap 35 and remained 9th for the entirety of his second stint. Under caution on Lap 80, Carpenter made his second stop. The No. 20 crew gained him two positions, moving him up to 7th. His Lap 121 stop saw him slip back one position to 8th, but the following stop on Lap 156 shot him back up to 5th. Carpenter would stay in 5th until a late-race caution shuffled him to 4th. After the final restart, Carpenter made a run on pole sitter Josef Newgarden with two to go in an attempt to claim a podium finish. The No. 20 got loose and Carpenter would slip back one position and take the checkered flag in 5th.
  • Tonight’s race was Carpenter’s 19th at Texas Motor Speedway and his first Top 5 finish at the 1.5-mile oval since his 2014 victory. It is his second Top 5 finish in a row as he concluded his 2019 season with a second place at WWT Raceway outside of St. Louis. Since 2014, the owner/driver has focused his driving exclusively on the oval events. VeeKay reached the NTT INDYCAR SERIES by ascending the Road to Indy, but Texas Motor Speedway is a track the ladder series does not compete on. The Genesys 300 was VeeKay’s first race at Texas.
  • The next event on the NTT INDYCAR SERIES calendar is the GMR Grand Prix, contested at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course on July 4, 2020. Like the Genesys 300, the GMR Grand Prix will be held as a non-spectator event out of an abundance of caution. VeeKay will be joined by Conor Daly, road and street course driver of the No. 20 U.S. Air Force Chevrolet. Carpenter’s next event will be the doubleheader at Iowa Speedway on June 17-18, 2020.
ED CARPENTER, No. 20 SONAX Chevrolet, Finished 5th: “I was being pretty aggressive! I had a good shot at getting Josef (Newgarden) out of Turn 2, but got way loose. I’d rather go for a podium. The ECR team did a great job all night and Chevy did a great job. It was obviously a track position race. If we got to the front, we could have challenged. We were at the back of the line but kept getting people for position, picking people off. Good to be back racing; Firestone did a good job under tough circumstances. When you can’t make tires because of COVID-19, this is what we get. We’ll have better racing to come!”

RINUS VEEKAY, No. 21 SONAX/Autogeek Chevrolet, Finished 22nd: “I got a little too high around Santino (Ferrucci), lost the rear in the marbles and made contact with Alex (Palou). It’s very, very unfortunate. I expected my debut to be a lot different. I’m so sorry to the team. We’ll get better from here. I had very limited time, a lot of learning but unfortunately I crashed twice. I will have to sleep and think about it for a month. But our Ed Carpenter Racing Chevy was good.”
About Ed Carpenter RacingEd Carpenter Racing (ECR) first entered the NTT INDYCAR SERIES in 2012. The Indianapolis-based race team has proven its versatility by collecting seven wins across each type of track the series competes on – street and road courses, short ovals and speedways. ECR is led by IndyCar’s only team owner/driver, Ed Carpenter, three-time pole winner for the Indianapolis 500 (2013, 2014 and 2018). The 2020 season will see Indiana natives Carpenter and Conor Daly in the No. 20 Chevrolet as Carpenter will drive the ovals and Daly will take over for the road and street course events. Both will be entered in the Indianapolis 500 alongside Dutch teenager Rinus VeeKay, who will compete for the Rookie of the Year title as he races the No. 21 Chevrolet for the full season. More information on Ed Carpenter Racing may be found at http://www.edcarpenterracing.com/.

2020 INDYCAR SEASON TO BEGIN SATURDAY NIGHT AT TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY

Ed Carpenter Will Now Compete in Season Opener; Rinus VeeKay to Make NTT INDYCAR SERIES Debut
(INDIANAPOLIS) June 4, 2020 – Preview Notes After a nearly three-month delay, the 2020 NTT INDYCAR SERIES will begin Saturday night with the Genesys 300 at Texas Motor Speedway. Ed Carpenter Racing’s full-time driver of the No. 21 Chevrolet, 19-year-old Rinus VeeKay, will be making his NTT INDYCAR SERIES debut. ECR team owner and oval driver Ed Carpenter, who made his first start at Texas in the fall of 2003, will be competing in his 19th race at the 1.5-mile oval. The 2020 season was set to begin on March 15 but has been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now featuring 14 races, the revised schedule will begin with Saturday’s one-day event at Texas.
The Genesys 300 will mark the beginning of Carpenter’s 18th season of NTT INDYCAR SERIES competition. In his final race of 2019, Carpenter returned to the podium with a thrilling side-by-side finish at WWT Raceway – a mere .0399 seconds separating him from the first position. It was the 12th season in a row where Carpenter would lead at least one race. He continued to show his prowess at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway last year, starting on the front row of the Indianapolis 500 for the fifth time in the past seven years. Carpenter would finish in the Top 6 in three out of his five races in 2019, reaching a milestone 50th career Top 10 finish.
Years of preparation will culminate this weekend as VeeKay competes in his very first NTT INDYCAR SERIES race. Born 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. The young Dutch driver got his first taste of an NTT INDYCAR SERIES car last August when Carpenter selected him for an evaluation test at Portland International Raceway. A second successful test followed at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in October, confirming VeeKay’s compatibility with the team. In late November, VeeKay was named as the ECR’s full-time driver of the No. 21 Chevrolet for the 2020 season.
Carpenter has led his own team since ECR was formed prior to the 2012 season. Since 2014, the 39-year-old has focused exclusively on driving in the oval events, splitting the No. 20 with a second driver. For 2020, Conor Daly will drive the No. 20 U.S. Air Force Chevrolet in the nine road and street course events. Carpenter, VeeKay and Daly will form ECR’s three-car lineup for the Indianapolis 500, rescheduled for August 23, 2020. At the four remaining oval events, including this weekend’s race at Texas Motor Speedway, Daly will compete with Carlin.
ECR’s No. 21 Chevrolet has always featured an Indy Lights graduate, a trend that will continue with VeeKay. He found immediate success in the Road to Indy, following up a second-place finish in the 2017 USF2000 standings with the 2018 Indy Pro 2000 title. His championship season included seven wins, 10 podium finishes and the Road to Indy career advancement scholarship. For the 2019 Indy Lights season, VeeKay claimed six race wins and finished on the podium 14 of 18 times en route to a runner-up finish in the standings. In all, the Dutch teenager earned 16 Road to Indy victories and 36 podium finishes in just 48 races.
With 18 starts at Texas Motor Speedway to date, Carpenter will be one of the most experienced drivers in Saturday night’s field. He is also the 2014 Texas race winner, taking the victory after leading 66 of the final 67 laps and stretching his lead to over 14 seconds at one point. As the Road to Indy does not compete at Texas Motor Speedway, VeeKay will be making his NTT INDYCAR SERIES debut at a track he has not yet raced at. VeeKay did have the opportunity to test his No. 21 SONAX Chevrolet at the 1.5-mile oval in mid-February.
Carpenter and VeeKay will race twin Chevrolets in the Genesys 300, carrying the colors of both Autogeek.com and SONAX USA. Over the last 15 years, Florida-based Autogeek.com has risen to become one of the most reputable and trusted sources for automotive detailing products and accessories. As one of the United States’ largest distributors of European-made car care products, Autogeek.com was chosen by SONAX USA to be one of a few select U.S. retailers. Made in Germany, SONAX is a market leader in car care products, offering a highly competitive and extensive range of products for the cleaning and care of vehicles.
Out of an abundance of caution, the Genesys 300 will be a non-spectator event. However, all on-track activity will be shown live on a variety of platforms. INDYCAR Pass on NBC Sports Gold will stream practice at 1 p.m. ET (12 p.m. local). Qualifying will be streamed on Gold and shown on NBC Sports Network at 5 p.m. ET. Pre-race coverage will be on the same network at 7:30 p.m. ET. The 200-lap Genesys 300 will be shown live on NBC at 8 p.m. ET, the first INDYCAR race on broadcast television in primetime since 2013. Post-race coverage will switch back to NBCSN at 10:30 p.m. ET. Race coverage will stream on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app.
ED CARPENTER, No. 20 SONAX Chevrolet: “Satruday cannot get here quick enough! I am so happy to know we are finally getting our season started. Texas Motor Speedway is one of my favorite stops of the year. I hope to find success and start off the season on a high note. I am very thankful for the hard work that INDYCAR, TMS, Eddie Gossage and Governor Abbott have put in to make this happen.”


RINUS VEEKAY, No. 21 SONAX/Autogeek Chevrolet: “I am extremely happy to finally be back in the U.S. and be able to make my NTT INDYCAR SERIES debut this weekend! It will be quite an experience for my first race but the team and I are fully prepared to have our best possible performance!”

About Ed Carpenter RacingEd Carpenter Racing (ECR) first entered the NTT INDYCAR SERIES in 2012. The Indianapolis-based race team has proven its versatility by collecting seven wins across each type of track the series competes on – street and road courses, short ovals and speedways. ECR is led by IndyCar’s only team owner/driver, Ed Carpenter, three-time pole winner for the Indianapolis 500 (2013, 2014 and 2018). The 2020 season will see Indiana natives Carpenter and Conor Daly in the No. 20 Chevrolet as Carpenter will drive the ovals and Daly will take over for the road and street course events. Both will be entered in the Indianapolis 500 alongside Dutch teenager Rinus VeeKay, who will compete for the Rookie of the Year title as he races the No. 21 Chevrolet for the full season. More information on Ed Carpenter Racing may be found at http://www.edcarpenterracing.com/.

ED CARPENTER RACING EXCITED TO BEGIN 2020 SEASON IN THE STREETS OF ST. PETERSBURG

Rinus VeeKay to Make NTT INDYCAR SERIES Debut; Firestone Grand Prix Marks First Race Weekend for Conor Daly and the U.S. Air Force With ECR (INDIANAPOLIS) March 10, 2020 – Preview NotesAfter six months of preparation, Ed Carpenter Racing is ready for the beginning of a new NTT INDYCAR SERIES season. Featuring a new driver…

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CONOR DALY COMPLETES ED CARPENTER RACING’S 2020 DRIVER LINEUP

CONOR DALY COMPLETES ED CARPENTER RACING’S 2020 DRIVER LINEUP
Daly Will Compete in Road and Street Course Events in No. 20 U.S. Air Force Chevrolet; Finalizes ECR’s Indianapolis 500 Lineup in Third Entry
(INDIANAPOLIS) December 9, 2019 – Ed Carpenter Racing announced today the addition of Conor Daly and the U.S. Air Force to the team’s 2020 NTT IndyCar Series program. Daly will race the U.S. Air Force Chevrolet at the road and street course events, finalizing the lineup of the No. 20 alongside team owner and oval driver Ed Carpenter. Additionally, Daly will compete in the 104th Running of the Indianapolis 500 as ECR will expand to a three-car effort. Daly and ECR will work alongside the U.S. Air Force to use Indy car racing to inspire young adults, communicate the service’s mission and build awareness about career opportunities.
“I am so thankful for the loyalty the U.S. Air Force has demonstrated along with the faith in me to get the job done,” stated Daly. “This has been an incredible relationship to see grow and get stronger as we continue to add races to our program. I couldn’t be happier to be getting one more step closer to full time Indy car competition.
“As an Indiana kid, it just feels right to be getting a chance with Ed Carpenter Racing,” continued ECR’s newest driver. “This team has done such an incredible job over the years and I have a tremendous amount of respect for Ed and this group. I look forward to entering a season feeling fully prepared with simulator time and testing for the first time in several years.”
Daly climbed into a kart for the first time at the age of 10. Within five years, he was competing in both United States and international open-wheel ladder systems. He found success in each series, earning the Skip Barber National Championship, an Indy Pro 2000 championship and wins in FIA Formula 3. He reached Indy Lights in the U.S. and Formula 2 in Europe before deciding to concentrate solely on American motorsports in 2015. Full-time NTT IndyCar Series seasons followed in 2016 and 2017. He supplemented his 2018 and 2019 Indianapolis 500 appearances by becoming one of the most trusted reserve drivers in the NTT IndyCar Series. In the past two seasons, five different teams have called upon Daly for 11 different race weekends.
The U.S. Air Force will continue a partnership with Daly that originated three years ago. Beginning with the Indianapolis 500 in 2018, the program expanded to include this year’s “500” and the season finale. Daly will now race a U.S. Air Force Chevrolet in 13 of 17 NTT IndyCar Series races in 2020. For the 12 road and street course events, Daly’s No. 20 will continue to pay tribute to fighter jets throughout America’s Air Force history. Similar to his striking 2019 livery, the car will showcase the iconic shark teeth war paint often carried into battle by the A-10 Thunderbolt, F-16 Fighting Falcon and F-35 Lightning. As Carpenter will race the No. 20 in the 2020 Indianapolis 500, Daly’s entry for Memorial Day weekend will feature a new number and a special edition livery.
“The U.S. Air Force is fortunate to have some incredible partners and ambassadors for our brand and Conor is certainly one of them,” said Major Ross McKnight, Chief of Events Marketing for Air Force Recruiting. “We are proud of the effort and appreciative of the supportive partners that have made the Air Force Indy car program so successful. The results and direct correlation between STEM principles, speed, teamwork, risk, and precision skill drive our continued investment.” Maj McKnight continued, “We are excited for the 2020 season with Ed Carpenter Racing and Conor Daly.”
The success of Air Force recruiting relies on a multi-layered marketing campaign at the local, regional and national level. Involvement in the NTT IndyCar Series reflects the Air Force’s core values and has a positive impact on generating public awareness about the organization, its people and mission. The strategic partnership enables the Air Force to leverage and establish STEM correlations with Indy car racing, including teamwork, speed, technology, engineering, math and excellence in competition. Daly and ECR will support the U.S. Air Force in its mission to inspire the nation’s brightest, most competitive young men and women for service.
Carpenter is thrilled with the new additions to his team’s 2020 program. “I am extremely proud and excited to welcome Conor Daly and the U.S. Air Force to Ed Carpenter Racing! I have seen Conor grow and mature over the course of his career and am confident that his best years are yet to come,” stated ECR’s team owner. “It is a huge honor to represent the men and women who serve in the U.S. Air Force and we hope to make them proud this season.”
Daly used 2019 to continuously sharpen his skills by racing in three different disciplines. The 27-year-old became a three-time race winner in Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America and earned a third-place finish in the Super Trofeo World Finals in Spain. After competing in a USAC Midget for the first time last year, Daly added more dirt track experience in 2019 with the Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals, Driven2SaveLives BC39 at The Dirt Track at IMS and the Western World Championships. In the NTT IndyCar Series, Daly competed in seven races with three teams, recording a best finish of 6th at WWT Raceway. He had his most successful Month of May to date, setting the fastest lap all practice sessions and parlaying that speed into a career-best Indianapolis 500 finish of 10th.
Since its inception in 2012, ECR has raced exclusively in the NTT IndyCar Series. The Indianapolis-based team has shown versatility by earning seven wins across each style of track the series competes on – street and road courses, short ovals and speedways. ECR currently boasts 28 Top 5 finishes, 20 of which have been podiums. Daly is now a part of the only multi-car team to have their entire lineup make a run for the coveted pole position at the 2019 Indianapolis 500 with cars ultimately starting second, third and fourth. At least one ECR Chevrolet has qualified on the front row of the “500” six of the past seven years, including Carpenter’s three pole positions.
The No. 20 will feature an all-Hoosier lineup in 2020 as both Carpenter and Daly are from Indiana. Carpenter, an Indianapolis native, will be driving in his 18th season of Indy car competition. Daly, from Noblesville, has 50 races of experience spanning six years. ECR recently announced that Dutch teenager and rookie Rinus VeeKay will race the full season in the team’s No. 21 Chevrolet. Carpenter, Daly and VeeKay will make up the team’s three-car effort for the 2020 Indianapolis 500. The upcoming NTT IndyCar Series season will open March 15, 2020 on the streets of St. Petersburg, Fla.

Indy Lights vice-champion Rinus van Kalmthout joins Ed Carpenter Racing for a full season in 2020

Source: Team PR

RINUS VEEKAY SELECTED BY ED CARPENTER RACING TO CONTEST FULL 2020 NTT INDYCAR SERIES SEASON

19-Year-Old Dutch Driver Joins ECR Full-Time in the No. 21 Chevrolet

(INDIANAPOLIS) November 20, 2019 – Ed Carpenter Racing announced today it will welcome Rinus VeeKay as the full-time driver of the No. 21 Chevrolet for the 2020 NTT IndyCar Series season. The 19-year-old joins ECR after a meteoric rise through the Road to Indy ranks and a second-place finish in this year’s Indy Lights championship. As VeeKay begins his Indy car career, he will benefit from the guidance of team owner Ed Carpenter, who will be driving in his 18th season.

Born in Hoofddorp, Netherlands, Rinus van Kalmthout began karting in 2009 at the age of 8. With sights set firmly on the NTT IndyCar Series, he transitioned to the Road to Indy in 2017 and launched his U.S. career driving as Rinus VeeKay. He found immediate success, following up a second-place finish in the 2017 USF2000 standings with the 2018 Indy Pro 2000 title. His championship season included seven wins, 10 podium finishes and the Road to Indy career advancement scholarship, which placed him just one step below his ultimate goal. For the 2019 Indy Lights season, VeeKay claimed six race wins and finished on the podium 14 of 18 times en route to a runner-up finish in the standings. In all, the Dutch teenager earned 16 Road to Indy victories and 36 podium finishes in just 48 races.

The newest addition to ECR is ecstatic to have reached the pinnacle of North American open-wheel racing. “I’m so happy!” exclaimed VeeKay. “It’s a dream come true and something we have worked extremely hard for over the last couple of years. To step up from USF2000 to the NTT IndyCar Series in three years is really special.”

VeeKay got his first taste of an NTT IndyCar Series car in August when Carpenter selected him for an evaluation test at Portland International Raceway. A second successful test followed at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in October, confirming VeeKay’s compatibility with the Indianapolis-based team. Days later, he stepped back into an Indy Lights car at the Chris Griffis Memorial Road to Indy Test and set the fastest time in all six sessions. VeeKay will now focus solely on the NTT IndyCar Series, competing with ECR as a true Indy car rookie throughout the 2020 season.

“I have been following Rinus’s path through the Road to Indy, especially the past two years,” commented Carpenter. “It was clear to me that he deserves to be in an Indy car. After his first day in a car at Portland this past season, that feeling became even more apparent. His pace, feedback and demeanor inside the car was very impressive for such a young driver.”

Since ECR’s inception in 2012, the No. 21 Chevrolet has always featured an Indy Lights graduate, a trend that will continue with VeeKay. ECR has shown versatility by earning seven wins on each style of track the series competes on – street and road courses, short ovals and speedways. The team currently boasts 28 Top 5 finishes, 20 of which have been podiums. ECR Chevrolets have started on the front row of the Indianapolis 500 six of the past seven years, including Carpenter’s three pole positions. In 2019, ECR was the only multi-car team to have their entire lineup make a run for the coveted first starting position and would ultimately start second, third and fourth.

“I would like to thank Ed Carpenter and his partners for this great opportunity and trust,” continued VeeKay. “The number of available seats in the NTT IndyCar Series is very limited, so it’s a great honor that they have chosen me to join their team. I would like to thank Jumbo, La Place, KNAF TeamNL, my new partner Basic-Fit, all my other partners, my manager Charles Crews, but most all my family who made this all happen. I’m really looking forward to the start of the season.”

Carpenter echoed VeeKay’s enthusiasm for the upcoming year. “We’re very excited for the 2020 season to get here and have an ECR car return to Victory Lane!”

The 2020 NTT IndyCar Series will see ECR continue to compete with two full-time entries, the No. 20 and No. 21. While the No. 21 will feature VeeKay for the full season, Carpenter will continue as oval driver of the No. 20 in his 18th season of Indy car competition. The road and street course seat for the No. 20 is still under consideration and will be announced at a later date. VeeKay will make his NTT IndyCar Series debut with the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on March 15, 2020.

 

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