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CONOR DALY FIGHTS TO THE FINISH OF THE ACURA GRAND PRIX OF LONG BEACH

Rinus VeeKay’s 2021 Campaign Ends Early Due to Electrical Issue

LONG BEACH, Calif.) September 26, 2021 – Race Notes

  • When the checkered flag flew after 85 laps through the downtown streets of Long Beach, Calif., so too ended the 2021 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season. Ed Carpenter Racing drivers Rinus VeeKay and Conor Daly did not have the results they were hoping for in today’s Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach. VeeKay’s second season ended early due to an electrical issue in the middle of the race and he was credited with a 25th place finish. Daly was working his way forward when late in the race, he had to drive into a run-off area to avoid contact with another competitor. Falling a lap behind the field, Daly earned the 21st finishing position.
  • Though abbreviated, VeeKay’s race was full of action. On the opening lap, his front wing was damaged when multiple cars got tangled in the hairpin. He was able to continue and benefited by gaining six positions. With a car stopped on track on Lap 19, VeeKay ducked into the pit lane in anticipation of a caution. It was waved much later than expected, putting VeeKay on the wrong end the field. Four laps later, his fortunes changed when there was another caution. He then vaulted forward, vaulting up 12 spots. After reaching the Top 10, the No. 21 SONAX Chevrolet began to slow unexpectedly and VeeKay lost 10 spots in only a handful of laps. The problem was diagnosed as a fuel pressure issue and though the crew worked diligently, VeeKay was not able to re-join the race. His second season of NTT INDYCAR competition ended on Lap 49 and he was credited with a 25th place finish.
  • Daly’s season finale was also eventful. He deftly avoided the opening lap contact and moved up five positions. Where VeeKay stopped on the second caution, Daly stopped on the third. He was running as high as 8th before making his first pit stop. On Lap 62, Daly was forced into the a run-off area to avoid contact with another competitor and the car stalled. While waiting for the No. 20 U.S. Air Force Chevrolet to be re-fired, Daly fell one lap behind the field. As he was the only car on that lap, he was unable to make up any additional positions. Daly finished 21st in the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach.  
  • Earlier this morning, it was announced that VeeKay will remain with Ed Carpenter Racing next season. The 2022 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season will begin on February 27, 2022 with the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.
CONOR DALY, No. 20 U.S. Air Force Chevrolet, Finished 21st: 
“The U.S. Air Force crew did a fantastic job in the pits today. We jumped guys every time we stopped and put ourselves with a really strong group. We were having the best day we could have, but sadly another competitor took that away from us. I’m still very confused about what [Oliver] Askew was trying to do there on cold tires. This is a street circuit, it’s really hard to brake off-line and he had no hope of making that corner. When you force someone off the track, you’re not supposed to crash yourself at the same time! It’s a shame, but I am thankful my guys stuck with me this weekend. It was very challenging, but we had some pace at the end and were on the right strategy.”
RINUS VEEKAY, No. 21 SONAX Chevrolet, Finished 25th: 
“How badly I wanted to finish this season on a high, for the fans, Ed Carpenter Racing, and myself! We were having an awesome race and were looking at a very likely Top 10 before a fuel pressure issue ended my race. It’s frustrating to end the season this way, but now we look forward to next season and more yeet!”

FINAL QUALIFICATIONS OF 2021 NTT INDYCAR SERIES SEASON COMPLETE

FINAL QUALIFICATIONS OF 2021 NTT INDYCAR SERIES SEASON COMPLETE
Conor Daly Will Start 21st, VeeKay Qualified 24th for Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach
(LONG BEACH, Calif.) September 25, 2021 – Qualifying Notes

Only one race remains in the 2021 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season: the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach. Tomorrow, Rinus VeeKay and Conor Daly will conclude their seasons in the oceanfront streets of the southern California city. With qualifications complete, VeeKay will start 24th and Daly will start 21st.

Two 45-minute practice sessions proceeded this afternoon’s qualifications. VeeKay managed 40 practice laps – his first laps ever in the streets of Long Beach. As the Road to Indy does not currently compete at Long Beach, and with the 2020 edition being cancelled due to the to the COVID-19 pandemic, tomorrow will be his first Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach. Daly, who has not raced at Long Beach since 2017, made 38 circuits while reacquainting himself with the track.

Qualifying was split into two groups, determined via practice times from this morning’s session. Daly was assigned to Group 1 and VeeKay to Group 2. Both had 10 minutes to set a fast lap with the goal of advancing to the Round 2. At the end of their sessions, both were not among the fastest six cars. Daly was 11th in Group 1 and VeeKay was 12th in Group 2.

Race day will begin with a 30-minute warm up-session in the morning, taking place at 9 a.m. PT and streamed live on NBC’s Peacock Premium. The 2021 Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach will be broadcast live on NBC Sports Network beginning at 12 p.m. PT (3 p.m. ET) on Sunday, September 26.

CONOR DALY, No. 20 U.S. Air Force Chevrolet, Qualified 21st: “Not having been here for a while and not having been here as a team together has presented some challenges for us. We’ve made some progress overall, but these practices go by so quickly. We’re going to throw some things at it tomorrow, which is the great thing about having a warm-up. It’s such competitive field and we want to make sure we are competitive in the race!”

RINUS VEEKAY, No. 21 SONAX Chevrolet, Qualified 24th: “I was actually quite happy with the car we had after Practice 2. We had made good improvements, but in qualifying, we struggled to get the grip we needed. Very unfortunate, but I like passing and I like street courses – this should be helpful for tomorrow! I am looking forward to the race, we have some new ideas and things to try. Hopefully it’s a good day!”

ED CARPENTER RACING SET FOR SEASON FINALE IN THE STREETS OF LONG BEACH

(SALINAS, Calif.) September 19, 2021 – Race Preview

  • Ed Carpenter Racing is ready to head down the California coast for next weekend’s Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach, the finale of the 2021 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season. Conor Daly and Rinus VeeKay will compete in the iconic event as the third in a string of three back-to-back events to close the season. Daly will be competing in his fourth Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach next Sunday while VeeKay will race in the streets of Long Beach for the first time in his career.
  • Today, Daly and VeeKay competed in the penultimate round of the season at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. Daly ran a clean race, fighting hard throughout the duration of the 95-lap Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey and finishing 16th. VeeKay struggled with grip on his opening set of black Firestone Firehawks and had to switch from a three-stop strategy to a four-stop strategy. In the closing laps of the race, he made up four positions to finish 18th.
  • In just five days, VeeKay will take to the streets of Long Beach for the first time. The Dutch driver reached the NTT INDYCAR SERIES after a successful three-year ascent of the Road to Indy ladder and has been with Ed Carpenter Racing for two seasons. However, the 1.968-mile Long Beach street circuit is no longer a part of the Road to Indy schedule. With the 2020 edition of the Acura Grand Prix cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, next weekend’s race will be VeeKay’s first-ever in the streets of Long Beach.
  • Though Daly has not competed on the scenic street circuit in downtown Long Beach for several years, he will return to Southern California with experience. In 2015, Daly received a last-minute call to fill in as a replacement driver in the marquee NTT INDYCAR SERIES event. Two more starts followed as part of his full-time seasons in 2016 and 2017. Daly, who also competed in the Road to Indy, won the 2011 Indy Lights event in the streets of Long Beach.
  • VeeKay’s sophomore NTT INDYCAR SERIES season was off to a strong start as he earned six Top 10 finishes in the first seven races of the year, including his first career victory at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course in mid-May. One week later, the then 20-year-old became the youngest front row starter in Indianapolis 500 history as he qualified 3rd. VeeKay added a podium finish on a street course to his list of accomplishments with a second-place finish in Race 1 of Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix. The driver of the No. 21 SONAX Chevrolet turned 21 eight days ago during the Grand Prix of Portland.
  • Daly’s 2021 season mirrors that of 2020, where he has competed full-time for two different teams. Daly has driven ECR’s No. 20 U.S. Air Force Chevrolet on the road and street course events, ECR’s No. 47 U.S. Air Force Chevrolet for the Indianapolis 500 and Carlin’s No. 59 for the remaining ovals. Daly was consistently one of the fastest cars during the Month of May, turning Top 5 lap times in five of six practice sessions. On Lap 50 of 200, Daly took the lead of his hometown race for the first time in his career. He would go on to lead 40 laps, the most of all drivers. Earlier in the month, Daly made his first Firestone Fast 6 appearance in qualifying at the IMS road course.
  • Only three days of on-track activity remain on the 2021 NTT INDYCAR SERIES schedule. Daly and VeeKay will have one practice session on Friday, September 24 and one on Saturday, September 25. Qualifying will follow on Saturday afternoon, then a warm-up session in the morning on Sunday. All sessions will be streamed live on Peacock Premium. The 2021 Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach will be broadcast live on NBC Sports Network beginning at 12 p.m. PT (3 p.m. ET) on Sunday, September 26.
Photo Courtesy of Ed Carpenter Racing

CONOR DALY, No. 20 U.S. Air Force Chevrolet: “Today was quite an adventure. We had some decent pace moving through the field a little bit. Now, I am really excited for Long Beach, I love Long Beach! I’ve won there in Indy Lights and I just really enjoy driving that track. Street racing is fun, so it’s going to be great to close out the season with a fun race!”

Photo Courtesy of Ed Carpenter Racing

RINUS VEEKAY, No. 21 SONAX Chevrolet: “I was really struggling on the black tires at the start today, but the reds felt really good and I could put good lap times in. The four-stop strategy was good was well, but we had a miscommunication and I did an unnecessary drive through. It was unfortunate, but now we can look forward to Long Beach! I really want to end the year on a high note, that would be great for confidence heading into the offseason. Hopefully, we can put in a strong result there!”

STARTING FIELD SET FOR PENULTIMATE ROUND OF THE NTT INDYCAR SERIES SEASON

Conor Daly Will Start 18th, VeeKay Qualified 24th for Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey
(SALINAS, Calif.) September 18, 2021 – Qualifying Notes
  • Only two rounds remain in the 2021 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season with the penultimate race taking place tomorrow at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. Conor Daly and Rinus VeeKay completed qualifications this afternoon and now have their starting positions. Daly will roll off 18th while VeeKay will start 24th.
  • As the 2020 edition of the Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, VeeKay’s only previous NTT INDYCAR SERIES experience at the road course came in the form of a one-day test in early March 2021. Yesterday’s opening session marked VeeKay’s first official practice at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. In this morning’s second practice, his session was cut short when he made contact with the Turn 4 barrier. He was checked, cleared and released from medical and the No. 21 SONAX Chevrolet crew completed repairs to the rear of the car prior to qualifying.
  • Daly, too, worked to reacquaint himself with the 2.238-mile road course for the first time since 2019. The 2019 Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey was the first race for Daly and the U.S. Air Force outside of the Indianapolis 500. From there, the partnership grew to include all of the road and street course races and the Indianapolis 500 for Ed Carpenter Racing the next two seasons. Between yesterday’s afternoon’s practice session and this morning’s, Daly and the No. 20 U.S. Air Force Chevrolet crew found over a mile an hour of speed.
  • The ECR teammates were both assigned to Round 1, Group 2 when qualifying commenced this afternoon. Breaking from the norm, Daly selected a set of sticker red Firestone Firehawks to begin the session. The move paid dividends as Daly sat at the top of the time charts after everyone completed their first laps. He narrowly missed advancing to the second round for a second week in a row, just being bumped from the fastest six cars after the checkered flag to end the session 9th. VeeKay hopped back into the repaired No. 21 and set his fastest lap of the weekend, though it was only good for 12th in Group 2.
  • Race day will kick off with a half-hour warm up-session in the morning, taking place at 9 a.m. PT and streamed live on NBC’s Peacock Premium. The 2021 Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey will be broadcast live on NBC beginning at 12 p.m. PT (3 p.m. ET) on Sunday, September 19.
CONOR DALY, No. 20 U.S. Air Force Chevrolet, Qualified 18th: “We made quite a step forward from practice to qualifying. We just missed transferring by a tenth of a second, just a super small amount of time. The car felt much more competitive than where we were in practice and again we qualified around some really good drivers. We know we are going to be fast in the race, we’ve been fast for several of the last events. Even though we just missed a hair of speed in one corner, we had a pretty mistake-free day and we’re going to get after it tomorrow.”
RINUS VEEKAY, No. 21 SONAX Chevrolet, Qualified 24th: “First, I just want to thank my guys for all their effort to fix my car after practice this morning. Unfortunately, I created more work for them but they were able to get me ready for qualifying. That didn’t go quite as we hoped for, but we are focused on tomorrow now and we’ll see how much we can do in the race!”

ED CARPENTER RACING EXCITED TO RETURN TO WEATHERTECH RACEWAY LAGUNA SECA

West Coast Swing Continues for Conor Daly and Rinus VeeKay With the Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey

(INDIANAPOLIS) September 15, 2021 – Race Preview

  • The NTT INDYCAR SERIES will continue its West Coast swing to end the 2021 season with this weekend’s visit to WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. Conor Daly and Rinus VeeKay will be making a long-awaited return to the famous circuit where both have had great success. Though the pair are in their second seasons with Ed Carpenter Racing, it will be their first trip to the 2.238-mile road course with the team. Last year, the Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey was one of several races that had to be cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Daly will be competing in his second NTT INDYCAR SERIES event at Laguna Seca while it will be VeeKay’s first.
  • The Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey is the second in a string of three back-to-back race weekends as the NTT INDYCAR SERIES travels down the West Coast. Last Sunday, Daly and VeeKay raced in the Grand Prix of Portland at Portland International Raceway. Daly was on pace for a Top 10 finish, but an issue with pit equipment on his final stop cost him several positions. Still, Daly battled back in the closing laps to finish 16th. VeeKay was forced to start 25th following a grid penalty for an unapproved engine change, but gained an astonishing 16 positions on the opening lap. Unfortunately, strategy would not fall his way the rest of the day and he would have to settle for 17th place.
  • Daly and VeeKay are no strangers to success at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. Both swept their respective doubleheader weekends in 2019, the last time they competed there. Daly won both races in Lamborghini Super Trofeo and VeeKay captured victory in both Indy Lights races. One week after the Super Trofeo event, Daly competed in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES event at Laguna Seca. It was the first race for Daly and the U.S. Air Force outside of the Indianapolis 500. From there, the partnership grew to include all of the road and street course races and the Indianapolis 500 for ECR the next two seasons.
  • Daly entered the West Coast swing coming off a string of solid finishes. His 2021 season mirrors that of 2020, where he competes in the road and street course events in ECR’s No. 20 U.S. Air Force Chevrolet and in Carlin’s No. 59 for the ovals outside of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Daly transitioned to ECR’s No. 47 for the Indianapolis 500 and was consistently one of the fastest cars during the Month of May, turning Top 5 lap times in five of six practice sessions. On Lap 50 of 200, Daly took the lead of the 500-mile race for the first time in his career. He would go on to lead 40 laps, the most of all drivers. Earlier in the month, Daly made his first Firestone Fast 6 appearance in qualifying at the IMS road course.
  • VeeKay’s sophomore NTT INDYCAR SERIES season was off to a strong start as he earned six Top 10 finishes in the first seven races of the year, including his first career victory at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course in mid-May. One week later, the then 20-year-old became the youngest front row starter in Indianapolis 500 history as he qualified 3rd. VeeKay added a podium finish on a street course to his list of accomplishments with a second-place finish in Race 1 of Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix. The driver of the No. 21 SONAX Chevrolet turned 21 last Saturday.
  • The Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey will be a three-day event, beginning with practice on the afternoon of Friday, September 17. Saturday, September 18 will feature a second practice session and qualifying. Race day will kick off with a half-hour warm up-session in the morning. All on-track activity prior to the race will be streamed live on NBC’s Peacock Premium. The 2021 Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey will be broadcast live on NBC beginning at 12 p.m. PT (3 p.m. ET) on Sunday, September 19.
CONOR DALY, No. 20 U.S. Air Force Chevrolet: “I have always enjoyed driving at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca! Racing an NTT INDYCAR SERIES car at Laguna Seca is obviously very special, it is such a classic driver’s track. Ed Carpenter Racing has done a great job recently in giving me a very competitive car, we’ve been right there in most of the last few races. We want to keep this positive momentum alive and execute well in Laguna Seca. Hopefully we nail every aspect of the race and come home with a good finish!”
RINUS VEEKAY, No. 21 SONAX Chevrolet: “I have never not won at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, so that’s a pretty good stat! We had a very valuable test there in the pre-season and we have found some very good setups throughout the year that will definitely help us there. I really like the track and how there are plenty of opportunities to pass there. It’s definitely going to be hard work, but hopefully we can get back to having awesome races!”

ED CARPENTER RACING BATTLES THROUGH GRAND PRIX OF PORTLAND

Conor Daly Fights Back In Closing Laps; Rinus VeeKay Gains 16 Positions on Lap 1

PORTLAND, Ore. (September 12, 2021) – Race Notes

  • The Grand Prix of Portland threw many obstacles at Ed Carpenter Racing today, but teammates Conor Daly and Rinus VeeKay persevered through the end of the event. Daly was on pace for a Top 10 finish this afternoon, but an issue with pit equipment on his final stop cost him several positions. Still, Daly battled back in the closing laps to finish 16th. VeeKay gained an astonishing 16 positions on the opening lap, but strategy would not fall his way the rest of the day and he would have to settle for 17th place.
  • Both Daly and VeeKay were left unsatisfied following yesterday’s qualifications. Daly narrowly missed advancing to the second round and he lined up 16th on today’s starting grid. Additionally, VeeKay was forced to start 25th due to a grid penalty for an unapproved engine change.
  • Daly had no choice but to short cut the course to avoid a multi-car incident in the first turn on Lap 1. Because of this, he had to drop to the back of the field. The No. 20 U.S. Air Force Chevrolet team took advantage of the situation, using it as an opportunity to make his first pit stop. Daly raced forward several times during the 110-lap event and was on pace for a Top 10 finish. A wheel gun malfunction during Daly’s third and final pit stop on Lap 77 only cost him mere seconds, but translated to several positions on track. He re-entered the race in 22nd, but charged forward in the closing laps. Daly would pick up 6 spots in the final 20 laps, ultimately earning a 16th-place finish.
  • VeeKay completely avoided the opening lap melee and gained an astounding 16 positions. For the Lap 11 restart, he took the green flag from the 9th position. The No. 21 SONAX Chevrolet crew selected three-stop strategy, pitting on Laps 20, 43 and 78. Leaning on information gained in a strong final practice session, VeeKay took black Firestone Firehawks on his last pit stop. With the latter part of the race marred by cautions, wear on the red Firehawks was minimal and they became the preferred compound at the end of the event. On the black tires, VeeKay slipped back several positions in the closing laps and had to settle for a 17th place finish.
  • The West Coast swing to close out the 2021 season continues next weekend with the Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey. VeeKay will participate in his first NTT INDYCAR SERIES race at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca while Daly will compete in his second. Both will be driving for Ed Carpenter Racing for the first time at the 2.238-mile road course as the 2020 event was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Coverage of the 2021 Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey will begin on Sunday, September 19 at 3 p.m. ET on NBC.
CONOR DALY, No. 20 U.S. Air Force Chevrolet, Finished 16th: 
“We had to miss a bunch of cars all over the place in Turn 1 and do some avoiding. That put us back in the field after the re-order, but we had some good pace all race long. We were fighting with some really good guys and were definitely on pace for a Top 10 finish. We had an issue on the last pit stop, which was a shame. Once we were able to fight back, we passed a lot of cars and worked our way up. We knew we were faster than where we ended up in qualifying and we were on pace to have a great race today.”
RINUS VEEKAY, No. 21 SONAX Chevrolet, Finished 17th: 
“We had to pass a lot of cars today. I had a good start, from P25 to P9. I made up a lot of spots there! Unfortunately, we really couldn’t get the strategy to work. Every time we did something, a yellow would come and undo it. P17 is nothing to write home about, but I am pretty happy with my own execution today. Everything I did is exactly what I should have done. I am happy about that, but lots to work on before Laguna. Full send there!”

GRAND PRIX OF PORTLAND QUALIFICATIONS COMPLETE FOR ED CARPENTER RACING

Conor Daly Qualifies 16th; Rinus VeeKay Will Start 25th Following a Grid Penalty for an Engine Change

PORTLAND, Ore. (September 11, 2021) – Qualifying Notes

  • After a full day of on-track activity, preparations are complete for tomorrow’s Grand Prix of Portland. Conor Daly narrowly missed advancing in today’s qualification session and will start 16th tomorrow. For Rinus VeeKay, it will his first NTT INDYCAR SERIES race at Portland International Raceway. He will start 25th due to a grid penalty for an unapproved engine change.
  • The Grand Prix of Portland was condensed to two days for the 2021 event, beginning with a one hour, 15 minute practice session at 9 a.m. PT this morning. Portland International Raceway is relatively short circuit, with the road course coming in at just under 2 miles in length. With 27 cars entered in this weekend’s Grand Prix of Portland, finding open track to set a quick time proved difficult. VeeKay turned his first laps at Portland since an evaluation test with Ed Carpenter Racing back in 2019. Over 34 laps, his fastest was 59.31 seconds in the No. 21 SONAX Chevrolet. Daly was also back on the 12-turn track for the first time since 2019, setting 34 laps with a fastest of 59.54 seconds.
  • The ECR teammates were assigned to Round 1, Group 2 of today’s qualifying session which took place just past noon. VeeKay and Daly had 10 minutes to build upon what they learned in practice. They first took to the circuit on sets of black Firestone Firehawks before switching to a set of sticker red Firehawks. After they had completed eight total laps, Daly’s No. 20 U.S. Air Force Chevrolet was 8th on the scoring sheets with a lap of 59:10 and VeeKay was 11th at 59:19. As only the fastest six cars advance, neither moved on to Round 2. Additionall, VeeKay will start 25th in tomorrow’s race due to a starting grid penalty for an unapproved engine change.
  • A final practice took place this afternoon from 3:15-3:45 p.m. and served as the warm-up session. Live coverage of the 2021 Grand Prix of Portland will begin at 12 p.m. PT (3 p.m. ET) on NBC. The 110-lap race is scheduled to begin at 12:42 p.m. PT (3:42 p.m. ET) on Sunday, September 12. 
CONOR DALY, No. 20 U.S. Air Force Chevrolet, Starting 16th: “We were just trying to nail the perfect lap. I tried to carry a hair too much speed and got a bit too much curb on the last corner. It’s a shame, I made a mistake. The team gave me a great car, which was awesome. We are still not in a terrible spot, we have [Will] Power and [Josef] Newgarden around us and they are obviously trustworthy human beings! The goal now is to make the U.S. Air Force proud on this very important weekend.”
RINUS VEEKAY, No. 21 SONAX Chevrolet, Starting 25th: “I was happy with how the car felt in qualifying. I was actually confused as to why we were so far down the order! I asked the team for a certain feeling in the car and got exactly what I wanted. It was weird, but it is so close and competitive. We can battle our way forward, many things can happen here!”

ED CARPENTER RACING BEGINS WEST COAST SWING WITH GRAND PRIX OF PORTLAND

(INDIANAPOLIS) September 8, 2021 – Preview Notes

The final three races of the 2021 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season will all take place on the West Coast, beginning with this weekend’s Grand Prix of Portland. As the Portland International Raceway event was cancelled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s race will be Rinus VeeKay and Conor Daly’s first with Ed Carpenter Racing at the Pacific Northwest road course. VeeKay will celebrate his 21st birthday this weekend where he had great success in the Road To Indy and had his first experience in an NTT INDYCAR SERIES car. Daly is eager for another chance to take on Portland after a strong qualifying effort two years ago was immediately thwarted by an opening-lap incident.

Though the 2021 Grand Prix of Portland will be VeeKay’s first NTT INDYCAR SERIES race at Portland International Raceway, he will return with ample experience. His first taste of an NTT INDYCAR SERIES car came in August of 2019 when ECR selected him for an evaluation test at Portland. It was the first of two successful tests before he was named full-time driver of the team’s No. 21 Chevrolet, a role he has now held for two seasons. While climbing the Road To Indy ranks, VeeKay competed in the 2018 Indy Pro 2000 doubleheader and a 2019 Indy Lights doubleheader at Portland. In those four races, he earned four pole positions, one victory and three runner-up finishes.

Before joining Ed Carpenter Racing prior to the 2020 season, Daly had grown to become one of the most trusted reserve drivers in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES. The 2019 Grand Prix of Portland was one of the events Daly was called upon for as Schmidt Peterson Motorsports selected him as the substitute driver for the No. 7 car. Despite never having driven a lap at Portland International Raceway prior to the event weekend, Daly qualified solidly in the 9th position. Unfortunately, he was unable to show his pace during the race as he was collected in a Turn 1, Lap 1 multi-car incident.

VeeKay’s sophomore NTT INDYCAR SERIES season was off to a strong start as he earned six Top 10 finishes in the first seven races of the year, including his first career victory at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course in mid-May. One week later, the 20-year-old became the youngest front row starter in Indianapolis 500 history as he qualified 3rd. VeeKay added a podium finish on a street course to his list of accomplishments with a second-place finish in Race 1 of Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix. The driver of the No. 21 SONAX Chevrolet will turn 21 on Saturday, September 11.

Daly enters the Grand Prix of Portland weekend coming off a string of solid finishes. His 2021 season mirrors that of 2020, where he competes in the road and street course events in ECR’s No. 20 U.S. Air Force Chevrolet and in Carlin’s No. 59 for the ovals outside of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Daly transitioned to ECR’s No. 47 for the Indianapolis 500 and was consistently one of the fastest cars during the Month of May, turning Top 5 lap times in five of six practice sessions. On Lap 50 of 200, Daly took the lead of the 500-mile race for the first time in his career. He would go on to lead 40 laps, the most of all drivers. Earlier in the month, Daly made his first Firestone Fast 6 appearance in qualifying at the IMS road course.

The Grand Prix of Portland will be a two-day event. On-track activity will kick off with a practice session on Saturday, September 11 from 9-10:15 a.m. PT. Qualifying will follow from 12:15-1:30 p.m. and final practice will take place from 3:15-3:45 p.m. All of Saturday’s action will be streamed live on NBC’s Peacock platform. The 110-lap Grand Prix of Portland will take place on Sunday, September 12 with coverage beginning on NBC at 12 p.m. PT.

CONOR DALY, No. 20 U.S. Air Force Chevrolet: “I still have not raced in Portland – I’ve qualified in Portland in 2019 and qualified quite well, which was exciting. Hope to qualify well again, but make it past the first corner this time! We’ve had a lot of really consistent results lately and seem to be improving every single race. We want to keep that going! This will be my first time at Portland with ECR, so there will be a lot of new things for us but I am just very excited to start the West Coast swing.”

RINUS VEEKAY, No. 21 SONAX Chevrolet: “I am very excited to go to Portland, really the whole West Coast! These are the last three races of the season and three races where we can get back to good results. I had a nice few weeks of letting my mind take it easy, but I am ready to get back to racing again!”
About Ed Carpenter Racing


Ed Carpenter Racing (ECR) has entered its 10th season of NTT INDYCAR SERIES competition in 2021. The Indianapolis-based race team has proven its versatility by collecting eight 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). In 2021, Indiana natives Carpenter and Conor Daly share the No. 20 Chevrolet as Carpenter drives the oval races and Daly takes over for the road and street course events. Both were entered in the Indianapolis 500 alongside 2020 Rookie of the Year Rinus VeeKay, full-time driver of the No. 21 Chevrolet. ECR made its eSports debut in the 2020 iRX World Championship with Jim Beaver eSports. More information may be found at http://www.edcarpenterracing.com/.

ED CARPENTER RACING READIES FOR FINAL OVAL RACE OF THE 2021 SEASON

Ed Carpenter and Rinus VeeKay Will Race Under the Lights at WWT Raceway on Saturday Night

INDIANAPOLIS (August 18, 2021) – Race Preview

  • The NTT INDYCAR SERIES will conclude a stretch of three back-to-back weekends on three different types of tracks with a return to World Wide Technology Raceway this weekend. Ed Carpenter and Rinus VeeKay will compete on the 1.25-mile oval just minutes outside of St. Louis in a one-day event on Saturday. As the 2021 season consists of only four oval races at three tracks, the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 will be Carpenter’s last race this year. After two tough races, VeeKay is ready for redemption at a track he found success at in 2020.
  • Carpenter has held the dual roles of owner and driver for 10 seasons. He founded his own team, Ed Carpenter Racing, prior to the 2012 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season. As he now competes exclusively in the oval races, the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 will mark the conclusion of his 19th year of Indy car competition. ECR’s No. 20 U.S. Air Force Chevrolet entry is split between Conor Daly on the road and street courses and Carpenter on the ovals. Carpenter’s other events this year include the doubleheader at Texas Motor Speedway and the Indianapolis 500.
  • VeeKay is in his second season as full-time driver of ECR’s No. 21 SONAX Chevrolet. He earned six Top 10 finishes in the first seven races of the year, including his first career victory at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course in mid-May. One week later, the 20-year-old became the youngest front row starter in Indianapolis 500 history as he qualified 3rd. VeeKay added a podium finish on a street course to his list of accomplishments with a second-place finish in Race 1 of Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix.
  • While VeeKay qualified 3rd for the Indianapolis 500, a mere .0047 of a second separated him from his team owner. Carpenter earned the 4th starting position in his most recent race, which was the 6th time he had a Top 10 start at IMS in the past nine years. A stall of his engine on his first pit stop dropped the No. 20 from 4th to 28th. Carpenter’s 18 years of experience, combined with smart strategy and quick work by the No. 20 crew in the pits, helped him rejoin the fight at the front with a quarter of the race remaining. His 5th place result this year was one the 40-year-old’s strongest Indianapolis 500 finishes.
  • During VeeKay’s rookie campaign in 2020, the WWT Raceway weekend was the best of his career up to that point. In the doubleheader event, VeeKay started 14th in Race 1. He drove up to a 6th place finish, which was his highest finish on an oval until the next day. At the start of Race 2, VeeKay went four-wide down the backstretch and gained seven positions in the first lap. He continued a spirited charge through the field for the duration of the event, eventually climbing to 4th place.
  • Carpenter’s 2020 weekend at WWT Raceway stood in stark contrast to 2019. Last year, he was collected in a multi-car incident on Lap 1 of Race 1. Despite the hard work by his team, the No. 20 did not handle the same in Race 2 as it did before he was hit and he finished 18th. However, in 2019, Carpenter ended his season in style. He worked his way through the entire field to earn a runner-up finish. Coming to the checkered flag, Carpenter trailed Takuma Sato to the line by only .0399 of a second.
  • The Bommarito Automotive Group 500 will be a one-day event in 2021, taking place on Saturday, August 21. A one-hour practice session will begin at 12:15 p.m. CT, followed by qualifying at 4 p.m. CT. Both will be streamed live on NBC’s Peacock platform. NBC Sports Network will carry coverage of the 260-lap race, beginning at 7 p.m. CT (8 p.m. ET).

ED CARPENTER, No. 20 U.S. Air Force Chevrolet: “I am really excited to get back to WWT Raceway! We have had good results there in the past and I can’t wait to finish my driving season off on a high note.”

RINUS VEEKAY, No. 21 SONAX Chevrolet: “I can’t wait be back racing at WWT Raceway! I had my best doubleheader there last season. I see this weekend it as an opportunity to end the streak of bad results that I have had the past few races.”

CONOR DALY ON THE IMS ROAD COURSE

Hometown Favorite Finishes 11th in Big Machine Spiked Coolers Grand Prix; Rough Day For Rinus VeeKay Complicated Further By Contact

INDIANAPOLIS (August 14, 2021) – Race Notes

  • For the second week in a row, Conor Daly kept the No. 20 U.S. Air Force Chevrolet right in the mix and just barely missed out on a Top 10. Daly finished 11th in today’s Big Machine Spiked Coolers Grand Prix on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course. The 28-car field was the largest NTT INDYCAR SERIES field outside of the Indianapolis 500 in a decade. Rinus VeeKay had already had a difficult day with the No. 21 SONAX Chevrolet and that complicated even farther after he was hit from behind in the closing laps. The contact caused him to spin and dropped to the back of the field. VeeKay finished 24th in today’s race.
  • The Ed Carpenter Racing teammates had strong qualifying efforts yesterday with both making the Firestone Fast 12. Daly earned the 8th starting position while VeeKay was just one spot behind in 9th. Daly and VeeKay swapped positions at the start of the 85-lap race, but VeeKay’s weekend-long struggle with lack of grip carried over opening laps. Once Daly had taken the position back, VeeKay slipped back several more. By VeeKay’s first pit stop on Lap 12, he was running 13th. Daly also came in on the same lap and both switched from primary black tires to alternate reds. 
  • On Lap 21, Daly was battling with Simon Pagenaud and went off-track, through the grass. The car sustained no damage and Daly was able to maintain the 11th position. That is where he stayed until his second pit stop on Lap 36 when he again stopped for fuel and red tires. VeeKay, who had a quiet second stint, also stopped on Lap 36. Daly cycled back into 11th and VeeKay into 15th.
  • The first caution of the race did not fly until Lap 68, only a handful of laps after VeeKay’s final stop (Lap 60) and Daly’s (Lap 61). The yellow laps ensured both were good on fuel and could fight hard until the end. Unfortunately for VeeKay, he was the cause of the second and final yellow of the race on Lap 77. He was struck from behind from Scott McLaughlin, who received a penalty for avoidable contact. VeeKay spun and stalled as a result of the contact. While waiting to be re-fired, he dropped to the back of the field and finished the race in the 24th position. Daly did everything he could to move into the Top 10 in the final laps, but had to settle for 11th at the end of the day.
  • The NTT INDYCAR SERIES will head to World Wide Technology Raceway outside of St. Louis next week. The final oval race of the year will see ECR team owner Ed Carpenter step back into the No. 20 Chevrolet. Carpenter will race alongside VeeKay on the 1.25-mile oval for the third in a stretch of three race weekends. The Bommarito Automotive Group 500 will be broadcast live on NBC Sports Network in 8 p.m. ET on Saturday, August 21.
CONOR DALY, No. 20 U.S. Air Force Chevrolet, Finished 11th: “The start was really strange. The whole outside row managed to slot into the inside and I lost the draft. Everyone on the outside seemed to get a little screwed, but we settled in okay and we made our first stop as soon as we could. There were a few small things that happened which could have been better, but it is racing and those things happen. We wanted to be in the Top 10, we came out of the pits behind [Alex] Rossi on that first pit stop and he finished 4th. You just need every second and every second counts. We keep pushing and keep finishing better every race, we just have to keep it going!”
RINUS VEEKAY, No. 21 SONAX Chevrolet, Finished 24th: “Today’s race was kind of a mystery to me. We started P9 and we believed that we had a good car. From Lap 1, we struggled and it just got worst the whole race. We don’t know what the issue is yet but everyone is looking at it. We will give it everything we can at Gateway next weekend! That’s a whole new weekend, hopefully we can reset and get back to Top 10s and Top 5s!”
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