(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!”
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!