VeeKay and Daly Take On Road America 2

Conor Daly
Race 2 Notes 
For the second time in less than 24 hours, Rinus VeeKay and Conor Daly competed in an NTT INDYCAR SERIES race at Road America. The second of the REV Group Grand Prix doubleheader events proved difficult for Ed Carpenter Racing, but both drivers persevered until the end. Daly pushed through after Lap 1 damage and was able to make up positions in the closing laps. VeeKay fought back after going off-track, even with having to save fuel at the end. VeeKay would earn a 14th place finish while Daly would finish 18th.

In yesterday’s Race 1, Daly had a solid start as he gained five positions during the first lap. However, on Lap 42, he and another competitor made contact.  Daly was sent into the Turn 7 tire barrier as a result, immediately ending his race. He would be credited with a 21st place finish. VeeKay used a series of late-race restarts to move forward in the closing laps. He gained six spots after his final pit stop to finish 13th in his first NTT INDYCAR SERIES race at Road America.

The No. 20 U.S. Air Force Chevrolet crew worked late into the night to repair Daly’s car. There would not be a practice session this morning; instead, VeeKay and Daly would roll right into qualifying. The format would mimic that of yesterday with no knockout qualifying. Instead, the field was split into two groups with the fastest driver overall earning the pole. VeeKay improved his starting position over Race 1 and started 15th in Race 2. Daly qualified 20th, but the laps were invaluable as he was able to confirm the No. 20 was ready to race.

Daly would not make it to Turn 1 of the first lap before adversity struck again. The field stacked up heading to the green flag and with nowhere to go, Daly made contact with the car in front of him and broke his front wing. Daly was forced to drive around the four-mile circuit with the wing pinned under the car, but was able to make it back to pit lane. The crew completed two pit stops to repair the damage, then came in for a splash of fuel. Because he took full service in closed pit lane, Daly had to serve a drive-through penalty. He was stranded deep in the field until the waning laps of the race. On a set of scuffed red Firestone Firehawks, he was able to not only close the gap to cars around him but make up positions. He climbed to 18th by the end of the race.

While his teammate was unlucky at the start of the 55-lap race, VeeKay was able to avoid multiple accidents and vault to the front of the field. Though he started 14th, he crossed the start/finish line in 7th by the second lap. On the ensuing restart, he picked up yet another position to run 6th. He was able to race at the front until Lap 14, when an off-track excursion set him back. He gathered up the No. 21 Direct Supply Chevrolet and there was no damage, though he had dropped to 16th. VeeKay moved back up to 13th and his crew gained another position for him on his final pit stop. However, he then had to save fuel to make it to the end of the race and would have to relinquish two spots. VeeKay finished 14th in Race 2 of the REV Group Grand Prix. 

The Ed Carpenter Racing team has departed Road America for Indianapolis and will return to the race shop tomorrow to prepare the cars for next weekend. Another doubleheader is scheduled, this time at the .875-mile Iowa Speedway oval on Friday and Saturday nights. VeeKay will be returning to the site of his very first oval race and will be joined by team owner Ed Carpenter. Carpenter, oval driver of the No. 20, started the 2020 season with a Top 5 finish at Texas Motor Speedway last month. Daly will race in the Iowa INDYCAR 250s with Carlin.
CONOR DALY, No. 20 U.S. Air Force Chevrolet, Finished 18th: “We were the victim of a start stack up. We had a good start, everyone started going but then they all stopped. It’s a circumstance of starting in the back. We had some damage immediately and once we got that fixed, we just tried to make something of our race. We didn’t get the yellow that we needed to catch up. On reds there at the end, we were really fast. That was encouraging and we were able to make up some spots. Obviously, it was a tough weekend. Overall, I’m thankful for the work that were guys did to get us back out there. We’ll rebound at the next one for sure.”

RINUS VEEKAY, No. 21 Direct Supply Chevrolet, Finished 14th: “It was a really tough weekend. We were struggling for speed, but we worked super hard to make the best out of it. I did everything I could, I drove the Direct Supply car the best I could! I’m really ready to try again in Iowa.”


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