After a tough Indianapolis 500 last Sunday, Ed Carpenter Racing is eager to get back to the track to turn things around. A doubleheader weekend at World Wide Technology Raceway awaits, providing drivers Ed Carpenter and Rinus VeeKay two opportunities to rebound. Carpenter will be returning to the site of his most recent podium finish as he took the checkered flag in second place last year. VeeKay is a two-time podium finisher in Road to Indy races at the oval just minutes outside of St. Louis.
ECR is looking to bounce back after a tough Indy 500 just five days ago. VeeKay qualified 4th, the best qualifying result by a teenager in Indianapolis 500 history. He raced his way back through the field following a pit lane incident, but remained one lap behind the leaders and finished 20th. On the very first of 200 laps, another competitor pushed up into Carpenter. The ensuing repairs would cost ECR’s team owner 13 laps, but he used years of experience to drive a clean race the rest of the day and finished 26th. Coming to a restart near the midway point of the race, Conor Daly’s car got away from him and spun across the track, striking the inside wall. He was credited with a 29th place finish.
WWT Raceway is currently the last oval event on the 2020 NTT INDYCAR SERIES schedule. As Carpenter competes exclusively in the oval races, the twin Bommarito Automotive Group 500s will mark the conclusion of his 18th season of Indy car competition. Last year, Carpenter ended his season in style, working his way through the entire field to finish second. Coming to the checkered flag, Carpenter sent his No. 20 to the outside of Takuma Sato and trailed him to the line by only .0399 of a second. The margin was the closest of the 2019 NTT IndyCar Series season and in the 10-year history of Indy car racing at WWT Raceway.
While VeeKay has not yet been on the 1.25-mile oval in an NTT INDYCAR SERIES car, he has raced at WWT Raceway as part of the Road to Indy. He won the Pro Mazda race in 2018, a victory that was one of seven he collected on his way to winning the championship. Last year, he finished runner up, a result that would ultimately mirror his finish in the 2019 Indy Lights standings. The 19-year-old rookie’s first short oval races in his No. 21 SONAX/Autogeek Chevrolet came at last month’s doubleheader at Iowa Speedway.
ECR’s No. 20 entry is split between Daly on the road and street courses and Carpenter on the ovals. Daly’s U.S. Air Force Chevrolet was scheduled to be in 13 of 17 events this year, but several of those races have been rescheduled or cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. To make up for events that were missed, the No. 20 will be painted in U.S. Air Force colors this weekend while Carpenter is behind the wheel.
Carpenter and VeeKay will race on both Saturday and Sunday afternoon; both 200-lap races will be broadcast live on NBC Sports Network beginning at 3 p.m. ET (2 p.m. local). Saturday morning’s qualifying session will determine the starting grid for both events. The first lap after the green flag will set the field for Race 1 and the second lap – following the white flag – will determine order for Race 2. WWT Raceway will welcome a limited number of fans for the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 Mega Weekend.
ED CARPENTER, No. 20 U.S. Air Force Chevrolet: “After a tough Indy 500, I am happy to be able to climb back aboard the No. 20 Chevrolet this weekend and return to WWT Raceway. We plan to pick up where we left off last year and once again finish my season on the podium!”
RINUS VEEKAY, No. 21 SONAX/Autogeek Chevrolet: “WWT Raceway coming up next! The Indy 500 was really tough for the whole team but only three more days until we are on track again turning left. I’m really looking forward to Gateway. Last year, ECR showed they have good cars and are capable of good finishes there. I’ve won a race there too, so it’s a good combination! I cannot wait to get out there for two races.”
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!