14th: CONOR DALY No. 20 BITNILE.COM Chevrolet
21st: RINUS VEEKAY No. 21 BITNILE.COM Chevrolet
NEXT RACE: PPG 375 at Texas Motor Speedway
April 2 (NBC, 12 p.m. ET)
CONOR DALY, NO. 20 BITNILE.COM CHEVROLET
CONOR DALY, No. 20 BITNILE.COM Chevrolet, Finished 14th: “The race was playing out how we wanted. We got really lucky to avoid that first crash, which was one of the craziest things I have ever seen in my life. I felt strong, running with Rinus (VeeKay) and Josef (Newgarden). Then we just got taken out by Kyle Kirkwood. It was such a shame to get spun like that, but we hung on and kept fighting. The BITNILE.COM Chevrolet had good pace all day. On to the next one!” (Photo Courtesy of INDYCAR Photo)
LAPS COMPLETED: 99/100
Though improvements were made to the No. 20 BITNILE.COM across all three practice sessions, Conor Daly started 26th in today’s Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. He deftly avoided a major accident in the opening corners of the race, gaining six positions as he cleared the scene. The race was red flagged while the track was cleared and as soon as the pits opened, Daly came in for a set of black Firestone Firehawks after starting on the new green tires.
Daly had just completed his second pit stop when he was struck by Kyle Kirkwood on Lap 37 and made contact in Turn 9. Once the car was re-fired, he brought it around the circuit and into he pit lane for repairs. With a front wing change and a set of fresh Firehawks, Daly rejoined the field.
Though he was a lap down, Daly persevered. His determination paid off and he continued to gain positions as other cars fell out of the race. By the checkered flag, he was up to 14th and finished 12 spots higher than where he started.
RINUS VEEKAY, NO. 21 BITNILE.COM CHEVROLET
RINUS VEEKAY, No. 21 BITNILE.COM Chevrolet, Finished 21st: “It’s so tricky out there. I am okay and I just hope that Jack Harvey will be okay, too. Josef (Newgarden) was a little on the inside and I was an inch into the marbles and you just run out of grip. We want to finish the first race of the year to be able to carry the momentum. I am really bummed for the guys and for BITNILE.COM. We had the pace and were doing very well. Time to focus on Texas next.” (Photo Courtesy of INDYCAR Photo)
LAPS COMPLETED: 41/100
Rinus VeeKay was one of the fastest cars in the practice sessions leading up to qualifying, setting the 6th and 3rd fastest laps, respectively. During qualifications, his flying lap was interrupted by a slow-moving car and he had to settle for a 24th position on today’s starting grid.
VeeKay made it through a multi-car incident on Lap 1, gaining six positions. After the red flag was lifted, he made his first pit stop on Lap 3 to switch from alternate green Firestone Firehawks to primary black tires. He cycled into the Top 10 on Lap 30 and pitted from 5th on his second stop.
After his Lap 35 pit stop, he was running 14th. However, VeeKay became entangled in another multi-car accident on Lap 41. The No. 21 BITNILE.COM Chevrolet was moved behind the wall and VeeKay was retired from the event, scoring a 21st place finish.
About Ed Carpenter Racing
Ed Carpenter Racing (ECR) first entered the NTT INDYCAR SERIES in 2012. 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). The 2023 season will see the team continue to compete with two full-time entries: the No. 20 BITNILE.COM Chevrolet with Conor Daly behind the wheel and the No. 21 BITNILE.COM Chevrolet, driven by Rinus VeeKay. Carpenter will round out the team’s three-car effort on the ovals, campaigning the No. 33 BITNILE.COM Chevrolet. More information may be found at http://www.edcarpenterracing.com/.
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!