ED CARPENTER RACING READIES FOR FINAL OVAL RACE OF THE 2021 SEASON
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-and-a-half 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.”
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