RINUS VEEKAY PUTS ED CARPENTER RACING IN THE FAST NINE SHOOTOUT
Rookie Will Advance to Tomorrow’s Indianapolis 500 Qualifications; Ed Carpenter and Conor Daly’s Starting Positions Set
INDIANAPOLIS (August 15, 2020) – Indianapolis 500 Day 1 Qualifying Notes
– For the fifth time in as many years, Ed Carpenter Racing will have a car in the Fast Nine Shootout for the Indianapolis 500 pole position. This year, that honor lies with Dutch teenager Rinus VeeKay as the rookie qualifies for his first Indy 500. While VeeKay’s place on the grid will be determined tomorrow, teammates Ed Carpenter and Conor Daly are locked into their starting positions. Carpenter will start the 2020 Indianapolis 500 from 16th while Daly will be on the outside of the same row in 18th.
– VeeKay was the first of ECR’s three cars to make a qualification attempt after last night’s blind draw set the order. He was only the fourth of 33 cars to take to the 2.5-mile oval. The 19-year-old’s very first Indianapolis 500 qualification attempt resulted in a four-lap average of 231.114 mph. At the end of the day, the speed of his No. 21 SONAX/Autogeek Chevrolet held as the 6th fastest. VeeKay will advance to tomorrow’s Fast Nine Shootout and will have an opportunity to make a run for the pole position. He was not only the fastest rookie in today, he is also the only Chevrolet-powered driver in the Fast Nine.
– Carpenter had to wait until the middle of the day to make his first run as he was the 19th car out to qualify. His first four-lap average of 229.811 mph had him provisionally 20th on the grid. A few hours later, Carpenter returned to the track in his No. 20 U.S. Space Force Chevrolet for a second attempt. He improved to 230.211 mph, which moved him up to 15th. However, in the final minutes of qualifying, Carpenter was bumped down one spot. As positions 10-33 were locked in at the end of today’s qualifications, the 39-year-old will start next Sunday’s 500-mile race from the 16th position.
– Daly rolled out moments after Carpenter as the 25th driver to make an attempt. The 28-year-old’s average speed over four laps was 229.884 mph, which had him 19th overall. He too made a second run later in the day, increasing the average speed of his U.S. Air to 229.955 mph. He moved up to 17th on the grid, but the same late run that dropped Carpenter a position also affected Daly. He will start on Row 6, same as Carpenter, from the 18th postion.
– Tomorrow’s Fast Nine Shootout for the 2020 Indianapolis 500 pole position will take place from 1:15-2:15 p.m. ET. It will be aired live on both NBC and INDYCAR Pass via NBC Sports Gold. All three ECR drivers will return to the track for another practice session later in the day, scheduled for 3:30-6 p.m. ET.
ED CARPENTER, No. 20 U.S. Space Force Chevrolet, Qualified 16th: “Today was a day of mixed emotions. I’m very happy for Rinus and the ECR team for once again prepping fast cars. Chevrolet gave us great power today and we had a chance! We gave it all we had, but at least we have one car in the Fast Nine Shootout. I was really hoping to have the U.S. Space Force car up there, but this is the Indy 500 and you can win from anywhere! That’s still the mission.”
RINUS VEEKAY, No. 21 SONAX/Autogeek Chevrolet, Fast Nine Qualifier: “Pretty good day at the office! I was lucky yesterday with the draw and had a good run this morning. Fourth driver out and I think the temperature really helped us. We put some really good laps down and stayed super consistent. I was kind of shocked by the 231.7 on the first lap. Very pleased with that! Being the only Chevrolet driver in the Fast Nine is also something to feel good about. Tomorrow is another day. It almost feels like the hardest part is over, the waiting is so hard! Tomorrow we can just go and qualify! For the race, everything is going to be different, but we have a good racecar. I’m very confident.”
CONOR DALY, No. 47 U.S. Air Force Chevrolet, Qualified 18th: “Not the day we wanted to have here! After yesterday, we knew our car was a challenge to drive in the heat. The time of day where we drew to qualify was quite hot. I had a bit of a loose moment on the last lap, which really didn’t help the four-lap average. We went out later in the day and improved a little bit, but it was just really challenging in the heat. We know the U.S. Air Force Chevy is a going to be a good racecar, though. Ed (Carpenter) and I are starting from the same row and we can definitely move forward from there.”
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