CONOR DALY FIGHTS TO THE FINISH OF THE ACURA GRAND PRIX OF LONG BEACH
Rinus VeeKay’s 2021 Campaign Ends Early Due to Electrical Issue
(LONG BEACH, Calif.) September 26, 2021 – Race Notes
– When the checkered flag flew after 85 laps through the downtown streets of Long Beach, Calif., so too ended the 2021 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season. Ed Carpenter Racing drivers Rinus VeeKay and Conor Daly did not have the results they were hoping for in today’s Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach. VeeKay’s second season ended early due to an electrical issue in the middle of the race and he was credited with a 25th place finish. Daly was working his way forward when late in the race, he had to drive into a run-off area to avoid contact with another competitor. Falling a lap behind the field, Daly earned the 21st finishing position.
– Though abbreviated, VeeKay’s race was full of action. On the opening lap, his front wing was damaged when multiple cars got tangled in the hairpin. He was able to continue and benefited by gaining six positions. With a car stopped on track on Lap 19, VeeKay ducked into the pit lane in anticipation of a caution. It was waved much later than expected, putting VeeKay on the wrong end the field. Four laps later, his fortunes changed when there was another caution. He then vaulted forward, vaulting up 12 spots. After reaching the Top 10, the No. 21 SONAX Chevrolet began to slow unexpectedly and VeeKay lost 10 spots in only a handful of laps. The problem was diagnosed as a fuel pressure issue and though the crew worked diligently, VeeKay was not able to re-join the race. His second season of NTT INDYCAR competition ended on Lap 49 and he was credited with a 25th place finish.
– Daly’s season finale was also eventful. He deftly avoided the opening lap contact and moved up five positions. Where VeeKay stopped on the second caution, Daly stopped on the third. He was running as high as 8th before making his first pit stop. On Lap 62, Daly was forced into the a run-off area to avoid contact with another competitor and the car stalled. While waiting for the No. 20 U.S. Air Force Chevrolet to be re-fired, Daly fell one lap behind the field. As he was the only car on that lap, he was unable to make up any additional positions. Daly finished 21st in the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach.
– Earlier this morning, it was announced that VeeKay will remain with Ed Carpenter Racing next season. The 2022 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season will begin on February 27, 2022 with the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.
CONOR DALY, No. 20 U.S. Air Force Chevrolet, Finished 21st: “The U.S. Air Force crew did a fantastic job in the pits today. We jumped guys every time we stopped and put ourselves with a really strong group. We were having the best day we could have, but sadly another competitor took that away from us. I’m still very confused about what [Oliver] Askew was trying to do there on cold tires. This is a street circuit, it’s really hard to brake off-line and he had no hope of making that corner. When you force someone off the track, you’re not supposed to crash yourself at the same time! It’s a shame, but I am thankful my guys stuck with me this weekend. It was very challenging, but we had some pace at the end and were on the right strategy.”
RINUS VEEKAY, No. 21 SONAX Chevrolet, Finished 25th: “How badly I wanted to finish this season on a high, for the fans, Ed Carpenter Racing, and myself! We were having an awesome race and were looking at a very likely Top 10 before a fuel pressure issue ended my race. It’s frustrating to end the season this way, but now we look forward to next season and more yeet!”