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RACE NOTES – 107th Running of the Indianapolis 500

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8th: CONOR DALY No. 20 BITNILE.COM Chevrolet
10th: RINUS VEEKAY No. 21 BITNILE.COM Chevrolet
20th: ED CARPENTER No. 33 BITNILE.COM Chevrolet

NEXT RACE: Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix, June 4 (NBC, 3 p.m. ET)

CONOR DALY, NO. 20 BITNILE.COM CHEVROLET

CONOR DALY, No. 20 BITNILE.COM Chevrolet, Finished 8th:  “We had a great car all month and we were so competitive. There were a few things that held us back. Our car was competitive – we kept moving up even if something happened. I loved feeling like we had a shot at it, but difficult to attack on restarts. Thank you to the BITNILE.COM crew for getting me back up front again. Congratulations to Josef (Newgarden) – he is INDYCAR’s best representative and he is a deserving champion.” 

OF NOTE: 

Conor Daly competed in his 10th Indianapolis 500 today, rolling off from the 16th position. He slipped back two spots on the start, but regained one and settled into 17th. Quick work by the No. 20 BITNILE Chevrolet crew gained Daly two positions on this first stop. His forward progression continued and after his second pit stop, he was just outside of the Top 10.

• At the midway point of the race, Daly was running 10th; by his 4th pit stop, he was in 7th. A smart strategy call during the second caution period to not pit and stay with the leaders all but solidified a Top 10 finish. However, the closing laps of the race held numerous cautions and red flags. Daly remained focused until the end and brought home an 8th place finish, his second-best in the Indy 500 to date.

RINUS VEEKAY, NO. 21 BITNILE.COM CHEVROLET

RINUS VEEKAY, No. 21 BITNILE.COM Chevrolet, Finished 10th: “We were doing well saving fuel and with our strategy until the contact in pit lane. After the drive through penalty we were almost a lap down, but we fought back to eighth until we got squeezed into turn one with people crashing. We came home tenth – a step up from last year.” 

OF NOTE: 

• Rinus VeeKay started from the second position, the third time in three years he took the green flag from the front row. By Lap 3, he was in the lead of the Indianapolis 500. For the duration of their first and second stints, pole sitter Alex Palou and VeeKay swapped the lead. 

• After his second pit stop on Lap 64, VeeKay cycled into third. Saving fuel, he slid back one position to 4th. The first caution of the day brought the entire field in for their third stops on Lap 94. On exit, the rear of VeeKay’s car slipped and he made contact with Palou. He fell to 8th, but a drive through penalty for avoidable contact dropped him to the rear of the field. 

• VeeKay re-entered the race in 28th, a half a lap behind the field on the 2.5-mile oval. VeeKay stayed focused and used the next 97 laps to work his way back forward. The final 15 laps of the race were marred with cautions and red flags and VeeKay used each opportunity to his advantage. By the 200th and final lap, VeeKay had climbed all the way back into the Top 10 and finished 10th. 

ED CARPENTER, NO. 33 BITNILE.COM CHEVROLET

ED CARPENTER, No. 33 BITNILE.COM Chevrolet, Starting 13th:  “At the end of the day, we had a mistake coming into pit lane. It was a weird communication, but I take responsibility for it. I should have gone another lap. Then these red flags cause situations and some of these guys are just dumb. Like the incident that ended my day, we were running 18th and not going to win the race. (Christian) Luungard looks stupid. We need to use our heads when the racing is so close and aggressive. Open-wheel racing has to have a certain level of respect, but we see so much unprofessional racing out there which is disappointing. But to not be totally poopy, the crowd was awesome. Good job to Josef (Newgarden) – who is an alum of ECR. He will be a great champion. It is painful to watch anyone win this race, but I am proud of him and Team Chevy. The BITNILE.COM Chevys were strong. We got to the front at one point, but we weren’t there when it counted. We will keep coming back.”

OF NOTE: 

This afternoon, Ed Carpenter made his 20th Indianapolis 500 start. He took the green flag from the inside of Row 5 in 13th. For the first half of the race, he maintained a position between 12th and 14th. After slipping back to 19th, he elected to make his next pit stop early. The move immediately paid dividends and he slotted into the 7th position. 

•  Under caution on Lap 152, he stopped with everyone on his same strategy. He had cycled back up to 7th and was running with the leaders of the race. After his final pit stop on Lap 179, he was hit with a drive-through penalty for a pit lane speed violation and fell to 25th. 

•  Carpenter’s race came to end four laps early as he was involved in a multi-car incident coming to a restart on Lap 196. He was hit from behind and driven into the inside wall on the front stretch with no opportunity to avoid. The No. 33 BITNILE.COM Chevrolet was retired from the event and Carpenter was credited with a 20th place finish. 

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