RACE NOTES: Grand Prix of Portland
20th: RINUS VEEKAY No. 21 Bitcoin Racing Team Powered by BitNile Chevrolet
25th: CONOR DALY No. 20 BitNile Chevrolet
NEXT RACE: Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey, September 11 (NBC, 3 p.m. ET)
CONOR DALY, NO. 20 BITNILE CHEVROLET
CONOR DALY, No. 20 BitNile Chevrolet, Finished 20th: “If you’ve followed my career a long time, you know I’ve been on fire a few times. It felt like it was in the cockpit and it was kind of nerve-wracking for a while. I felt like my shoulder was burning, but I could see the fire was going out so I was like, ‘Let’s just keep on going.’ I was hoping that science and wind would take care of the rest of it. Usually fire does damage and this time, the clutch burned up. We honestly had no idea how much fuel was in the car either, so we were going to stop more and be out of contention anyway. It’s just such a shame. The car was really fast and I had a great start. With everyone from BitNile here, we really wanted to get them a good result. So many results have been taken away from us by things that are out of our control. That was not fun but hopefully we can just finish strong at the next one.”
• Conor Daly started 20th in today’s Grand Prix of Portland and was up three positions in only one lap. He held the position through his first pit stop on Lap 17, when he switched from his opening set of black Firestone Firehawks to red tires.
• Daly’s second pit stop came on Lap 48 and a fuel fire was ignited. As the No. 20 BitNile Chevrolet exited the pit lane, the fire extinguished itself. However, the clutch line was damaged in the fire and the car would not go into gear following the next pit stop. Daly’s race came to an early end after only 67 laps.
RINUS VEEKAY, NO. 21 BITCOIN RACING TEAM POWERED BY BITNILE CHEVROLET
RINUS VEEKAY, No. 21 Bitcoin Racing Team Powered By BitNile Chevrolet, Finished 20th: “First of all, I want to apologize to Jimmie Johnson and his team, as well as my own team, for screwing that up. I thought I was fully past him, but it was bad judgment and I was not. This is definitely a hard pill to swallow because we were having a good race. I was comfortably in P9 and I think maybe a couple more positions were possible. It’s really tough. The only thing I can do now is learn from this and end the season strong at Laguna Seca. Again, I am sorry to everyone that was hurt by my mistake.”
• Rinus VeeKay started 12th and maintained the position throughout his first stint. He switched from black Firestone Firehawks to reds early in the race, making his first pit stop on Lap 15. A second stop followed on Lap 47, when he came in from the 11th position.
• During his third stint, VeeKay raced into the Top 10 and was running 9th. On Lap 84, the first and only caution flag of the event flew after VeeKay and Jimmie Johnson made contact in Turn 1. On the ensuing restart, VeeKay was forced to serve a drive-through penalty for avoidable contact. He would finish the race in the 20th position.
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