RACE NOTES: IMS Road Course
5th: CONOR DALY No. 20 BitNile Chevrolet
23rd: RINUS VEEKAY No. 21 Building Tomorrow Chevrolet
NEXT RACE: 106th Running of the Indianapolis 500, May 29 (NBC, 11 a.m. ET)
CONOR DALY, NO. 20 BITNILE CHEVROLET
CONOR DALY, No. 20 BitNile Chevrolet, Finished 19th: “It was a tough race today. Obviously qualifying yesterday hurt us as it would have been good to start farther up. But now we’ve got the month of May coming up and we’ve been fast on both the road course and the oval at IMS, so we’ll focus on that now and get this BitNile Chevy back towards the front!”
• Prior to the beginning of today’s GMR Grand Prix, the race was declared a wet start after rain had moved through the area. Conor Daly, who had a career-best qualifying effort at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway yesterday, started 4th on a set of wet Firestone Firehawks. The track surface quickly dried and he stopped for a set of sticker reds on Lap 3.
• In addition to being tasked with the challenge of saving fuel, Daly struggled to find grip on his set of red tires. He slid from 5th to 17th and made his second pit stop for another set of reds on Lap 28. From there, he began his charge back to the front and had re-entered the Top 10 in just 20 laps.
• The closing laps of the race were marred with cautions as intermittent rain moved through the area. On Lap 59, the No. 20 BitNile Chevrolet crew switched Daly to another set of red Firehawks. Conditions quickly deteriorated and two laps later, he came back in for wet tires. Daly managed the conditions and continued to move forward. By the checkered flag of what became a timed race, Daly finished 5th, his best finish with Ed Carpenter Racing to date.
RINUS VEEKAY, NO. 21 BUILDING TOMORROW CHEVROLET
RINUS VEEKAY, No. 21 Building Tomorrow Chevrolet, Finished 3rd : “It was going really well. The SONAX car was really super fast even saving fuel. Then that last pit stop I was a little too on the brakes turning into five and that’s where he (Pato O’Ward) got me. Then I lost some time and Alex Palou got me and we dropped to third. Normally I should be the happiest guy on earth with a podium, but now…but we are headed to the Indy Road Course and that’s been good for us, and then the 500. I feel ready and excited to get there.”
• Rinus VeeKay qualified 15th for today’s GMR Grand Prix, but knew he had a much faster car. After starting his first-ever NTT INDYCAR SERIES race on wet Firestone Firehawk tires, he also stopped on the third lap for a set of red slicks. A solid stop by the No. 21 Building Tomorrow Chevrolet crew gained him three positions and he had worked his way into the Top 10 by Lap 12.
• Just after a restart on Lap 21, VeeKay was pushed off track by another competitor into the rain-slickened grass. He slid back onto the track, where the rear of the No. 21 was struck. The car sustained heavy damage to the undertray, but quick work by the crew got him back out on track. A lap down to the field, it became about perseverance for VeeKay from that point onward.
• VeeKay had become the recipient of a late-race wave around, but the rain had already picked back up by that point and he spun before he had a change to take a second set of wet tires. He was able to continue and would eventually finish in the 23rd position, two laps down to the field.