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QUALIFYING NOTES: Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg

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STARTING POSITIONS

7th: RINUS VEEKAY No. 21 askROI Chevrolet
21st: CHRISTIAN RASMUSSEN No. 20 GuyCare Chevrolet

TRACKStreets of St. Petersburg
LOCATIONSt. Petersburg, Florida, USA
TRACK LAYOUT1.8-mile, 14-turn street circuit
RACE LENGTH100 laps/180 miles

BROADCAST: Sunday – 12 p.m. ET (NBC)

CHRISTIAN RASMUSSEN, NO. 20 GUYCARE CHEVROLET

CHRISTIAN RASMUSSEN, No. 20 GuyCare Chevrolet, Qualified 21st: “I’m happy with the progress we’re making over the weekend. There are a lot of firsts and it’s no easy task to step up into the NTT INDYCAR SERIES! First time with the green Firestone tires, it just takes some learning. Rinus (VeeKay) did an amazing job in qualifying, into the Fast 12 and almost the Fast 6! We have a good car and should be able to move forward in the race tomorrow. I’m just excited for my first NTT INDYCAR SERIES race! It’s something I’ve been working towards for many years now and it’s going to be very cool!”

OF NOTE: 

• Christian Rasmussen will make his NTT INDYCAR SEASON debut in tomorrow’s Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. He made sizable gains in each session and turned his first-ever laps on Firestone’s alternate green Firehawk tires. During qualifications, he continued to improve his times and set his fastest lap of the weekend. He will start 21st in his first NTT INDYCAR SERIES race.

• The 23-year-old Dane is Ed Carpenter Racing’s newest driver and will compete in all road and street course events in the No. 20 GuyCare Chevrolet. He is only the second driver in history earn a championship in each open-wheel junior category that currently feeds the NTT INDYCAR SERIES – USF2000 (2020), USF Pro 2000 (2021) and INDY NXT (2023). 

• The No. 20 Chevrolet will compete in the colors of GuyCare for the entirety of the 2024 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season. GuyCare clinics provide discreet and confidential care, ensuring men’s health and well-being through proven therapeutic interventions and wellness programs. Clinics will open in select NTT INDYCAR SERIES race markets throughout the 2024 season. 

RINUS VEEKAY, NO. 21 ASKROI.COM CHEVROLET


RINUS VEEKAY, No. 21 askROI.COM Chevrolet, Qualified 7th: “We missed it by such a small margin! There’s always twelve-thousands more in there, but it was a good run and I’m pretty happy with it! We were so close to making it through. I am happy with qualifying and I really loved the balance of the car. Pretty much nailed it for the green Firestone tire run! Team Chevy gave me some great power, over the winter they worked hard and we can tell! Wish we were starting just a bit higher, but this is a position we can challenge for the win from!”

OF NOTE: 

Rinus VeeKay’s fifth season as an NTT INDYCAR SERIES driver was off to a quick start as he set the 5th-fastest lap time in yesterday’s opening practice session. He followed that up this morning with the 6th-fastest lap in Practice 2. After advancing to the second round of qualifying, he missed reaching the Firestone Fast 6 by a mere 0.012 of a second. He will start 7th in the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

• VeeKay has spent his entire NTT INDYCAR SERIES career with Ed Carpenter Racing and remains the team’s longest-tenured full-time driver. Raised in Hoofddorp, Netherlands, VeeKay joined ECR following a rapid ascent through the RTI which included 16 wins and 36 podiums in 48 races. After being named 2020 Rookie of the Year, VeeKay became an NTT INDYCAR SERIES race winner in May of 2021 with a victory at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

• The No. 21 Chevrolet will feature askROI.com at select events, including the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg and the 108th Running of the Indianapolis 500. askROI aims to redefine the boundaries of generative AI by providing tailored business solutions beyond the conventional scope, adapting to individuals’ or businesses’ specific data. askROI and ECR are actively exploring ways that the team can use AI to increase competitiveness.

ED CARPENTER RACING NOTES

• The 2024 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg will mark the beginning of Ed Carpenter Racing’s 13th season of NTT INDYCAR SERIES competition. ECR is led by Carpenter, the only individual in the series who handles both the responsibility of driving the racecar and owning his own team. Carpenter will race the No. 20 in the seven oval events as the team transitions back to a model it utilized for many years, splitting the car between the talents of two drivers. As one of the most experienced drivers in the field, 2024 will be Carpenter’s 22nd season of Indy car competition. He solidified his status as a hometown favorite when he scored back-to-back pole positions for the Indianapolis 500 in 2013 and 2014, then again in 2018. 

• Day-to-day operations at ECR remain under the direction of team president Tim Broyles. Brent “Woody” Harvey works side-by-side with Broyles as team manager. Indianapolis 500-winning race engineer Eric Cowdin recently joined ECR as its new Director of Development while Matt Barnes leads as Chief Engineer. Jeff Grahn has been promoted to Chief Mechanic. 

• Pete Craik continues as lead engineer for the No. 20 while longtime team member Jimmie Johnson has moved up to crew chief. On the No. 21, Barnes serves as VeeKay’s lead engineer. Crew chief has been assigned to Austin Shepherd, who held the position on Carpenter’s No. 33 last year, the team’s previous ovals-only entry. Strategists will again be Harvey for VeeKay and Broyles for the No. 20 car, a position he has held since ECR’s first race in 2012. 

• Nearly a dozen of the team’s 50 employees are original hires, including Broyles, Harvey, Barnes and Johnson.

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Streets of Long Beach

April 21, 2024 • 3 p.m. ET

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