Rinus VeeKay is off to a strong start to his third season in the NTT INDYCAR Series. The Dutch driver has scored back-to-back Top 10 finishes in the first two events of 2022 and sits 7th in points at the moment.
In the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, he made his first Firestone Fast 6 appearance in qualifying and finished 6th. In the most recent event at Texas Motor Speedway, he took the checkered flag in 10th. He led laps during both events and currently sits 7th in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES season standings.
Now, he heads to Long Beach in hopes of not only another top 10 result, but to take care of some “unfinished business” there too.
“We have some unfinished business in Long Beach,” he said via a team release ahead of Sunday’s Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach (3 p.m. ET, NBC, INDYCAR Radio Network). “Last year, we had a tough weekend and ended the season with a mechanical issue. We know we can do a lot better. We found a lot of information over the winter that we can use, I can’t wait to see what we’ve got. I love the event; I love the track. I am very excited to go to the west coast and rock around the streets of Long Beach.”
The 2021 Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach was VeeKay’s first-ever race on the historic street circuit. VeeKay reached the NTT INDYCAR SERIES after a successful three-year ascent of the Road to Indy ladder, but the Long Beach course was not a part of those schedules. In 2020, his rookie NTT INDYCAR SERIES year, the race was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The thing for this year is, VeeKay hopes to sustain the early season success and help it carry him over to a solid outing for the entire year. Last season, he had 6 top 10’s in the first 7 races including his first career trip to victory lane in May on the IMS road course to go along with a runner-up in Belle Isle.
Then came his biking accident which sidelined him due to a clavicle injury for Road America. After that happened, he wasn’t the same. The remaining 7 races saw him finish outside the top 15.
Now, with a fresh start, he’s back to where he was at this time a year ago. Can he sustain it?