A pair of top 10 starts for ECR in Saturday’s Gallagher Grand Prix (12 p.m. ET, NBC, INDYCAR Radio Network)

INDIANAPOLIS — Ed Carpenter Racing didn’t get a car into the Fast 6 in qualifying for Saturday’s Gallagher Grand Prix (12 p.m. ET, NBC, INDYCAR Radio Network) but they did push both through to the 2nd round on a sun filled day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Conor Daly easily advanced out of the opening round of qualifying this afternoon, setting the quickest lap of Round 1, Group 1. Rinus VeeKay also advanced to the second round of qualifying. Despite a red flag shortening Round 1, Group 2, he was still able to set the 3rd-fastest lap.

In Round 2, he sat 8th at the end of the 10-minute session. As only the six fastest cars advance, 8th would become his starting position for the Gallagher Grand Prix.

“I feel pretty good about the car, I just missed out on the Fast 6 by about a tenth,” VeeKay said after scoring his 4th top 10 start here in the last 6 tries. “The track changed a little bit in between groups, but I’m pretty happy. Starting 8th is pretty good, I have won here from 7th. “We were fast on both red and black tires, it’s going to be a fun tomorrow. Qualifying really shows the pace everyone has. It’s not going to rain or be really crazy like it was when we were here in May. It should be a good race.”

The IMS Road Course is home to many of VeeKay’s career milestones. In just the second race of his rookie season in 2020, VeeKay recorded his first Top 5 finish on the road course. When the NTT INDYCAR SERIES returned in October of that year, VeeKay earned his first pole position, led the first laps of his career and earned his first podium finish. In May 2021, he joined the ranks of race winners when he scored his first victory. 

In the second round for Daly, he turned the 10th fastest lap which will translate into his starting position in tomorrow’s Gallagher Grand Prix. It will be Daly’s 4th Top 10 start in a row on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.

“Being fastest in the first round against (Will) Power and (Josef) Newgarden is something we can really be happy about,” he said. “We’ll see what happens tomorrow, we are in a decent spot. When you start in the Top 10, you can move your way forward and hopefully end up with a podium.”

IMS is truly Daly’s home track as he was born and raised in nearby Noblesville, Ind. When the NTT INDYCAR SERIES raced on the IMS road course mid-May, Daly had his most successful weekend with ECR to date. For the second year in a row, he advanced to the Firestone Fast 6 of the GMR Grand Prix. He started 4th, and after battling both wet and dry track conditions, he earned his first Top 5 finish of the season with a 5th place.

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