VeeKay onto the Shootout, while Daly and Carpenter have spots locked in, a look at their days on Saturday from IMS

INDIANAPOLIS — For the 11th straight year, Ed Carpenter Racing will have a driver in the Pole Day Shootout. However, for just the second time since 2017, boss Ed Carpenter won’t be in it.

Carpenter has now qualified for his 20th Indianapolis 500. The 42-year-old is locked into the 13th starting position and will roll off from the inside of Row 5 next Sunday. He made three qualifying attempts today, with his first of the day holding as his fastest at 232.689 mph. The difference between Carpenter’s best run and that of Will Power, who was 12th, was less than .02 of a second.

“I think we should have gotten in, but we had one awkward downshift that probably will show in the data as the difference. That is how close things are in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES. I am disappointed for the team and BITNILE.COM since this is not what we are accustomed to. Our race cars are some of the best I have had in many, many years in race trim. We will be here to support Rinus (VeeKay) tomorrow. It is exciting to watch, but sad to be this close to the outside.”  

Carpenter is the only individual in the 33-car field who handles both the responsibility of driving and owning his own team. The Indianapolis native solidified his status as a hometown favorite by winning the pole position in 2013 and 2014; in 2018, he became just the 10th driver to collect three or more Indy 500 poles in the century-plus history of the race. Some of his strongest finishes have come in recent years, including a runner-up finish after leading the most laps in 2018 and a 5th place in 2021. 

His teammate Conor Daly won’t be in the shootout either.

For the 10th time, Conor Daly has qualified for the Indianapolis 500. His four-lap average of 232.433 mph had him 17th overall, until a car re-qualified and did not improve his time causing him to fall behind. The first of Daly’s three qualifying attempts held as his fastest and earned him the 16th starting position in next Sunday’s 500-mile race

“We put in a lot of effort today and compared to last year, being able to stay closer to the setup that Ed (Carpenter) and Rinus (VeeKay) like to use here is a personal accomplishment. We are better than we were last year and that is a step in the right direction. Obviously now, we want to look ahead to the race. I can’t wait to race here. I appreciate everyone’s effort today and excited to just get to the race, which is the most important day.”

Born and raised in nearby Noblesville, Ind., Daly has grown to be a hometown favorite in the Indianapolis 500. Beginning in 2020, Daly has competed with Ed Carpenter Racing. When he charged to the front in 2021, he not only paced the field for the first time but would go on to lead the most laps of all drivers. In 2022, Daly led once again and finished a career-best sixth. In addition to this year’s Indianapolis 500 being his 10th, the 31-year-old also made his 100th career NTT INDYCAR SERIES start last month.

Rinus VeeKay though is their best and only shot at pole.

For the fourth time in four years, Rinus VeeKay will have a shot at the Indianapolis 500 pole position. VeeKay set the fourth-fastest four-lap average of the day at 233.395 mph. Only .003 mph separated him from the 3rd-fastest qualifier. He easily advanced to tomorrow’s Top Twelve and will have a chance to make up to two more four-lap runs as he works towards his official starting position. 

“I am very happy today,” he says. “And to make it through to the Fast 12 with just one run was great. Tomorrow will be tough. There are some fast guys. I definitely think we will make it through to the Fast Six, but no matter what I will be flat.”

By starting 4th in his first “500” in 2020, he recorded the best qualifying result by a teenager in Indy 500 history at the age of 19. In 2021, he became the youngest front row qualifier ever when he started 3rd and finished a career-best 8th. Last year, VeeKay was the fastest on Day 1 of qualifying and set, at the time, the 4th-fastest 4-lap average speed in the 106 years of the Indianapolis 500. He would ultimately start on the outside of the front row for the second year in a row, making him the fastest Chevrolet-powered driver in the field for the third consecutive year.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s