Ed Carpenter Racing’s Rinus Veekay in the No.21 Sonax AutoGeek Chevrolet is an NTT IndyCar Series race winner after taking his first career victory in Saturday’s GMR Grand Prix of Indianapolis coming from seven on the grid to take victory.
WINNING AT INDIANAPOLIS. AT THE BEGINNING OF THE DAY, DID YOU THINK THIS COULD HAPPEN?
“I actually thought it, yeah. We had an awesome start to the weekend. I knew we had the car; we were so fast. I’m so happy for the team, so thankful. I couldn’t have done it without them. A perfect day. It’s amazing, and thank you to all the friends coming out. Getting my first podium here last year and now winning, it’s a dream.”
OVER THE FINAL FEW LAPS, WERE YOU EVER FAZED BY THE RAIN OR THEM TELLING YOU TO SAVE FUEL OR ANY OF THAT?
“I was not concerned about the fuel. I just hoped the rain was not going to get worse. I’m standing in Victory Lane.”
THE JOURNEY TO GET HERE AND HOW MUCH YOUR MOM AND DAD HAVE SUPPORTED YOU. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN TO YOU?
“It’s amazing. It’s great to have them here. It’s hard to get them overseas, but it’s a dream come true not just for me but for the team, it’s for the family, everyone at home. I’m extremely grateful. My parents sacrificed everything to get me up here. I’m extremely happy.”
JOSEF NEWGARDEN, NO. 2 SNAP-ON TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, FINISHED 4TH: “I was happy with the car yesterday (in qualifications) and I was happy with it today, too. I felt like we just got beat on pace today. We didn’t have the speed. We hung in there and finishing fourth is a decent day with this Snap-on car. Team Chevy won the race and that’s positive for all of us. We’ve had good Chevy engines to start this month, so I’m feeling positive going into the ‘500’.’’
SIMON PAGENAUD, NO. 22 MENARDS TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET FINISHED 6TH): “Finished sixth today at the GMR Grand Prix. Really happy. Massive performance improvement on the Menards Chevy today. Looking forward into the season I think we’re in a really good place. Sixth was really good today. Our group is obviously excited about what’s coming up, the Indianapolis 500, which is the No. 1 goal this year.”
SCOTT MCLAUGHLIN, NO. 3 PPG TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET (FINISHED 8TH): “Not a bad day for the PPG Chevy. We were probably a top-six car. Unfortunately, we got caught up with some backmarkers and lost a couple of spots in the pit sequence toward the end. Still, very solid for us. I feel we wanted to be in the top eight in the championship heading into the Indy 500 and that’s where we’re at. Hopefully, we can have a big week next week preparing for the biggest race of my life and come out strong. Very proud of everyone; we completed every lap and to finish in three top 10s now in a row is a cool thing.”
WILL POWER, NO. 12 VERIZON 5G CHEVROLET, (FINISHED 11TH):
“We obviously started from behind a bit with mishap in qualifying yesterday. The pace out there today was so strong that it was very difficult to make up many positions, especially when you trying to get into the top 10 or top five. I thought the pace of the Verizon 5G Chevy was good today, and if we have a better qualifying session I think we have a solid points day. Now we’ll take a couple days to prepare and get ready to start work on winning the Indianapolis 500.”
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS, NO. 14 ROKIT AJ FOYT RACING CHEVROLET (FINISHED19th): “Disappointing weekend for the No. 14 ROKiT Chevrolet. Didn’t have the qualifying we wanted and started 20th. On top of it, got fouled up at the start. I picked the outside and that’s where all the chaos ended up, so I lost a bunch of positions. Pace wasn’t great but wasn’t really bad during the race, and toward the end we’re fighting for 15th, 16th, 17th. I made a small mistake coming across the pit exit line and got a drive-thru, which put us right back where we started. Onwards and upwards. Hopefully we got that out of the way and can get a better day for the ‘500’.’’
DALTON KELLETT, NO. 4 K-LINE INSULATORS AJ FOYT RACING (FINISHED 20th): “The first race of the Month of May is wrapped up and P20 for the K-Line Chevy. It’s not exactly where we wanted to end up. As the stint went on and the track rubbered up, we were dealing with more and more understeer. We just used our tools and tried to keep on top of the tires. Consistency was better and we’re making moves from where we started, so that was good. It’s always an exciting race here. Once we got clear air I was running by myself and trying to be consistent. I think we’ve learned some valuable stuff and looking forward to coming back in a couple days and going the other way.”
CHARLIE KIMBALL, NO. 11 TRESIBA AJ FOYTA RACING CHEVROLET (FINISHED 22nd): “Kind of a tough day for the No. 11 Tresiba Chevrolet, but we accomplished all our goals. Not the result we wanted, but at the same time we ran almost all the laps, we had three really clean pit stops and this is a crew that hasn’t worked together until this weekend and hadn’t done any over-the-wall stops until warmup this morning. So the fact that they were able to get three really good stops during the race is was a really good thing. It lays a very solid foundation as we head into the week of practice for the Indianapolis 500. I’m looking forward to continue working with Sebastien (Bourdais) and Dalton (Kellett).”