Ed Carpenter Racing’s Conor Daly in the No.20 BitNile Chevrolet had a great Indianapolis 500 on Sunday. The Indiana native started his tenth Indianapolis 500 from 16th place and came through the day’s carnage to finish the race inside the top=ten in eighth place. Speaking following the race, Daly commented saying:
We had a great car all month and we were so competitive. There were a few things that held us back. Our car was competitive – we kept moving up even if something happened. I loved feeling like we had a shot at it, but difficult to attack on restarts. Thank you to the BITNILE.COM crew for getting me back up front again. Congratulations to Josef (Newgarden) – he is INDYCAR’s best representative and he is a deserving champion.
Rinus VeeKay in the No.21 BitNile Chevrolet started the race from 2nd on the grid, and by lap three, he was in the lead of the race for both their first and second pit stints, VeeKay and pole-sitter Alex Palou for Chip Ganassi Racing traded the lead. The first caution of the day came on lap 94, just shy of the halfway point of the Greatest Spectacle In Racing, and when he came down pit road for service from his team, VeeKay received a drive-through penalty for avoidable contact on pit road when he made contact with Alex Palou.
The Dutch driver returned to the track following his penalty in 28th place, half a lap down on the field. VeeKay recovered in the closing stages of the race to finish the event in tenth place, and speaking following the race, he said:
We were doing well saving fuel and with our strategy until the contact in pit lane. After the drive through penalty we were almost a lap down, but we fought back to eighth until we got squeezed into turn one with people crashing. We came home tenth – a step up from last year.
Team owner Ed Carpenter in the No.33 BitNile Chevrolet started his 20th Indianapolis 500 in 13th place and maintained steady progress during the race but was forced to retire from the race just four laps from the end of the race after being caught up in a multi-car accident and was classified in 20th place. Speaking following the race, Carpenter said:
At the end of the day, we had a mistake coming into pit lane. It was a weird communication, but I take responsibility for it. I should have gone another lap. Then these red flags cause situations and some of these guys are just dumb. Like the incident that ended my day, we were running 18th and not going to win the race. (Christian) Luungard looks stupid. We need to use our heads when the racing is so close and aggressive. Open-wheel racing has to have a certain level of respect, but we see so much unprofessional racing out there which is disappointing. But to not be totally poopy, the crowd was awesome. Good job to Josef (Newgarden) – who is an alum of ECR. He will be a great champion. It is painful to watch anyone win this race, but I am proud of him and Team Chevy. The BITNILE.COM Chevys were strong. We got to the front at one point, but we weren’t there when it counted. We will keep coming back.”