The Ed Carpenter Racing-Chevrolet driver led 33 of the race’s 85 laps, carving by from seventh on the grid to beat polesitter and early race pace-setter Romain Grosjean and dominate the ultimate stint.
VeeKay’s triumph means he’s the primary driver for the reason that Highway To Indy was formalised in 2010 to win in all three junior classes – USF2000, Indy Professional 2000 [née Pro Mazda] and Indy Lights – after which win on the prime stage.
In 2017, VeeKay scored three wins and 9 different podiums on his option to second in USF2000, driving for Pabst Racing.
The next season in Professional Mazda, he delivered the championship to Juncos Racing with seven wins and three podiums, whereas for Indy Lights in 2019 he remained with Juncos and scored six wins and 7 different podiums to complete runner-up.
Race winner Rinus VeeKay, Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet
Photograph by: Barry Cantrell / Motorsport Images
VeeKay has additionally been constantly sturdy on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s 2.439-mile highway course, taking podiums there in all three Highway To Indy classes – together with a win in Indy Lights. Then in his rookie IndyCar season with Carpenter’s crew final yr which ultimately resulted within the Rookie of the 12 months title, he scored his first top-five end on Indy Highway course in July, whereas in October’s double-header there, the Harvest Grand Prix, he took his first pole and first podium.
“It is superb,” mentioned the 20-year-old Dutchman. “In fact my first-ever take a look at in USF2000 in that new automotive was right here. That was the Chris Griffis [Memorial] take a look at in 2016. So yeah, simply superb to have a lot expertise on this monitor and undergo all of the ladder programs and win races and know easy methods to race right here… I am very grateful for what the Highway to Indy has executed to me.”
He later expanded on the purpose, stating: “It is positively distinctive that there is a scholarship system. It actually prepares you. You are at all times driving earlier than IndyCar in the identical weekends, and also you see the IndyCars going and you may see the races in actual life however you can too race on the tracks you are going to race in an IndyCar.
“I’ve executed many passes, many laps on this monitor earlier than in all kinds of vehicles, and it positively ready me. I knew the whole lot that would occur in each nook, each situation, simply due to the Highway To Indy. So very grateful that I had the chance to try this and achieve success within the Highway to Indy, and yeah, present that for those who can win in Highway to Indy, you’ll be able to win an IndyCar race.”
VeeKay additionally acknowledged the assistance he obtained from fellow Dutchman Arie Luyendyk, who now works as a steward in IndyCar Race Management. Luyendyk, now 67, scored seven wins, together with two Indy 500 triumphs, and 5 poles – three of which got here within the 500.
“Arie has been round for a really very long time,” mentioned VeeKay. “I truly met him on the Indy 500 in 2016, right here in Indianapolis on the Union Jack’s Pub in a meet-and-greet!
“It is nice to have Arie right here, and yeah, he has given me loads of suggestions but additionally excellent steering about watching out for any rule adjustments. Him being an official or steward, he provides me good suggestions and plenty of reminders that basically assist me out. Yeah, simply little suggestions and loads of good ambiance he provides to me so I can win the race.”
His victory, only a day earlier than the fifth anniversary of Max Verstappen’s first System 1 win, would imply so much to his compatriots, mentioned VeeKay.
“I might already see many VeeKay followers right here,” he mentioned, “however I believe that is positively an enormous step ahead. I form of proved myself at the moment, so I believe Dutch individuals are at all times very pleased with their countrymen, and yeah, I believe that is the most effective factor I might do at the moment to get the Dutch military larger than ever.
“In fact I form of needed to present that I might win. That was form of a strain. However now that I’ve executed it, I believe I wish to proceed doing it! Dutch followers love Dutch success, so I believe due to this, extra followers are going to observe me.
“I’ve confirmed that I can win, and yeah, I can do it extra typically. Very glad and really glad that so many Dutch individuals are following me already.”