The 20-year-old sequence sophomore drove to a 5 second victory over rookie polesitter Romain Grosjean on Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s roadcourse, the place final July he scored his first prime 5, and final October he scored his first pole and first podium end.
VeeKay, who was accompanied for the end result by his dad and mom, stated the end result felt “surreal” as he grew to become the primary Dutchman to win an Indycar race since Robert Doornbos at San Jose in 2007.
“I’ve by no means cried once I gained a race, however I’ve completed as we speak. So did my dad and mom,” VeeKay stated.
“It is simply superb. Their lives have revolved round me for a really very long time to make this doable for me, and I am extraordinarily grateful.
“I’ve lastly completed it. It simply feels surreal.
“I feel I’ll form of get the sensation extra as soon as I get up tomorrow morning, but it surely’s simply nice that they are often right here and revel in this second with me.”
Race winner Rinus VeeKay, Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet
Picture by: Barry Cantrell / Motorsport Images
Concerning his success on the two.439-mile IMS roadcourse, VeeKay stated: “I like this observe, particularly when you will have an excellent automotive. It is at all times extra enjoyable. It is a observe that basically fits me. Bought to be fast, however you too can assault and go, and there is many, many alternatives to maneuver ahead. That is precisely what I may do as we speak, so I am very comfortable. Actually should thank the staff.
“This morning, we began within the warmup quickest lap time. In fact, would not say an excessive amount of, however the automotive felt superb, excellent on the long term, despite the fact that we solely ran blacks. However then we went to the reds, realized from final 12 months as a result of we had many races right here, that the reds had been excellent in the long term, and [we] had an awesome skill to go different vehicles, and technique was superb by the staff. So every little thing was simply on it.
“A tremendous day, and positively one I’ll bear in mind for the remainder of my life.”
Following an early second pitstop, VeeKay was on alternate compound Firestones when he encountered one in all his prime rivals Alex Palou being inadvertently held up by his Chip Ganassi Racing-Honda teammate Jimmie Johnson who emerged from his second cease on the identical time. Palou on chilly major compound tires was struggling to get them as much as temperature and get round Johnson because the trio headed onto the again straight.
Johnson moved proper to let Palou previous, however Palou needed to transfer arduous left as he was warned to defend from the rapidly-approaching VeeKay. The Ed Carpenter automotive had simply sufficient momentum to drive between them and go Palou across the exterior into Flip 7.
Describing the second, VeeKay stated: “I noticed they had been popping out of pit lane, however I knew they had been teammates, so that they have chilly tires. I had simply hit form of the height of my tires on the reds, so I knew I needed to get by and form of get a niche.
“Alex defended on the again straight. Jimmie drove the traditional line. There was nearly one automotive width house between them and I went for it. I knew there have been loads of marbles on observe, so did not need to get the tires too soiled, so I caught it between there, and I do know Jimmie is a brilliant driver, identical for Alex, and yeah, form of hoped they’d see me, they usually did.
“I used to be very comfortable that I may stick that transfer, and positively gave me a giant adrenaline kick!… I like passing. As spectacular as doable can be good!…I am very, very comfortable that I’ve bought the automotive to do it with. Undoubtedly makes passing an entire lot simpler.”