VeeKay on the IndyCar grid for the 50th time

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His debut doesn’t even seem that far off, but Rinus ‘VeeKay’ van Kalmthout can start for the 50th time this Sunday in a race for the NTT INDYCAR SERIES Championship.

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It was on Saturday June 6, 2020 that the stands around the Texas Motor Speedway remained closed due to sanitary measures and that a young man then aged 19 and from Hoofddorp appeared at the start of a competition at the highest level. motorsport for the first time. time in his life. A lot has happened since: VeeKay is now a resident of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, can qualify as IndyCar Race winner and 2020 Rookie of the Year, has been on the IndyCar podium multiple times, has achieved multiple pole positions, was crowned the fastest teenager in Indianapolis Motor Speedway history, became the youngest front row starter in the Indianapolis 500, completing 49 races to date.

This weekend at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama, will therefore be special. At the circuit where he followed a pole position with a podium finish last year, and battled from a battered position to a solid sixth place overall a year earlier, VeeKay is entering an IndyCar race for 50th time. For the 50th time he will compete on behalf of the Ed Carpenter Racing team and for the 50th time the Dutchman will do so in the #21 Chevrolet, this year fitted with BitNile support.

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The 2023 season has proven to be difficult for VeeKay so far. In the season opener in St. Petersburg, a fight with Josef Newgarden cost him a good points result, while in Texas he had to fight from the backfield after being asked to complete qualifying in some fashion. Despite the high level of difficulty, VeeKay climbed from 26th to a respectable 11th in the first oval race of the year. At the last meeting in Long Beach, the fuel pump failed, just as VeeKay was able to take a strong position in battles on the track.

VeeKay is therefore keen to have a good weekend and let Barber Motorsports Park be the place where he and his employer normally show their strength. The talented twenty-something is therefore hopeful of making a turnaround in Alabama.

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“Reaching 50 starts in IndyCar is a special milestone,” said Alabama’s VeeKay. “I am extremely grateful to everyone who contributed to this anniversary. Ed Carpenter trusted me from the start and gave me my chance for the 2020 season. I am grateful to him to this day. »

“50 is a nice number, but of course I strive to do a lot more. My goal is to be part of the IndyCar pack for many years to come because I want to become an IndyCar champion and win the Indianapolis 500. I see myself staying in the United States for years to come.

“I have fond memories of Barber Motorsports Park, where I took the second pole position of my IndyCar career last year. A second victory this weekend would be great, but nothing is predictable in this lot. very competitive. Given the mutual relationship, I would definitely be happy with a top-five finish in my first anniversary race,” VeeKay concludes with a feisty streak.

The Children’s of Alabama Indy Grand Prix at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama will begin next Sunday, April 30 at around 9:30 p.m. Dutch time. As always, the action can be followed live via Ziggo Sport Racing.

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