Ed Carpenter Racing confirmed today that Rinus VeeKay will remain the driver of its No. 21 Chevrolet for the full 2021 NTT IndyCar Series season.
“I am very happy to be back with Ed Carpenter Racing in 2021,” said 20-year-old Dutchman, who will clinch Rookie of the Year honors when he stars this afternoon’s Firestone GP of St. Petersburg. “I feel like an entirely different driver than I was at the beginning of the year. The team has been so patient with me and given me every opportunity to learn as much as possible. I have a great group of guys around me and I can’t wait to have that same amazing support next year.”
VeeKay’s first year of IndyCar competition has been full of milestones. In only his second race, the INDYCAR Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, he earned his first top-five finish. By starting fourth in the Indianapolis 500, he recorded the best qualifying result by a teenager in Indianapolis 500 history. The only Chevrolet-powered driver in the Fast Nine Shootout, VeeKay was also the fastest rookie in the field. The following week, he recorded his highest oval finish of the year at WWT Raceway with a fourth place.
When VeeKay returned to the IMS road course for the Harvest GP, he won his first series pole position, led the first laps of his Indy car career and earned his first podium finish. VeeKay will be Chevrolet’s first Rookie of the Year since 1992.
“The 2020 NTT IndyCar Series is one that we will never forget. With all the challenges that have been presented, limited track time and schedule changes, we have seen Rinus progress rapidly from the start of the season until now,” said team owner Ed Carpenter. “It is clear to us that he has all of the tools to be a winner at this level and we look forward to climbing the podium together!”
“We have had amazing results and great achievements this year,” VeeKay added. “There is even more possible next year when we get back to a normal schedule. I am really looking forward to doubling my knowledge and not being a rookie. However, there will still be a few new tracks for me with the street courses. I will give it my all and make next season as good as possible.”