With the odds stacked against the only two Chevy-powered drivers in the Indianapolis 500’s Fast Nine qualifying session, Ed Carpenter Racing helped the Bowtie to send a powerful message to the seven Hondas by capturing spots on the first and second rows.
Leading Chevy’s charge was ECR’s Rinus VeeKay, whose 10-mile, four-lap blast around the Speedway was good enough for P3 with a 231.511mph average in the No. 21 entry. It was his boss and team owner Ed Carpenter directly behind in P4, firing the No. 20 Chevy to an average of 231.504mph
“Chevy has been a great partner; they give us so many tools and help us thrive,” said Carpenter, the three-time Indy 500 polesitter. “There’s no better partner to have. I’m happy, we were in the hunt and we have a car on the front row. Both of our cars were extremely close, and that small gap between the two cars is a testament to ECR and the quality of cars that they build.
“Very proud to be seven-thousandths of a mile-an-hour between our cars is frickin’ awesome. That is all ECR. That is all our team; it is Chevy. 10 years as partners is amazing. It’s tough competition, whether it’s Honda versus Chevy or the two of us going against Scott Dixon and Colton Herta. We had all the power we needed to fight for the pole, they were just a little better than us today. There are so many great drivers in the series, it’s awesome to compete against them and we love the challenge. At the end of the day, we’re happy with where we’re starting the Indy 500.”
— Ed Carpenter Racing (@ECRIndy) May 23, 2021
Carpenter was especially proud of the 20-year-old Dutchman who won the last race on the Indy road course. The third member of the ECR Indy 500 trio, Conor Daly, will start P19.
“Rinus is the real deal, I’m proud of him,” Carpenter said. “He’s a resilient kid, he learns and keeps getting better. He’s going to be tough to beat next Sunday; I’m as worried about him as anyone. But we’ll be in a great spot for the race, with my teammate in front of me, so we’ll tune up the car today and Carb Day and be ready for next Sunday.”