Thursday, May 30, 2024

RACE NOTES: Sonsio Grand Prix at Road America

12: RINUS WEEKAY No. 21 Chevrolet Direct Supply
17: RYAN HUNTER-REAY No. 20 BITNILE.COM Chevrolet

NEXT RACE: Mid-Ohio Sports Car CourseJuly 2 (USA Network, 1:30 p.m. ET)

RYAN HUNTER-REAY, NO. 20 BITNILE.COM CHEVROLET

RYAN HUNTER-REAY, No. 20 BitNile Chevrolet, finished 17th: “Overall, I think it was a pretty positive day in that we have a direction for the future. We had a couple of setbacks today, we had to use a bunch of Firestone primaries that were just all over the road. Unfortunately we had to pit for tires and here at Road America, you have to pit for fuel on an empty tank. This put our race on a different path and from there, we had to save a lot of fuel. We could only do what we could do. Going up 10 points today was a good start and there were a lot of positives behind the scenes.”

FOR NOTE:

After an incident in qualifying yesterday, Ryan Hunter-Reay had to start from last position in his first race with Ed Carpenter Racing and the first NTT INDYCAR SERIES race on a road course since 2021. He got off to a strong start , moving up four positions on the first lap alone and was running 23rd when the first full-course caution was called on Lap 2. He started the race on alternate red Firestone Firehawks and had completed the minimum two laps at that complex, he took advantage of caution and made his first stop for the Firehawks black sticker.

• He resumed his charge to the front, moving up to 19th before his second pit stop. Anticipating another full course caution, Hunter-Reay entered the infield lane with most of the field on lap 12. Running 18th on the restart, he held the position until a Lap 25 yellow flag pitted the field for another round of pit stops. stops the following lap.

• Hunter-Reay continued to have heated battles with the cars around him, using every available opportunity to gain positions. Although he was tasked with hitting a difficult fuel number after his last stop on lap 40, Hunter-Reay defended and held his position. By the checkered flag, he had gained 10 places and finished the race in 17th place.

RINUS WEEKAY, NO. 21 DIRECT SUPPLY CHEVROLET

RINUS WEEKAY, No. 21 BITNILE.COM Chevrolet, complete 12: “Very happy! It was a rollercoaster race. I got a penalty leaving the pit but I didn’t have time to stop or I would have held up the other guy even more. I just kept calm and hoped for the best. It was quite a harsh penalty, going all the way to the back. From then on, we maximized the day. I was P23 and went all the way back to P12. Very happy, car felt good. I could really attack on the restarts and that’s how I went forward. It was a pleasure to drive the Supply car directly! If we didn’t have the penalty we could have had a Top 10 but we maximized what we had so I’m happy. It was a fun race at my favorite track! This is the first time in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES that I’ve had a fun race at Road America. It was a pretty good job from Ryan (Hunter-Reay) too in his first race back! Good day for the team and for mid-Ohio!”

FOR NOTE:

• Rinus VeeKay qualified 15th for the Sonsio Grand Prix today at Road America, but didn’t stay in that position for long. With the first caution on lap 2, VeeKay moved up four positions to 11th. Contact with another competitor cost him several points and he eventually dropped back to his starting position of 15th.

• He stretched his opening set of black Firestone Firehawk tires until lap 12, when he made his first pit stop before the second caution of the day. A few laps later, VeeKay was penalized for an unsafe pit lane release. The penalty was to drop from 12th, where he was running after the pit stop, to 23rd. Since he was sent to the back of the field, he brought the Direct Supply Chevrolet No. 21 for an extra stop, including fresh tires and a full load of fuel.

• After his third pit stop under caution on lap 26, VeeKay got back to business. Running 20th before the restart, he gained seven positions in six laps to move up to 13th. He made his final pit stop on lap 41 and focused on the closing laps. He took another place with eight laps to go, putting himself in 12th position to finish the race.

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