Crash causes Rinus VeeKay to miss out on top result
For Rinus ‘VeeKay’ van Kalmthout, a nasty thud in the SAFER barrier coming out of turn two marked the unpleasant end of a memorable Month of May of 2022, as the 21-year old Dutchman crashed out after 38 of the Indianapolis 500’s 200 laps.
On Sunday afternoon, VeeKay started as one of the favourites in the 106th edition of the legendary race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the sixth race in the 2022 NTT IndyCar Series. The talented twentysomething had qualified an incredible third during last weekend’s qualifying sessions to be the fastest Chevrolet driver – and with VeeKay’s familiar fighting spirit, a victory seemed within his grasp.
In his third appearance at the Indianapolis 500 behind the wheel of the all-orange #21 Bitcoin Racing Team with BitNile Chevrolet, VeeKay was able to compete with frontrunners Scott Dixon and Alex Palou in the early stages of the Indy 500. After the first series of pit stops, the Fort Lauderdale resident easily held on among the top three before quickly working his way past Dixon into second place.
Then, unfortunately, it akk stopped. Shortly after entering the 39th lap of the race, the rear of VeeKay’s car came loose entering the second of four corners, sending the Ed Carpenter Racing car flying backwards towards the wall. VeeKay was unable to avoid contact with the barrier and crashed hard. The young Dutchman was able to get out of the car under his own power and suffered no injuries as a result.
“I'm really bummed”, VeeKay said from the United States. “It was tough today, the track didn’t have as much grip as last weekend and we had to adjust to that. In the early stages I was able to keep up. The car was good and I was convinced we could have fought for the top positions. Unfortunately, I lost the rear at Turn 2.”
“There’s not much I could have done differently. I was surprised by a moment of oversteer and lost the car before I knew it. For now, I want to check back with the team exactly what happened, before I make a harsh judgment on what cost us a nice classification. It hurts to watch the majority of the race as a spectator, but I'm grateful to Ed Carpenter Racing, Team Chevy and Todd Ault of BitNile for this special May morning.”
“My goal is to win the Indianapolis 500 and for the third year running I’ve gained a lot of the experience needed to accomplish that goal. The Speedway chooses its own winner and today it wasn’t me, but I’m going to do everything I can to be one in the future.”
The 2022 NTT IndyCar Series will continue at Belle Isle Park street circuit next weekend, when the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix is scheduled to take place. Unlike previous years, there will only be one race in Michigan. This Sunday, June 5, the start of the race will be at 21:30 hours Dutch time.