Two faced Iowa weekend for Rinus VeeKay

Two faced Iowa weekend for Rinus VeeKay

After a strong fourth in the Saturday race and an unfortunate 10th in the Sunday race, Rinus ‘VeeKay’ van Kalmthout has split feelings about the doubleheader weekend at Iowa Speedway.


Having netted a fine fourth on the challenging Mid-Ohio circuit and keeping a cool head despite tricky conditions in the streets of Toronto, Rinus VeeKay was set to join his NTT IndyCar Series rivals at Iowa Speedway, the 0.875-mile short oval hosting the 11th and 12th rounds of the 2022 IndyCar season.



During qualifying, which took place on Saturday morning, VeeKay driving the #21 Bitcoin Racing Team with BitNile Chevrolet came on strong, the 21-year-old Dutchman recording a fine eighth time for the first race and a ninth for the second event. Iowa Speedway, also known as The Fastest Short Track on The Planet, again proved to be a track to VeeKay’s liking.


Throughout the first race, the 250-lap 250 presented by DoorDash, VeeKay steadily worked his way to the front. The one-time IndyCar race winner fought a hard duel with NASCAR record champion Jimmie Johnson, a former ovals specialist, to ultimately decide that in his favour. Meanwhile, VeeKay ran a strong race, easily keeping up with the pace of the frontrunners.


Excellent tyre management earned VeeKay his second fourth place of the month. Afterwards, the Ed Carpenter Racing driver was satisfied, despite finishing just a tenth short of keeping Will Power from third place. Nevertheless, VeeKay was proud of the fact that he bagged a top-ten finish for the fifth time in 2022.



“It was a really nice race, I enjoyed it”, said VeeKay on Saturday night. “After a good qualifying run I was able to start from the front and had some nice battles throughout the race. I am very happy with this fourth place. From the first practice session, in which I recorded the fastest time no-tow, I had the feeling that a good finish would be possible.”


“In the final stages, it was important to make the tyres work as long as possible. We made our last pit stop during the fourth caution and actually everyone was a few laps short of making it work. During the stint, it was important to keep the tyres in one piece and I managed to do that, allowing me to overtake a couple of rivals at the end.”



The 300-lap Hy-Vee Salute to Farmers 300 presented by Google was run on Sunday. After a grid penalty for one of his competitors, VeeKay was again able to start from eighth. The Dutchman maintained his position in the top ten and as always had some nice fights with his rivals.


A very unlucky caution period ruined VeeKay’s race. After the Dutchman had gone in for his second stop on lap 117, three laps later an accident called for a Full Course Yellow. While VeeKay had pitted under green to lose two full race laps, his opponents were able to pit during the caution. This meant that VeeKay’s chance of a top result was gone.


Having dropped far behind, VeeKay continued his race, aiming to complete as many laps as possible. The Dutchman kept his cool – even after a drive-through penalty for crossing the yellow pitlane line. Keeping his car out of trouble to the finish line, a 19th place proved to be the reward for his troubles.


“I can be brief about the second race. On pace, a better result would have been on the cards, of course, but the Full Course Yellow came at exactly the wrong time”, VeeKay said afterwards. “I can think about that as much as I want, but it makes little sense. It went the way it did and that's what we have to deal with. I tried to provide Ed Carpenter Racing with as much additional data as possible by finishing the race and that worked out fine. For now, it’s fast forward to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course, where I won my first IndyCar race. I can’t wait to drive there again”, concluded VeeKay with his usual fighting spirit.


With 254 points, VeeKay is twelfth in the standings, with the top ten still within reach.


The Gallagher Grand Prix takes place in six days time. On Saturday July 30, the 13th round of the NTT IndyCar Series will start around 18.30hrs Dutch time. The race can be followed live via Ziggo Sport.