IndyCar preview: GMR Grand Prix

Rinus VeeKay will be looking to bounce back on the track as he posted his first and only NTT IndyCar Series win to date.

The 21-year-old Dutchman appeared on his way to score his second career win by dominating fashion at the Honda Grand Prix in Alabama (May 1) until he stopped the last set of the green flag pit on lap 61 of the 90-lap event.

VeeKay, who started from pole position and remained at his best during training, drove 57 laps in the race and led by 2 seconds over eventual winner Patou Award. However, as he entered the pit lane for the last set of green-flag stops, VeeKay was held up by Jimmy Johnson’s slow car, allowing O’Ward to bridge the gap.

Both drivers came out of their stalls, and were nose to tail. By the fifth inning, O’Ward had outgrown VeeKay and rushed away to steal the win.

Redemption is on VeeKay’s mind as IndyCar returns to the “The Brickyard” road track at the GMR Grand Prix on Saturday, May 14 (NBC, 3 p.m. ET).

The race will also see the season debut of two-time (2000, 2015) Indianapolis 500 champion Juan Pablo Montoya as he teams up once again with Arrow McLaren SP.

Reminiscent of last year, the 46-year-old Colombian will run Lucas Oil’s signature black and red in the GMR Grand Prix.

In 2021 on a 2,439-mile, 14-lap road track, Montoya finished an 85-lap event in 25.

last year’s race

Before 25,000 fans socially distant, VeeKay drove 33 laps to score his first NTT IndyCar Series win. Furthermore, he became the youngest winner in Indianapolis Motor Speedway history at the age of 20 years and 10 months, and scored the first win for a Ed Carpenter Racing Since 2016.

Who Should Watch This Weekend?

VeeKay isn’t the only driver looking for redemption.

look no further than Andretti Autosport Talented Romain Grosjean, who led the most laps in the first two Indy track races last year but finished second in both events. In fact, Grosjean has 10 podiums in his combined career across Formula One and IndyCar but has yet to win a race. Could Saturday be the perpetual contender’s day?

not if Chip Ganassi Racing Fore Alex Ballou has his way. The IndyCar Series champion grabbed the points lead for the first time this season, after finishing second at Barber Motorsports Park. While he has not taken a win in his last six races, the 25-year-old has scored a podium finish in three of the previous four events. But forget the finishing near the front. The 2021 Indianapolis 500 runner-up is eager to return to the victory lane.

Penske team He has three wins out of four this season. But one of their drivers has not yet taken part in the festive festivities – Will Power. However, the 2014 season champion is the defending winner at the Indianapolis Road track. His win at the Big Machine Spiked Coolers Grand Prix last year – in the summer race – was his only trip to the victory circuit in 2021, which smashed 12 consecutive races without a win, leading 56 of 85 laps.

O’Ward is also a potential black horse. He won first place last August and led 16 laps before finishing fifth. Furthermore, the three-time IndyCar winner is competing for consecutive wins for the first time in his career. The young Mexican driver is under contract with Arrow McLaren SP until 2024, but is actively looking into the job market.

O’Ward’s contract with Arrow McLaren SP runs until 2024, but the young Mexican driver admitted he’s actively looking into the job market – as a restricted free agent who can solicit bids from other teams. However, McLaren still retains the rights to the match.

After his victory at Barber, O’Ward described the situation continuing.

“Man, it sucks to be at war within your team, isn’t it? I’m glad there were very positive conversations for the future, and I wanted to do that for these guys; I wanted to do it for Arrow McLaren SP, [and] Chevy team. “

Another win would provide an extra chip at O’Ward’s bargaining table, whether it’s with Arrow McLaren SP or a rival team.

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