Rinus VeeKay went into the brand new season with excessive expectations for himself and the No. 21 Ed Carpenter Racing Chevy crew, and up to now, 2023 has been an prolonged train in being optimistic and affected person whereas coping with an absence of pace.
Mired in 18th within the championship standings, the younger NTT IndyCar Sequence star has pinned his hopes on the Indianapolis 500 because the place the place his 12 months — and ECR’s — takes a serious flip for the higher.
“It’s undoubtedly not what we anticipated, this 12 months,” VeeKay informed RACER. “We have been going to step up, and properly, we didn’t. However I feel we will. We simply haven’t actually been in a position to put the whole lot collectively but. So for me, I’m all the time a optimistic thinker. I don’t wish to be prior to now. We’ve bought the Indy 500 coming and I feel we’ll have the most effective vehicles right here, so I’m excited for this.”
The Dutchman ended the primary day of Indy 500 observe in 18th, however slid to thirtieth on Thursday. Nonetheless, the winner of the 2021 Indy Grand Prix stays undaunted.
“It’s good to wrestle at instances,” he stated of the season as a complete. “I feel it pushes me to extract the whole lot I can out of the driving out of the automotive, sit with the engineers, perceive extra. And when it goes properly, you sit again and revel in it, proper? After we’re struggling like we’re this 12 months, we’re continually working and looking for stuff. And I’m trying method deeper into my driving than I ever have. I feel I’m really bettering. And for the long run, I feel I’m actually getting extra full as a result of we’re having a troublesome 12 months.”
To expedite the method, the 22-year-old has thrown himself into all points of the crew’s efforts to publish stronger outcomes.
“Positively, it’s a crew effort, and I’m simply one of many crew gamers,” he stated. “I feel I’ve by no means spent so many late nights on the racetrack like this 12 months, but it surely’s value it. I feel we’re getting a bit extra perception on the automotive, and we have to enhance, however I feel we will get to be within the high 10. We’re working arduous to make it occur.”