Rinus VeeKay Rebounds From Early Qualifying Crash to Advance to Indy 500 Fast 12

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Rinus VeeKay Rebounds From Crash, Eyes Indy Pole Icon Sportswire - Getty Images

Rinus Veekay was the fourth driver to go out to qualify for the 108th running of the Indianapolis 500. Sadly, in his first qualifying run, Veekay crashed in turn three, nearly totaling his No. 21 Chevrolet during Saturday's Indianapolis 500 qualifying. The driver seemed to limp away from the car but his Ed Carpenter Racing team went straight to work to get the driver another chance at qualifying.

It took three hours of repair, but Veekay was able to make it back to the track for his first qualifying effort; he sat at 29th; as the time began to expire, the team was safely in the top thirty, meaning that they would avoid the LCQ on Sunday.

"This crew deserves a thousand dinners and a lot of beer." VeeKay told NBC Sports.

But this wasn't enough for the Dutch driver who's used to being on the front row in the Indianapolis 500, and with seven minutes remaining in Saturday qualifying, the team pulled into the first lane, relinquishing his confirmed spot.


"We had hope." VeeKay told NBC Sports, "That's what brings you there."

VeeKay, in a qualify-or-go-home mindset, improved to a 232.419 average for the 11th fastest. His advancement into the top 12 pushed Colton Herta out.

VeeKay's quest for an Indy 500 Pole continues, but he says that this moment felt bigger to him.

"I'm not sure what a pole feels like, but this feels way better than a pole," Veekay told NBC Sports.

Veekay joins Will Power, Scott McLaughlin, Alexander Rossi, Josef, Newgarden, Kyle Kirkwood, Kyle Larson, Felix Rosenqvist, Santino Ferrucci, Takuma Sato, Pato O'Ward, Rinus Veekay, and Ryan Hunter-Reay in the 'Fast 12' tomorrow in hopes of advancing into the 'Fast Six' to potentially start on the pole.

The Last Row Shootout will include Graham Rahal, who attempted the final run after VeeKay, Katherine Legge, Marcus Ericsson, and Nolan Siegel.

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