If you call yourself a race fan but haven’t been tuning into the IndyCar Series, it might be time to start asking yourself why. Especially after yesterday afternoon’s incredible race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, where No. 21 Ed Carpenter Racing driver Rinus Veekay became the fifth winner in five races this season.
And no, that’s not even taking into account the fact that former F1 driver Romain Grosjean scored his first pole position in a decade at this race. Or the fact that this was the first all-European podium in ages.
Or the fact that only one of those winners is one you’d have expected. Scott Dixon took victory at the first race in a Texas Motor Speedway doubleheader earlier this month. Aside from that, we’ve had Alex Palou (Barber), Colton Herta (St. Pete), and Patricio O’Ward (Texas 2). Five different drivers. Four different teams. Three first-time winners in 2021. Three wins for Honda. Two wins for Chevrolet. The first win for Ed Carpenter Racing since 2016. And while Dixon currently leads the championship, but there are six drivers that could technically surpass him with a single race win. That is, honestly, awesome.
“We had an awesome start to the weekend,” Veekay said after the race. “I knew we had the car; we were so fast. I’m so happy for the team, so thankful. I couldn’t have done it without them.
“A perfect day. It’s amazing, and thank you to all the fans coming out. Getting my first podium here last year and now winning, it’s a dream.”
Seriously. If you haven’t been sitting down to watch IndyCar this year, you’re missing out on one of its best seasons in ages—which is saying something, because the racing has consistently been good. And the next race we’re heading to is the iconic Indianapolis 500, where 33 drivers will duke it out for victory at one of the world’s best races. There’s always a shot we could see a first-time winner at this event, and it’s guaranteed to be a lot of fun to watch.
The Indy 500 will take place on May 30, 2021 at 11am ET on NBC. Qualifying starts next weekend at 12pm noon on May 22 and runs through to May 23.