Note: This is part of a series of NTT INDYCAR SERIES team previews for the 2023 season.
Starting Lineup: Conor Daly (No. 20 BITNILE.COM Chevrolet), Rinus VeeKay (No. 21 BITNILE.COM Chevrolet), Ed Carpenter (No. 33 BITNILE.COM Chevrolet for the oval races).
2022 in Review: VeeKay led the way with a pole in the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park and five top-six finishes. His best finish was at Barber, where he placed third to earn his only podium finish of the season. The team had some of its best moments in May at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where Daly finished fifth in the GMR Grand Prix (after starting fourth) and sixth in the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge. VeeKay earned his second consecutive front-row “500” start in the third position and, like Daly, led laps. VeeKay also finished sixth in the Gallagher Grand Prix in July. Carpenter’s best finish (13th) came at Texas Motor Speedway, where he led four laps.
New for ’23: Consistency is the hallmark of ECR, which has 12 employees from its debut season in 2012. The team has the same three drivers for the fourth consecutive season. The big change is that BITNILE.COM is now the primary sponsor of all three cars for each race.
Keep an Eye on This: VeeKay is due to finish a “500” as strong as he starts it. In three attempts, the Dutch driver has started fourth, third and third, leading laps in each of the past two races. However, his finishes have been 20th, eighth and 33rd, with last year’s race ending with an accident in Turn 2 on Lap 39.
Little-Known Fact: From the where-has-the-time-gone category, this will be Carpenter’s ninth season as an oval-only driver. He also is on pace to become the 28th driver with at least 200 career series starts. Simon Pagenaud will become No. 27 in next month’s season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. Carpenter should start his 200th series race at Iowa Speedway in July.