VeeKay ‘was so good already earlier than IndyCar’ – Juncos
Rinus VeeKay’s journey in direction of changing into the NTT IndyCar Collection’ latest race winner started on the Street To Indy, beginning with Augie Pabst’s group in USF2000 earlier than shifting to the center and high tiers with Ricardo Juncos. It was with Juncos Racing the place the teenage VeeKay made his first large impressions when he crushed the Indy Professional 2000 area in 2018, taking seven wins and 10 podiums from 16 races on his approach to clinching the championship.
VeeKay remained with Juncos in 2019 for his commencement to Indy Lights, and whereas he ended up ending second to Andretti Autosport’s powerhouse group led by title winner Oliver Askew, his six wins and 14 podiums from 18 races spoke to his formidable expertise and development over two seasons with the Argentinian’s program.
Juncos was simply exterior the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Saturday at his store close to Flip 1 when his former driver was on the way in which to changing into the primary to win in any respect three ranges of the Street To Indy and in IndyCar.
“One hour earlier than the checkered flag, we have been unloading our Indy Lights vehicles and my son Leandro got here to me and stated, ‘Rinus is gonna be the winner,’” Juncos advised RACER. “Rinus wasn’t the chief, however my son was watching and knew Rinus was doing one thing particular. So when it acquired to fifteen minutes left, we stopped the whole lot and have been watching an enormous TV.
“He’s so good. This win was, for us, the last word objective. We train these children, and we give them the whole lot that we all know and that we be taught by means of our personal life in racing for them to be the very best driver. And Rinus was so good already earlier than IndyCar. The child was already super-talented, this primary win… you can’t be stunned by him doing this.”
In Lights, it was VeeKay’s supreme aggression and dedication that stood out from the remainder of the sphere. Throughout Saturday’s Indy GP, the identical attacking model and excessive focus was on show as he executed a flawless race within the No. 21 Ed Carpenter Racing Chevy. Juncos watched all of these substances begin to jell when he arrived at his group three years in the past, and noticed how VeeKay’s dad and mom have been instrumental in constructing their son right into a rising star in a brand new nation, and at dwelling in Holland.
“Once we received the championship in 2018, he was simply 17 and doing this in Indy Professional 2000. (He was) so younger, so we’ve acquired to keep in mind that,” he stated. “And two or three years of improvement after makes an enormous distinction. Right now, he’s a extra full driver, however he was already very shut when he got here to us.
“His mother and pa actually had an excellent plan for him. You would see how proficient he was, and the way sensible he was as a racer, and so they performed the opposite a part of racing, the advertising and marketing aspect, the sponsor aspect, and made the whole lot correct for him so he might solely concentrate on the driving. So immediately in 2018, this child had proper thoughts mindset, correct preparation on the psychological aspect, bodily aspect, diet aspect; the whole lot. Rinus was all that. And he so significantly better, a lot stronger now.”
Having performed a small half in VeeKay’s ascension to Victory Lane in IndyCar, Juncos marvels at his potential together with all the opposite next-generation expertise that’s taking up this yr.
“The extent of younger children are are very spectacular for me, and that’s the great thing about it since you see Pato O’Ward successful a race, and Alex Palou, many wins for Colton Herta, and Rinus is now with them,” he stated.
“Truthfully, as a group proprietor, even once we race in IndyCar, I’ve an opportunity to work with these children from the start and also you hope they go very far within the sport. However this isn’t potential for all of them. However once they get there and so they win like Rinus did, for us, that is the whole lot we want for them once they come to us so younger. My entire group is super-proud of him, and other people must preserve watching him. He’s solely 20 years outdated. How significantly better will he grow to be?”