FAST-RISING VEEKAY STELLAR IN ROAD TO INDY PROGRAM

Together with the announcement of a full-season 2020 NTT IndyCar Series ride with Ed Carpenter Racing, Rinus VeeKay stands poised to complete his own meteoric rise through the path to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires development string ladder, graduating from karts to the premier open-wheel racing series in less than four years. Watch Indy 500 Live Online.

But who’s this young Dutch phenom who’ll make his NTT IndyCar Series debut at the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in March?  Road to Indy fans already knows him as the hard-charging protégé of fellow countryman (and two-time Indy 500 winner) Arie Luyendyk, Indy 500 Live updates, who has made a name for himself on the international stage by finishing in the top two in all three of his Road to Indy seasons.

VeeKay’s victory is well recorded, with his latest history closely connected to that of fellow Road to Indy graduate, 2019 Indy Lights champion Oliver Askew.   He finished second to Askew this year to complete his Road to Indy career with some impressive statistics in 46 races, such as 16 wins, 14 poles and 36 podiums (78 percent).  Watch Indy 500 Live Online. As did Askew, who a few weeks back signed with Arrow McLaren SP, VeeKay enjoys the part that the path to Indy played his growth.

“Without the Road to Indy, I wouldn’t be the driver I am now,” he said.  “I really appreciate all the opportunities these past three decades, especially the Mazda scholarship for 2019.  Indy 500 Streaming Live, I was happy to have the ability to compete on this kind of degree, learning off-track in addition to on track.  I feel as though I’m prepared going into interviews, public speaking, social networking, dealing with the fans.  It is unique, to have a ladder system that teaches you all that.”

The native of Hoofddorp, Netherlands grew up in the racetrack as he, his sister Michelle and mom Evelien cheered on his dad Marijn in Formula Ford, Benelux Racing League and BOSSGP races for much of his younger years.  Indy 500 Live updates. But on his eighth birthday, his father gave Rinus a Tony Kart, and his destiny was sealed.

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VeeKay entered the international racing positions at age 12 and won the Dutch Rotax Max Junior course (the youngest Dutch junior champion in history) before moving to Italy and finishing third at the CIK-FIA Karting Academy.  Indy 500 Streaming Live,  The KNAF Talent First training centers included a racing simulator, giving VeeKay his first taste of American racetracks and planting a seed as he started to make decisions concerning his potential.

“The Road to Indy ladder system along with the scholarships were quite an important factor since I decided where to go,” he said.  “It’s very special that motorists get the opportunity to go all the way up the ladder, along with the scholarship program actually helped me.  Watch Indy 500 Live Online. That’s one of the factors that originally made me want to visit the United States.

“And as I trained on the simulatorI thought Road America was so cool, and once I arrived to the U.S., it was my favorite track.  It has a European feel, like Spa-Francorchamps, but using an American atmosphere. 

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When a Road to Indy karting advancement program awarded the young VeeKay that a USF2000 evaluation, the VeeKay family began to look at America in earnest.  He drove for Cape Motorsports at the Chris Griffis Memorial Test at 2015, held that year in Circuit of The Americas but given his tender age (only 15 at the time) and that the Tatuus USF-17 could come on the year afterward, he spent the following year in karting as he prepared for his race car debut.  VeeKay declared his plans to compete in the series at the USF-17 reveal just before the 2016 Indianapolis 500, a weekend that’s forever etched in his memory.

“Being at the 100th Running of the Indy 500 — and seeing what my future could be — was amazing,” he said.

VeeKay competed from the Rotax US Open Senior championship that year and along the way encountered another young driver who’d become his primary Road to Indy rival: Floridian Oliver Askew.

VeeKay made his USF2000 debut in 2017 driving for Pabst Racing, making a rod, three successes and 12 podium finishes, never finishing lower than his qualifying position in all 14 races.  Watch Indy 500 Live Online.  Finishing the season just seven points behind Askew, VeeKay credits the Pabst group for giving him the resources to succeed that first year.

“that I am so happy with the chance they gave me just two weeks before the year began, after the Carlin-Benik group I had signed with decided to stop their USF2000 program,” he said.  “I have a good connection with Augie and the whole family.  They are such a fantastic racing family and I am so thankful for what they did for me in USF2000.”

INDIANAPOLIS — Prospective Indiana teachers have until Nov. 30 to use for theNext Generation Hoosier Educators Scholarship throughout the Indiana Commission for Higher Education.

The student provides up to $7,500 for every year of school — up to $30,000 total — for top acting Hoosier students who commit to teaching in Indiana for five years after earning their degrees.

With less than a week left to submit an application for the 2020 program, programs are up 32 percent compared to the time in 2018.  A Commission official said no one from Steuben County has applied for the scholarship.

“This scholarship is intended to draw Indiana’s finest and brightest into the teaching profession and inspire a new generation of Hoosier teachers,” said Indiana Commissioner for Higher Education Teresa Lubbers.  “Having prepared teachers in the classroom is a key factor affecting students’ academic success.”

Every year, 200 Next Generation Hoosier Educators scholarships are awarded to students throughout the country in a competitive process based on academic achievement, teacher nomination and an interview process.

Last year, 393 students implemented, together with applications coming from 212 high schools in 82 of Indiana’s 92 counties.  Watch Indy 500 Live Online. High school students, in addition to college freshmen and sophomores, are eligible for the scholarship, but priority will be awarded to high school students.

To qualify, students must graduate at the highest 20% of the high school course or earn a score in the top 20th percentile on the SAT or ACT. 

 Students selected to receive the student will be informed by April 3.

Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma authored legislation that created the Next Generation Hoosier Educators Scholarship, which received bipartisan support during the 2016 legislative session.  Watch Indy 500 Live Online. While the majority of the inaugural 2017 cohort will graduate in May 2021, the scholarship has already helped over 40 Hoosiers become accredited teachers, with over 500 from the pipeline to become licensed teachers. 

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