LEXINGTON, Ohio. — After missing the last race with a broken collarbone, Rinus Veekay has been cleared to return to the cockpit of his Ed Carpenter Racing machine.
The NTT IndyCar Series is at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course this Sunday for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio. Veekay said he’s been spending time in the simulator the last week or so and said that he has not had any difficulty.
“I feel confident,” he said. “I was first a little bit worried that my neck maybe a little bit painful with the G-forces, but I’ve done some neck training and have felt nothing. Definitely no worries.”
Veekay did jokingly say that if he manages to win the race this weekend he has to be mindful not to raise his left hand over his head.
He said he hurt himself while on a training ride in northern Indiana near the Indiana Dunes the week after running the doubleheader at Detroit.
“It was nothing crazy,” Veekay said. “I don’t know what caused it. I think my (handlebars) went sideways and threw me over the bike. Then I was on the ground, there was actually no pain. But then I moved my arm and I could feel the bone was not where it was supposed to be.”
He had surgery to reset his collarbone. Over the last couple of weeks, Veekay has not taken much time off as far as team activities are concerned. He stayed up to date on drivers’ meetings and even helped Oliver Askew as he filled in for Veekay at Road America.
In missing the race at Road America he took a significant hit in the points standings as he had been in contention for the championship. He still has a shot sitting sixth in the standings, but after the accident making up the deficit in the championship is not Veekay’s main focus.
“Of course I’m going to try to win every weekend,” said Veekay. “But, I’m not really focused on (the points). I just want to get back into the top five in the championship and show some great racing.”
Veekay already has a win under his belt this season in winning the GMR Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He sits 107 points behind points leader Alex Palou.
One thing is for sure, he is not planning to rush getting back on a road bike anytime soon.
“I gotta build it up slowly again,” Veekay jokingly said. “I may step on the bike again in the off-season after I’ve had time to recover. This was just a stupid accident.”
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