IndyCar drivers Rinus VeeKay, Felix Rosenqvist cleared to return at Mid-Ohio

LEXINGTON, Ohio -- Felix Rosenqvist and Rinus VeeKay returned to their cars at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on Friday after both IndyCar drivers were sidelined by injuries.

Rosenqvist missed two races after a crash last month in Detroit. He said Friday he went through IndyCar's concussion protocol after he was not cleared by the league to race June 20 at Road America.

"You only have one brain," the Swedish driver said. "It doesn't really mean I have a concussion. But something could be wrong and they cannot take the chance."

Rosenqvist was hospitalized overnight following a June 12 crash at Detroit. He missed the doubleheader race the next day, which was won by Arrow McLaren SP teammate Pato O'Ward in Rosenqvist's honor.

VeeKay, meanwhile, missed only one race following June 15 surgery on a broken collarbone resulting from a fall from his bicycle during a training ride. He spent a day in the Chevrolet simulator this week to test the range of motion in his left shoulder.

"Yeah, ready to race and ready to win," the 20-year-old Dutchman said. "I feel confident. I was first a little bit worried about maybe my neck would be painful with the pressure, with the G-forces, but I've done some neck training and felt nothing, feel super strong.

"Definitely no worries, and as long as I don't go overhead with my arms, it's going to be fine. So if I cheer going past the checkered flag first, I've got to throw up my right hand instead of my left hand."

VeeKay dropped from fifth to sixth in the standings after missing Road America and trails IndyCar championship leader Alex Palou by 106 points heading into Sunday's race at Mid-Ohio. He said he wasn't concerned with the championship with eight races remaining.

"I just want to get back in the top five in the championship and just do the best I can and show some great racing and of course try to win every weekend," he said. "It's definitely going to be tough to catch up, but that's not really any of my worries. I'm just going to give it all and see where I end up."

Rosenqvist dropped from 20th to 24th by missing two races and crashing 22 laps into the race at Detroit. Taylor Kiel, president of the team, said Rosenqvist was hitting his stride in his first season with AMSP when he was injured.

"We finally felt like we were turning the corner in Detroit. We need to turn the corner, and this is a really good place to do it," Kiel said. "I know the potential is there and Felix is feeling well."

Mid-Ohio is a 2.258-mile, 13-turn course for the 15th consecutive year. Will Power and Colton Herta each won last year when the event was a doubleheader.

The track hosted 22 races for CART/Champ Car until 2003, when Paul Tracy won the final event. Mid-Ohio held few major racing series again until IndyCar debuted in 2007. NASCAR added the course to its second-tier Xfinity Series schedule in 2013.