Kellett and Foyt Hope Full Time Ride Leads to Success

Dalton Kellett and Larry Foyt both believe that a full time ride in 2021 will allow Kellett to develop his skills at a faster pace. because of the constantly changing schedule in 202, Foyt thinks that Kellett didn’t get the seat time he needed.

“2020 was even tougher for him than we expected it to be being a rookie with limited track time and having to deal with shorter race weekends,” Foyt said in this afternoon’s press conference.

Kellett added, ” (I) Learned a lot last year,and that was with limited track time, limited testing. So being full time in the 4 car is going to be a great opportunity.”

Having Sebastien Bourdais as a teammate should help Kellet develop. He was impressed with Bourdais at the Barber test.

“…having Seb on board is going to be a great asset to the program. I’m really looking forward to working with him. We had a great test earlier in the off-season at Barber Motorsports Park in October, and seeing how he works with the engineers and how exacting he is with his feedback and what he wants out of the car was pretty eye-opening.”

As for goals for 2021, Foyt set realistic expectations.

“Top-10s are the goal here at first and solid qualifying. I think we lacked some pace on some of the permanent road courses that we’d like to add.”

The team has added some mechanics to try to shore up weaknesses in the team.

Foyt added that a third full time car is not likely.

“I would say no in 2021; barring I win the lottery or something like that. It’s something on our radar for sure. I’m a big person who thinks growth is important to any business, but it has to be done the right way.”

He did say that a third car for the 105th running of the Indianapolis 500 is possible.

Foyt said that he had just a brief introductory conversation with former F1 driver Romain Grosjean.

This team has a lot to prove. having Sebastien Bourdais all season should help their development. I hope Bourdais can mentor Kellett and that he can improve his driving skills. We should know pretty quickly where A. J. Foyt Racing is headed in 2021.

Kellett Stays at Foyt; Grid Update

Dalton Kellett moves from part to full time at A. J. Foyt Racing for 2021. He will drive the number 4 car alongside teammate Sebastien Bourdais in the 14. K-Line continues as his sponsor. The release from A. J. Foyt Racing:

WALLER, Texas (Dec. 15, 2020)—Canadian Dalton Kellett will drive A.J. Foyt’s No. 4 Chevrolet full-time in the 2021 NTT INDYCAR Series. K-Line Insulators USA returns as the primary sponsor, moving from the No. 14 to the No. 4 for the upcoming season.

The 27-year-old rookie drove for Foyt in eight races this year as driving duties behind the wheel of the No. 14 Chevrolet were shared throughout the 14-race season by three drivers: Kellett, Tony Kanaan and Sebastien Bourdais. Bourdais returns to drive the No. 14 Chevrolet full-time as announced earlier this year. 

“I couldn’t be more excited to be back with AJ Foyt Racing for the 2021 season,” said Kellett, who lives in Indianapolis. “Securing a full-time ride is a big boost heading into my sophomore year in INDYCAR. Despite the challenges presented by Covid-19 in 2020, A.J., Larry, and the Foyt team continued to develop their car and elevate the program, while standing by their employees and partners. That’s the kind of team I’m proud to both race for and be a part of. Being paired with Sebastian will be a great opportunity to continue to learn from one of the most experienced veterans in the field. I can’t wait to get back on the track for off-season testing and back behind the wheel in 2021.”

Next year the NTT INDYCAR Series schedule features 17 races, including a doubleheader at Texas Motor Speedway in early May and a new street course in Nashville, Tenn. in August.

Despite the challenges of Kellett’s rookie season taking place during a pandemic which sharply curtailed the normal track activity, he displayed a keen ability to stay focused and adapt, which factored into Foyt’s decision to retain Kellett for 2021.

“We are very happy to have Dalton back with the team and more importantly that he will be driving full-time,” said Team President Larry Foyt. “With the limited track time in 2020, it was a tough year to be a rookie, but he jumped in with a great attitude and adjusted to the Indy car quite well. He was getting quicker with each event and had a great test at Barber [Motorsports Park] recently. I think Dalton will truly benefit from having four-time champion Sebastien Bourdais there full-time.  I’m really looking forward to seeing how our team progresses in 2021.” 

The first scheduled team test will be in January at Sebring International Raceway in central Florida. The 2021 INDYCAR season gets underway on Sunday, March 7th in St. Petersburg, Fla.

(Photo courtesy of INDYCAR)

This story will be updated with comments later this afternoon.

The 2021 Grid- Confirmed Teams

This list includes only full time car/driver combinations that have been confirmed.

Team Penske (4)

Josef Newgarden

Will Power

Simon Pagenaud

Scott McLaughlin (R)

Chip Ganassi Racing (4)

Scott Dixon

Marcus Ericsson

Alex Palou

Jimmie Johnson (R) road/street only/ Tony Kanaan ovals

Andretti Autosport (2)

Alexander Rossi

Colton Herta

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (2)

Takuma Sato

Graham Rahal

A. J. Foyt Racing (2)

Sebastien Bourdais

Dalton Kellett

Ed Carpenter Racing (2)

Rinus VeeKay

Ed Carpenter- ovals only

Arrow McLaren SP (2)

Pato O’Ward

Felix Rosenqvist

Meyer Shank Racing (1)

Jack Harvey

Bourdais, Kellett Complete Foyt Lineup for Car 14

Sebastien Bourdais at Barber last season.

Sebastien Bourdais is not done with Indycar yet. A. J. Foyt Racing announced that Bourdais will drive the number b14 entry at the St. Pete opener, Barber, Long Beach, and Portland. The four time series champion will drive a Chevrolet powered car for the first time since 2016. He will get to drive in his home race at St. Pete, where he won in 2017 and 2018.

Dalton Kellett will take the wheel at Circuit of the Americas, the GMR Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Detroit, Road America, Toronto, Mid-Ohio, and Laguna Seca. Kellet, a rookie in Indycar, drove in Indy Lights for the past four years. He will also make his Indianapolis 500 debut in the third Foyt entry for the 104th running of the race.

Last week Tony Kanaan announced he will be driving the number 14 on all the ovals in his Indycar farewell season. Charlie Kimball recently signed to drive the second Foyt full time entry, number 4 for the full season.

Thoughts

I’m glad Bourdais will have a bit of a presence in Indycar.  If his schedule permits, I hope he can drive a couple more races. I wouldn’t rule him completely out for the 500 yet.

It will be interesting to see how Kellett performs. In Lights, he was better on oval than road courses.

Filling the third car for the 500 leaves one less seat for a driver looking for a ride. Usually Foyt partners with a one off team.

The four drivers who will drive for Foyt have a variety of experience and background. Bourdais is probably the best at setting up a car. Perhaps he can get the team pointed in the right direction. His driving in the first three races is a good move for the team.