Good morning or good afternoon, wherever you are. We are two hours from the first Indy Lights practice, followed by the first Indycar practice.
Some news items to catch up on.
Not a huge surprise, but Scott mcLaughlin has signed a multi year deal with Team Penske. The second year driver has three poles and three wins this season.
In a huge boost to the Indy Lights Series, HMD announced their intention to field eight Indy Lights cars in 2023. There have been years when the Lights field barely had eight cars. HMD currently runs points leader Linus Lundqvist, who should wrap up the championship this weekend.
Lundqvist said he wants to finish his championship “on a high.”
I’m hearing the chances of Colton Herta getting a super license exemption to race in Formula 1 are slim.
Josef Newgarden said he will approach this weekend mostly like any other.
“…you treat it to be the same as always, working on trying to maximize the car trying to make your points like oh, this is gonna be the same regardless.”
About the decision to test at Portland instead of Laguna Seca, Newgarden said,
“We tried a different strategy I think it worked for us at Portland for sure. But you know what time is gonna tell if that was the right decision or not. I think we feel good confident about that.”
Kirkwood on Moving On
Kyle Kirkwood reflected on his time with A. J. Foyt Racing and moving to Andretti autosport next year.
“It’s bittersweet, because, and I really, I really wanted to win with this team. It’s great. The guys really like a family atmosphere, you kind of feel the heritage within the team. . So I’m gonna go into powerhouse team , like Andretti Autosport. Knowing I’m gonna have a good car atalmost all events and so it’s, it’s good for that sense. But it’s also it’s also bitter in the sense that it kind of feels like a moment leaving a family. So we’ll definitely be emotional. But I mean, no matter what, it’s good for everyone.. , One thing I can definitely take away from the season is we’ve definitely developed the car better, especially on street courses. But we definitely progressed on everything, got the car in a better spot, whoever fills into that number 14 car is gonna be in a better spot than where I was at the end of the season, which is nice to know from just my own knowledge.
Working with really good .teammates is the main thing I’ve never really had a teammate to push me in the past couple years. And given the lineup stays the same, it’s gonna be a ton of fun working with all of them, because I know they’re all stellar drivers and they’ll all push me to do better and, and actually be very valuable stuff and whatnot. So that’s something I’m extremely lucky. “
Kirkwood doesn’t necessarily feel pressure jumping into the 27 car. “Rossi has obviously done very well, because eight wins in that car over a few seasons almost won a championship. So while there is pressure, it’s obvious that the cars would be good, but I think people understand that I’m coming in just after a rookie season and coming out with a new team and stuff. So I can’t be expected to be right out of the gate. It’s gonna stay right but as it goes along the road, it’s probably gonna pressure me to get up to his level, if not better him. So yeah, there’s a little bit of pressure involved, but there’s always pressure “