Holiday Wishes for Indycar

As we begin the most festive week of the year, I have some holiday wishes for Indycar. The first practice at St. Pete is just two months from Christmas day. Knowing that should make the holiday better. Here are six things I wish for in 2022.

A Full 17 Race Schedule

Indycar has not run its complete, originally announced schedule in two years. 2021 looked promising, but Toronto again was cancelled due to COVID-19. The border has reopened, but will the Omicron variant close it again? If it does, for how long?

I hope by July that things will have settled down enough to allow the race to go on.

I am not concerned about St. Pete or Texas yet, but the situation warrants wartching.

The Unicorn

I wish for the elusive third OEM to be announced. An announcement in 2022 means the new engine will appear in 2024. With the growth in entries anticipated for next season and a number of other teams looking to join Indycar, a third engine is a necessity. Honda is maxed out for the season and the Indianapolis 500. Chevrolet is close to capacity as well.

A third engine opens the possibility for 30 cars at some tracks and 39 or more entries at the 500. I think one of the bigger teams will align with the new manufacturer.

A Sold Out Indianapolis 500

Conditions permitting, it would be great if the 106th running of the 500 would be a sell out. Local television might show the race live again if all tickets are sold. Many fans who skipped the 2021 race plan to return. The 135,00 or so at the 2021 race seemed larger than that to those who were there, but the partially empty grandstands did not look good on television.

I spoke briefly with Doug Boles at the PRI show. He said that ticket sales are looking good.

A Title Fight Between O’Ward and Herta

Just like 2021, 2022 will bring more of the younger kids contending for the championship. This coming season I would love to see a battle for Astor Cup between Pato O’Ward and Colton Herta. The youngsters had two the fastest cars last season. Herta was never really in title contention because of some early DNFs. He still tied for the most wins in the series with three, and he had four poles.

O’Ward had some early issues with team strategies and setup problems. He finished third in the standings after being taken out of the finale early. His two wins in 2021 kept him in the hunt. I think he is ready for an even bigger season.

Some Top 5s for Kirkwood

First of all, I am happy that Kyle Kirkwood has a full time ride. Of course, I wish he were on a more competitive team. But I hope he can raise the bar at A. J. Foyt Racing and maybe squeeze a top 5 or two out of the car. It will be a challenge. His best chance for a good finish will be at World Wide Technology Raceway, where Foyt cars have a third and two fifth place finishes.

Kirkwood might sneak in a good finish at a road course somewhere as well. Realistically, I can see him getting some top 10s in 2022.

The Biggest Wish of All

Well, maybe the second biggest after the third OEM, but an announcement of a 2023 IMSA race at IMS would make me very happy. The odds are long as IMSA has established a May race at Mid Ohio. The sports car series seems happy with their schedule. I don’t think they are looking for new venues or to switch any dates around.

I have also heard IMSA is not happy with Indycar putting Texas on the schedule on March 20, the day after the Sebring 12 Hour race. Many Indycar drivers participate in the 12 hour as an extra driver. Some plan to do double duty that weekend.

All, or possibly none of my wishes may come true, but I hope that all of your holiday wishes do. I will have a post next week before moving to winter headquarters. Happy holidays, everyone.

Can Kirkwood Raise the Bar at Foyt?

Photo: Joe Skibinski, Indycar

Kyle Kirkwood is used to making teams more competitive. He sees the same potential at A. J. Foyt Racing. His ride for next year, the 14 car, had two top 10s and two top fives in 2021 and finished 16th in the final standings. One top 10 and one top five came in the first two races of the year. Kirkwood believes he can improve he team’s results.

“I’ve worked in positions before where I’ve started with a
lower level team, if I look back at Indy Pro 2000, and I was
racing for RP Motorsports, I think they finished fifth or sixth
in the championship, they missed a couple races, but I saw
what the team wanted to do, and I believed in them, and
we ended up winning nine of the 16 races with the
championship,” Kirkwood said yesterday in a press availability.

He gets more satisfaction out of moving up during a race than he does out of winning from the pole.

“I get more satisfaction
from progressing than I do just from winning. We go out
front, and like quite honestly, if I have a race where — like
for instance, Laguna this past year. I started from the pole
and just led the entire race, but there’s no progression
throughout the weekend because we just had a car that
was good and we just kept — which those ones aren’t the
ones that are super enjoyable for me. The ones like
Portland where we’re qualifying fourth or fifth and being
able to go right to the front again based off of what I’m able
to do and what we’re able to do with the car and progress
through the weekend I think pays way more satisfaction to
me than anything else.


If we can take a car that, hey, maybe we don’t qualify that
well but we put together a really good race car and we’re
able to make up a bunch of positions, that’s way more
satisfactory to me than just being out front and sailing off
into the distance. Yeah, so at the end of the day I think
progression creates a lot more satisfaction for me,” Kirkwood explained.

Kirkwood’s path to Indycar began when A. J. Allmendinger selected him out of a karting program. He has progressed wirth the help of scholarships earned by winnuing at every level. Kirkwood doesn’t think he would be where is today without the start from Allmendinger.

“Pretty much my entire
career has been based off of scholarships and people
bringing me along, so I’m very thankful. Really that starts
all the way back from AJ Allmendinger back in 2012 where
he sponsored me in a karting scholarship. From there I
had a Skip Barber scholarship, a Team USA scholarship,
and then F4 I had the scholarship to F3, and then from
USF2000 I had the scholarship Indy Pro, scholarship into
Indy Lights. Without any of that, I definitely wouldn’t be in
this position right now because as everyone knows, it costs
a lot of money to do racing, and in those lower levels you
can’t really bring sponsorship along because there’s not
much return on investment for sponsors. Without the
scholarships I would not be at this point,” he said.

“At the time I was racing —
what was I, 13 years old racing Minimax, I believe, and we
did a national race together.
He (Allmendinger) had the scholarship program come out, and I had a
fantastic season and he decided to pick me. That’s how
the relationship came about, and yeah, I don’t think — I
probably wouldn’t have been able to compete in a lot of the
races that I raced in in 2012 and 2013, I believe, if it wasn’t
for him.”

While some fans may be disappointed that A. J. Foyt Racing is where he will start his Indycar career, Kirkwood is happy to be with the team.

“Oh, man, I’m absolutely over the
moon right now to be driving for AJ Foyt Racing in the No.
14, filling in some really big shoes with Bourdais leaving
like Larry mentioned and doing some sports car stuff. I’m
at a loss for words because I’m ecstatic.”

Kirkwood has one year deal with Foyt. Is next season just a stepping stone as he waits for a seat at Andretti to open? Several drivers have tried to make the 14 car competitive and have fallen short. I think Kirkwood gives them the best chance move up in the standings, but it depends on the team Larry Foyt assembles behind him.


Kirkwood Signs with Foyt

Photo from A J Foyt Racing Twitter

2021 Indy Lights champion Kyle Kirkwood signed with A. J. Foyt Racing for the 2022 Indycar season. I will have some thoughts on this tomorrow.

The team’s announcement:

WALLER, Texas (Nov. 10, 2021) — There is a buzz around the No. 14 Chevrolet fielded by A.J. Foyt — and it is not killer bees. AJ Foyt Racing has hired 2021 Indy Lights Champion Kyle Kirkwood to drive the No. 14 Chevrolet in the NTT INDYCAR Series next year.

“We are thrilled to welcome Kyle to the team,” said Team President Larry Foyt. “Obviously, he has been very successful on his climb through the Road to Indy Championships and his record speaks for itself. This deal came together rather quickly, but I’ve already been impressed with how Kyle thinks about racing and the maturity he seems to have for such a young driver. The NTT INDYCAR Series is as competitive as ever, and the challenges are great, but we feel Kyle will be a great asset as we take on those challenges and work to grow as a team.”

Kirkwood, 23, is the only driver to win championships in all three divisions of the Road to Indy (RTI) presented by Cooper Tires ladder system, and he did it in consecutive seasons: USF2000 in 2018, Indy Pro 2000 in 2019 and Indy Lights this year (the 2020 Indy Lights season was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic).

Kirkwood poses with his Indy Lights championship trophy at the Road to Indy Awards Dinner.

“I actually met Larry [Foyt] for the first time in 2018 at Road America when I was driving in USF2000 with Cape Motorsports,” revealed Kirkwood, who lives in Jupiter, Florida. “He was the first person in the INDYCAR paddock to show me around the car and explain the dynamics of what it takes to be an Indy car team and driver. From that moment, I felt very comfortable with the atmosphere of the team and now it has come to fruition that I will be driving the No. 14. It’s hard to explain in words the excitement I have to drive for such an experienced and legendary team. I know I will be filling some very big shoes, but I think it’s the perfect timing and group to be able to do so.

“Considering I have 19 years of experience driving, and it’s all led to this moment to becoming a full time Indy car driver — It’s truly a dream come true,” the Floridian continued. “It’s incredible seeing the completely unexpected path I took in previous years blossom into something I’ve always hoped for as a kid in karting.”

Kirkwood notched his 10th victory in the Indy Lights Series in the season finale doubleheader at Mid-Ohio. He won the first of two races.

This season’s Indy Lights championship battle came down to the final race weekend in October at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Driving for Andretti Autosport, Kirkwood clinched the title over runner-up David Malukas after winning the first race of the doubleheader and finishing fifth in the season finale. Kirkwood won 10 races (tying Greg Moore’s series record set in 1995) and seven poles in 20 races.

Kirkwood received his first kart at age four and began racing them a year later. He won numerous races and titles before moving into cars in 2016 when he competed in the inaugural F4 series. That same year he won a Team USA scholarship and competed at the Formula Ford Festival at Brands Hatch and the Walter Hayes Trophy at Silverstone. In 2017, Kirkwood dominated the F4 U.S. Championship with nine victories and six poles in 20 races.

The following year, he won the Cooper Tires USF2000 title with 12 wins in 14 races driving for Cape Motorsports. He won 15 of 17 races to claim the F3 Americas Championship powered by Honda. Driving for RP Motorsports in 2019, he won the Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires with nine victories and five poles in 16 races. His move to the Indy Lights division was delayed when the pandemic halted racing in the Road to Indy ladder series in 2020.

Kirkwood poses with his team after winning the Indy Pro 2000 title in 2019.

Kirkwood has tested an Indy car three times, most recently at the Chris Griffis Memorial Open Test at Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s road course.

“What I’ve learned in my three Indy car tests is that the Indy Lights car and the Indy car are not massively different,” Kirkwood explained. “As we’ve seen with many drivers, it’s quite an easy transition. The best thing that you can take away from the RTI is the track experience. With minimal time during weekends, it’s crucial to maximize practice, having the track experience eliminates a period of time spent learning so you can solely focus on the car and driving.

“The biggest difference I’ve noticed in my tests is the tire. The Firestone tire creates a lot more grip. There are other differences, like steering weight, downforce and braking capabilities, but all of those are just a nice step forward from the Indy Lights car.”

When asked what he thinks his biggest challenge will be as a rookie driver entering the very competitive NTT INDYCAR Series, he responded, “I’m sure I will know more as I enter the season, but I know I will be against some drivers that have years and years of experience in the car and with the tracks. I know my lack of experience will hurt in some aspects, but hopefully my driving will be able to make up for most of it.”

Spoken with the confidence of a champion.Post not marked as liked

Indycar’s 2022 Grid Still Has Lots of Questions

Photo: Kirkwood tests the car he thought he would be driving in 2022. Joes Skibinski, Indycar

There will be at least 25 cars on the grid when the NTT Indycar Series begins February 25-27 at St. Pete. There could be even more. What we still don’t know is who will be in those cars?

Some drivers are set, others are believed to be in place but not formally announced, and others are still looking for a ride. The biggest name seeking employment right now is Kyle Kirkwood. The 2021 Indy Lights champion became a free agent Monday when his contract with Andretti expired.

Andretti’s failed attempt to buy Sauber F1 probably cost Kirkwood a full time ride in the 26.

Kirkwood’s choices are limited. Filled and presumed seats make up most of the grid. Possible openings are at Foyt, Ed Carpenter Racing, Carlin, and Juncos /Hollinger.

Kirkwood has suddenly become the key to the silly season.

Foyt- More Questions than Answers

Until A. J. Foyt Racing resigns sponsor ROKIT, don’t expect a lot of movement. Dalton Kellett is likely to return in car 4, but car 14 is in limbo. Sebastien Bourdais may run a few races in the car, but who else? If ROKIT returns, Tatiana Calderon is good possibility. Kirkwood would not be likely to be in the 14. Could Foyt add a third car if a partner comes on board?

Second Car for Juncos/Hollinger? Carlin Merger?

It’s great to see Juncos racing back. They are set with Callum Ilott in the 77. Ricardo Juncos wants a second car. It’s possible that the team might partner with Carlin. I think Carlin is on shaky ground and also needs a second car.

A partnership could help both teams and keep the Carlin name in Indycar. I expected good things from Carlin. I liked the way they ran an Indy Lights program before they moved up to Indycar Things just haven’t worked out for them in this series.

Carlin has yet to confirm a driver. It is not known whether Max Chilton will be back. If he returns, another driver needs to run Texas, Gateway, and Iowa. Conor Daly has filled that role in the past and might do so again.

Carpenter Has Many Choices

Ed Carpenter Racing needs a driver for the road and street races in the 20, which he plans to drive on the ovals. The deal usually includes a third car for the Indianapolis 500.

It has been Conr Day’s seat for the past two years, and may well be again. ECR is waiting to see if the US Air Force returns as sponsor. If they do, Daly will probably get the ride. If not, Ryan Hunter-Reay or Oliver Askew have a chance at the seat.

Kirkwood wants a full time deal, so I don’t think ECR is where he s looking.

I think it is important for the series to have Kirkwood in a full time ride. He is the next link in the generational shift that we witnessed in 2021.

Lights Drivers Mum on Indycar Futures

Indycar photo: Kyle Kirkwood on track by Chris Owens

The top three 2021 finishers in Indy Lights, Kyle Kirkwood, David Malukas, and Linus Lundqvist, talked about their very cold test day at Indianapolis Motor Speedway today. The trio had the opportunity to test an Indycar on the IMS road course. It was the first time in an Indycar for Lundqvist. Kirkwood and Malukas tested at Barber. Kirkwood also had a test at Sebring.

Kirkwood and Lundqvist drove cars prepared by Andretti Autosport; Lundqvist drove the number 2 car of Team Penske.

Much of the post test discussion centered on the Indycar prospects for the drivers.

All driver photos by Joe Skibinski

Kirkwood, the first driver to win the championship on all three levels of the Road to Indy, still has no ride for 2022, but he hinted that things are moving in a positive way.

“We have an idea, yeah. I think we
have a direction. It’s not all said and done yet. As of today, which today is November
1st, I’ve been given permission to look elsewhere. I
haven’t been able to have conversations. I don’t know
exactly what I can and cannot say, so I’m going to keep my
mouth shut on the direction “.

 

malukjs

Malukas is strongly thought  to have a ride with Dale Coyne Racing for 2022. In response to a question about how far along his deal is, he would only say, “We will do 99.9%”

lundjs

As for Lundqvist, it appears he has very little going on  at the moment. He replied to questions about his Indycar future,

“Unclear I would say. You never
really know what’s going to happen. I would love to stay
here in the U.S. to start off with. Obviously I would love to
be in INDYCAR next year. If that doesn’t happen, then I’m
looking to do Lights another year.
You never really know because budget-wise it’s a very big
question. We’ll see what we can do during the winter, after
this test as well, what pops up. I’ll keep digging no matter
what.”

Tire Heat Biggest Surprise

All three drivers seemed most impressed by how quickly the tires got warm. It caught a couple of them by surprise.

Lundqvist commented, “Actually the Firestone tire, the grip that they have just
straight out of pit lane was a lot better than what I
experienced in Indy Lights. Obviously it takes a little bit of
time for the pressure to come up, but it wasn’t as bad as I
expected it. You just had to be a little bit careful. It was
not too bad. Obviously I think it would have been even
better when it was warmer. Within a lap or two the tires
were in.”

Malukas agreed with Lundqvist, “Comparing to Indy Lights, it’s like
night-and-day difference. With Indy Lights in this weather,
it would have taken quite some time.”

Kirkwood noted, “One thing I did notice that was pretty big, especially
compared to the Lights car, is the tires switch on so quickly
even in the very cool conditions, which I was not expecting
on the first few laps.”

Lundqvist concluded with a comment about how well Indy Lights prepares drivers for Indycar.

“What you learn in Indy Lights, you
can definitely bring on here. The cars are very similar in
some sense but quite different in others.
I think what I learned in Indy Lights is that you’re able to
drive a car just on the limit. That really rewards you in
INDYCAR as well. It’s that you have so much more grip to
play with. It’s not as much on a knife edge, I would say, as
the Lights car is. You got so much more to play with here.
I think you’re extracting a lot of lap times if you’re having a
similar driver style in the Indy Lights car if you bring it to
INDYCAR.”

 

 

Just a Few Indycar Related Notes

Seems I have been away for a bit. It has been a hectic week with Marti coming home after 118 days, three hospitals, and two rehab centers. Thanks for all your thoughts and prayers the last four months. We are readjusting to a more normal life. This week is also Heartland Film G=Festival week, so I’ve been spending much of my free time in a movie theater. Okay, Back to work.

Dan Wheldon

Yesterday was the 10th anniversary of Dan Wheldon’s fatal accident in Las Vegas. I am not going to rehash that horrible day. It was a tragedy compounded 10 days later by a much deeper, personal loss.

I was a big fan of Wheldon’s, and his death was a huge loss to Indycar. However, the good that came out of it was the new safer chassis that he helped develop. I think he would have continued to be a great ambassador for the sport after his retirement fro racing.

Tony Stewart Buys into NHRA

The news should not be a surprise. Tony Stewart likes to own racing related things. He owns a NASCAR team, a race track, and now he owns an NHRA team. Leah Pritchett, his fiancee, will be the driver.

I wish Stewart well in this venture. I hope his next acquisition is an Indycar team.

Weight and Heat-An Issue for 2023?

At a Firestone tire test at Mid Ohio last week, Josef Newgarden had a chance to drive with added weight simulating the 2023 car with the larger engine (2.4 liters) and the hybrid KERS system.Overall, Newgarden was pleased with the test, but, according to an article on Motorsport.com, Newgarden voiced concerns about the physicality of the car, especially during races in the heat of summer.

From the Motorsport article:

“I think we’re starting to push over the edge of what some of the drivers can do physically, in some conditions, and we need to be cognizant of that. It’s something I’ve spoken to IndyCar about.”

Newegarden believes the added weight- 120 pounds or so of the new power package in addition to approximately 60 pounds of the aeroscreen is “excessive.” Indycar will have added 180 pounds to the car over a span of four years.

A new chassis with an integrated aeroscreen would help reduce weight. I hope Indycar looks at other areas where some poundage can be removed from the racecar.

Kirkwood Tests for Andretti

Indy Lights champion Kyle Kirkwood tested a car for Andretti Autosport at Sebring. Kirkwood felt right at home in the Indycar, and he set the day’s fastest lap. He will test again at Barber on October 25th.

There is still no word on Kirkwood’s plans for next season, but I think Andretti may be looking for a way to get him a full time ride. There may be an announcement by the end of the month.

Road to Indy Final Day Saw Title Hopes Slip Slidin’ Away

Photo: Will Kyle Kirkwood find an Indycar ride for 2022?

David Malukas slim title hopes for the Indy Lights championship got a bit more life as he won the pole for Sunday’s final race of the season at Mid Ohio. The pole was only one of three things that needed to happen for him to take the crown from Kyle Kirkwood.

At turn 1 after the start, however, it was all over as Malukas overshot the turn and was in last place by turn 4. All Kirkwood had to do was finish the race in virtually any position. Kirkwood finished fifth.

Give Malukas credit. he did not give up. He worked his way through the field on a very slippery track to finish second. Kirkwood won the title by 13 points. Malukas had one of the best Road to Indy drives i have ever seen. it was right up there with Spencer Pigot at Sonoma, who was spun out on the first lap and came from last place to finish fifth, which is where he needed to be to win the championship. Linus Lundqvist won the race, and was third in the season standings. Lujndqvist and Malukas both plan to drive in Indycar in 2022.

Kyle Kirkwood

Kyle Kirkwood is the first driver to win the title on all three levels of the Road to Indy. In a twist of irony, he accomplished that feat on the day he lost a race at Mid Ohio for the first time. Kirkwood had won seven straight open wheel races at this track.

In a normal year, we would definitely see Kirkwood in Indycar next year, but where he drives next year is uncertain. I will have more about that later this week.

USF 2000- Running Out the Clock

Going first can have its disadvantages, and the USF 2000 Series had the worst race and qualifying conditions of the day. Qualifying was abandoned after the time time period ran out. The number of slideoffs and red flags didn’t allow for the guaranteed 20 minutes of green flag running. The grid was set using Saturday’s second fastest qualifying laps.

On lap 1 Josh green got past pole sitter Michael D’Orlando in turn 4 to take the lead. Green kept the position as numerous spins caused the race to run under caution most of the time. The race ended as the time limit expired.

Kiko Porto, Banco Daycoval/Petromega, DEForce Racing, Victory Lane Championship winner

Kiko Porto, the season champion, finished third. Porto will move to Indy Pro 2000 in 2022. It’s nice to see another brazilian driver moving up the ladder.

Indy Pro 2000- Improved Conditions Lead to Best Race of the Day

The final race of the day saw bits of sunshine on a rapidly improving track. It still wasn’t perfect, but the racing was the best of the day. Three lead changes among three driver made for a good event. James Roe won the race for his first victory of the year. He edged Emaan Ahmed by 0.1412 seconds at the line.

Christian Rasmussen claimed the season title just by starting the race. he will be a force in Indy Lights next year.

Christian Rasmussen

Points Leaders On the Verge of Road to Indy Titles

One championship is over and the other two will be when the green flag begins the respective races tomorrow.

Yuven Sunaramoorthy (center) won the race, but Kiko Porto (right) won the season title. Photo from Road to Indy

Kiko Porto, 18, from Brazil, clinched the USF2000 title by finishing third in Race 1 today. Porto qualified fifth and moved t third after an early accident took out the drivers running second and third. Porto has a 45 point lead over Braden Eves, who finished fifth today.

Yuven Sundaramoothy won his fourth race of the year. He passed pole sitter Michael D’Orlando just before the yellow flag came out for the incident between Jace Denmark and Prescott Campbell . Sundaramoothy will finish third in the points.

The USF2000 race was the day’s final event, and it was the best race of the best race of the day. There was lots of passing and quite a bit side by side action in turns 5 and 6.

Christian Rasmussen’s crew cheers him on after winning. He celebrates on the podium. Photo from Road to Indy

Rasmussen Clinches Indy Pro 2000 Title with Win

Christian Rasmussen extended his narrow lead over Braden Eves by winning the Indy Pro 2000 Race 1. To officially claim the title, Rasmussen just needs to start tomorrow’s race.

Kyle Kirkwood gets his seventh checkered flag at Mid Ohio. Photo from Road to Indy

Kirkwood Keeps Mid Ohio Record Perfect

Kyle Kirkwood has never lost an open race at Mid Ohio. He started from pole today and built a six second lead over his nearest competitor, David Malukas. Kirkwood led the entire race. He has ane asy path to the championship- win the pole or if he doesn’t, just start the race.

Kirkwood’s win was his seventh straight at Mid Ohio and fourth straight in his late season run.

A Pleasant Day at the Track

Today was one of the most pleasant days I have ever spent at a race track. The weather was perfect, the races were fun to watch, and the crowd was sparse. It was nice not have to constantly rub elbows with other fans or stand in a long line for anything.

I don’t know if this how the Road to Indy plans to end their seasons from now on, but I hope this continues. After the intense grind of the Indycar season, it was refreshing for me just to watch kids race and not have much rooting interest. Kirkwood was the only driver I was cheering for.

The day was also a good way to get a look at who might be some future stars of Indycar.

Zanardi Well Enough to Transfer; Kirkwood Gets a 2020 Do Over

Some bits of positive news:

Alex Zanardi, two time Indycar champion and paralympic gold medalist, continues to recover from his hand cycling accident last June. Zanardi suffered neurological and facial damage when his cycle hit a truck during a race in Tuscany. He had been in a facility in San Rafaella, but is moving to a rehabilitation center in Padua, which is closer to his home.

“The patient has reached a generally stable physical and neurological condition that permitted his transfer to another hospital equipped with all the necessary clinical specialties and closer to the family home,” said a spokesman for the San Rafaella hospital.

Kirkwood Returns to Andretti for Indy Lights

For 2021 Kyle Kirkwood will be where he was supposed to be in 2020. The 2018 USF200 champion and 2019 Indy Pro 200 champion will finally get to drive in Indy Lights for Andretti Autosport, where his 2020 season was going to take place.

Kirkwood spent the past season in IMSA, which is not a bad alternative. For one thing, he received some experience doing pit stops, which drivers don’t get in Indy Lights. I look for Kirkwood, who will be in car 28 for Andretti, to be a strong contender for the title.