November 28, 2021

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Kyle Kirkwood will drive IndyCar for AJ Foyt Racing in 2022

Indy Lights winner Kyle Kirkwood, the most very well-rounded driver of the subsequent wave of younger IndyCar newcomers, at last has found an open seat and will drive for AJ Foyt Racing future season.

Kirkwood will generate Foyt’s flagship No. 14 Chevrolet, the team stated Wednesday. Sebastien Bourdais drove the automobile final period but is switching to entire-time athletics motor vehicle opposition. Kirkwood will deliver $1.3 million in scholarship cash for successful the Indy Lights title to the group.

The 23-year-previous from Florida is the only driver to get championships in all three divisions of the Road to Indy ladder process. He received the USF2000 title in 2018, the Indy Pro 2000 title in 2019 and the Indy Lights championship this yr. The 2020 Indy Lights year was canceled throughout the pandemic.

Kirkwood this yr tied the late Greg Moore’s 1995 document of 10 Lights victories, but in spite of successful 50 % his starts and the IndyCar scholarship cash, he wasn’t an automated marketing. Andretti Autosport held his agreement but Kirkwood was capable to appear somewhere else for do the job beginning Nov. 1 when Michael Andretti could not decide up the selection.

Andretti has employed previous System Just one driver Romain Grosjean for up coming year from Dale Coyne Racing, and Devlin DeFrancesco, 21, was promoted to IndyCar by Andretti last week right after one particular winless time in Lights.

Andretti defended the DeFrancesco marketing as sticking to a plan laid out a long time before. But he also unveiled that if Andretti had bought an F1 workforce, he’d have taken Colton Herta from IndyCar and supplied Kirkwood the Herta seat.

“Unfortunately the way issues finished, there was not space for him, but I can guarantee you that he’s a star of the foreseeable future, and we’re definitely likely to be watching him,” Andretti claimed final week of Kirkwood.

Kirkwood was also handed about at Rahal Letterman Lanigan, which very last thirty day period named 20-calendar year-old Formulation 2 driver Christian Lundgaard as its new 3rd driver. Meanwhile, Indy Lights rival David Malukas tested with Dale Coyne Racing and the runner-up to Kirkwood in the championship could stop up there in IndyCar together with two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Takuma Sato.

IndyCar this last time had four race winners 24 or young, like Alex Palou of Spain, who released his championship-profitable year 17 times immediately after his 24th birthday.

Kirkwood is extremely rated and the endurance driver for the Vasser-Sullivan Racing sporting activities auto workforce, but lacked the sponsorship pounds lots of groups want motorists to bring to get the seat. Kirkwood only experienced his scholarship dollars, which is anticipated to cover two races and the Indy 500.

“This offer came collectively rather immediately, but I have already been amazed with how Kyle thinks about racing and the maturity he appears to have for this sort of a youthful driver,” mentioned team president Larry Foyt. “We sense Kyle will be a good asset as we acquire on those challenges and function to increase as a crew.”

Kirkwood mentioned Larry Foyt was 1 of the 1st persons in the IndyCar paddock to choose time to demonstrate him about the large leagues when they satisfied in 2018 at Road The usa when Kirkwood was racing in USF2000.

“From that second, I felt really comfortable with the atmosphere of the group and now it has occur to fruition that I will be driving the No. 14,” he stated.

A.J. Foyt Racing is owned by the 4-time Indianapolis 500 winner, who is thought of just one of the greatest racers of all time.

“It’s challenging to explain in phrases the exhilaration I have to push for these kinds of an expert and legendary group,” he stated. “It’s outstanding looking at the wholly sudden path I took in former many years blossom into one thing I’ve generally hoped for as a kid in karting.”