LEXINGTON, Ohio (July 3, 2022) — Last man standing. That was Dalton Kellett who was the only driver on the AJ Foyt Racing team to bring it home in the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio Sunday afternoon.
What started out as a promising race for the AJ Foyt Racing team quickly deteriorated after the first round of pit stops in the 80-lap race.
Starting ninth in the No. 14 Sexton Properties Chevrolet, Kyle Kirkwood had been running eighth in the first stint when he pitted on lap 27. A smooth stop halfway through the pit cycle saw him emerge in 15th as others ahead of him still needed to pit.
Unfortunately, the second lap on his new alternate compound (red) Firestone tires proved to be his last as his race ended against the tire barrier in Turn 9 on lap 29. He placed 26th.
Asked what happened, the 23-year-old rookie replied, “You know, I’m not really too sure. I’ve got to go
back through it but it wasn’t the same as Detroit. You know, at Detroit the reds caught me out and the car went sideways on me. But here I already did a lap. And I figured the pressures were up, grip felt like it was there, it just hit Turn 8 and it bottomed out right in the middle of the corner and set the car sailing, and the nature of the track is kind of increasing radius in that section. So, unfortunately for the 14 AJ Foyt crew we didn’t get to get the finish that we thought we deserved. We were doing solid this weekend. So we’re right there in the top 10, fighting for seventh-eighth-ninth really. Definitely disappointing. But we’ll come back stronger next time.”
Kirkwood, who wasn’t injured in the accident, had just finished his TV interview at the medical center when the race was restarted after the third caution period. Kellett, who had just pitted in his No. 4 K-Line Insulators USA Chevrolet, restarted 24th.
On the restart, he was hit from behind in Turn 2 by Jack Harvey and spun off course. By the time the safety team got Kellett restarted, he had lost two laps. He was able to rejoin the race but did not have access to push-to-pass despite having 128 seconds left. He soldiered on and finished 22nd.
Kellett summed up his day saying, “Overall, it was not the best day for the AJ Foyt Racing crew. On my end, I felt like we had a pretty hooked up car in the first stint. In the warmup we tried something close to Kyle’s setup from qualifying and it wasn’t quite working for me which kind of goes to show you’ve got to sort of figure out your own thing for your own driving style. So, we went back to our qualifying car and on the new reds, the car felt pretty good. It felt like it was really connected through the corner, and I was able to push through the sections from four to nine.”
Kellett talks with race strategist Grant Weaver after the race.
“We were running decently well and then got turned around by the 45 car which was unfortunate,” the young Canadian continued. “On a restart everyone’s battling but it’s not great when you get turned from behind. So, a mistake on their part and that put us two laps down because it took them a while to get me going again. Losing two laps — that’s the hard part. On an oval you can make that back but on a short road course like this, you have to get supremely lucky and that didn’t happen. On the blacks and the scrubbed red set we were lacking a bit of mechanical grip through the rhythm section. But overall a tough day, hoping for something better at the home race in Toronto.”
Tatiana Calderón was running 20th after starting 26th in the No. 11 ROKiT Chevrolet and was driving one of her best races of the season. She appeared to be headed for a solid finish when an issue developed when she was shifting gears. She had to pull off the track in Turn 4 after 51 laps. She was credited with 25th.
“We were having a good time out there,” said the young rookie from Colombia. “We started on reds and pitted for another set of reds and the car was feeling actually quite good. So we were, you know, in the mix I think, had good pace, and then we started to have some delays on the downshifts. We need to figure out what happened. It was just stuck in first gear out of Turn 2 and sadly that was the end of the day. But I think the team did a great pitstop, the strategy was the right one, so it’s a shame we couldn’t finish a good race, but that’s racing sometimes.”
After the race, engineer Daniele Cucchiaioni chats with Tatiana (right) and her sister Paula who is her business manager.
Scott McLaughlin won what could best be described as a wild race that saw many drivers skidding off course including his teammate Will Power who rebounded from last to finish third. Defending NTT INDYCAR Series Champion Alex Palou finished second. Rounding out the top five were Rinus Veekay and Scott Dixon.
The NTT INDYCAR Series returns to Toronto in two weeks for the first time since 2019. The Honda Indy Toronto will be streamed live on Peacock Premium and the INDYCAR Radio Network on Sunday, July 17 at 3 p.m. (ET).
LEXINGTON, Ohio (July 2, 2022)–There were smiles all around the No. 14 Sexton Properties Chevrolet as Kyle Kirkwood and team qualified ninth for their best qualifying performance of the season Saturday afternoon at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
“Yeah, super happy with our performance today,” remarked a jubilant Kirkwood who has enjoyed much success at the 2.258-mile track in junior formulas. “The No. 14 Sexton Chevrolet had pace all weekend, we just weren’t able to extract it until qualifying. I’m so happy to show the performance that we deserve and we’re still working with the car. We feel like we have pace and there’s still something to be gained. For me, I feel like all year we’ve had a faster race car than a faster qualifying car. So hopefully that plays in our favor as well. We’re starting from the pointy end of the field so we can make things happen from there.”
Kirkwood was 11th in the first practice on Friday but slipped to 19th in this morning’s practice.
“In one session we had one balance and then we go to the other session and it’s on the other spectrum,” Kirkwood said, adding, “so we just found a happy medium there in qualifying and got back to form. Man, we were so close to transferring there but it’s just a tenth and a half–that’s all you needed. You get about one lap to do it. We even tuned on the car in qualifying and got a lot better. So I’m super happy with what the A.J. Foyt crew has been doing because we took the car from the P 11, then P 19, and now into the top 12, and almost transferring it to the Fast Six. So that would’ve been really cool. It’s the best qualifying of the year, so I couldn’t be happier with this performance.”
Kirkwood credited their recent test at the road course at Indianapolis Motor Speedway which yielded some insights into tweaking their road course setups.
“Our strong suit’s been street courses all year,” Kirkwood pointed out. “And this is a road course and somewhere that we’ve struggled. We tested at IMS, and we feel like we found some stuff and maybe that’s translated into some gains in lap time. Hopefully we can carry that speed through the road courses which gives me confidence going into the later races like Portland and Laguna.”
The insights yielded some gains for his teammates too because both Dalton Kellett and Tatiana Calderón said they like their cars’ race setups.
Kellett, who will start 23rd in the No. 4 K-Line Insulators USA Chevrolet after posting a lap time of 1 minute, 8.2444 seconds, commented, “Overall, I think we’ve got a pretty good car here. The run on my end was a little scrappy, I made some mistakes on the third lap so didn’t quite get the optimum lap time put together. I think there was probably four-tenths to half a second there in just putting all the good sectors in the same lap. So that’s something for me to work on, but I think overall the car feels pretty good and I’m optimistic for what we’ve got for the race tomorrow. I think we’ve got a better car here in terms of the road course packets, and maybe where we’ve been so far this year so that’s really good to see. We found some stuff with the test at Indy that Kyle was at last week. So there’s good changes that we’ve been putting on the car and that’s been a helpful direction so far.”
Kellett used a different tire strategy from his teammates when his K-Line engineers decided to go with two sets of the softer alternate compound (red-sidewalled) Firestone tires rather than the primary and then alternate compound tires used by his teammates.
“We thought it’s been kind of a scrappy weekend overall with a lot of people going off, so we figured to get a run in the bank as far as getting on the reds early–just in case there was a yellow in the second half of the segment,” Kellett revealed. “But realistically looking back at it, I don’t know if that was the right call because the track felt like it was pretty off from the sessions before us on that first run. So, I don’t think we got the advantage out of it but hindsight is 20-20 on those calls.”
Starting 26th in the No. 11 ROKiT Chevrolet, Calderón explained their decision to save two sets of the alternate compound (red) tires for the race saying, “We think it will be a red tire race so we wanted to save the red tires for the race instead of using two sets in qually.”
Speaking of her qualifying run in which she posted a lap time of 1 minute, 8.4370 seconds, she explained, “I think we’ve been improving the car and I felt really good in the car with those reds. We had a different strategy than most of the guys–I wanted to do four laps with the reds because it took a bit longer for me to get them in yesterday. But unfortunately, we had a lot of traffic ahead of us. So I really could only squeeze in one lap and it was not so great. But I think we have a really good race car. And we have two sets of reds for the race tomorrow, so I’m looking forward to it.”
With a lap time of 1 minute, 6.7054 seconds, Pato O’Ward won his first pole position of the season and became the ninth different driver this season to do so. It was his fifth career pole position. Rounding out the Firestone Fast Six were: Scott McLaughlin, Colton Herta, Felix Rosenqvist, Scott Dixon and Simon Pagenaud.
There will be a 30-minute morning warmup starting at 9:45 a.m. ET which will be streamed on Peacock Premium. The NBC broadcast of the 80-lap race starts at 12:30 p.m. ET with the green flag set to wave at 12:53 p.m. The race will also be broadcast on the INDYCAR Radio Network and streamed on Peacock Premium.
Tim Kuschel, of Homewood, Ill., started his professional racing career not in a junior formula series but rather in the premier open wheel series in North America! Kuschel’s first professional job is his current job with AJ Foyt Racing as an assistant to shock engineer Warren Wilson. With a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Illinois in Chicago, the 27-year-old Indianapolis resident is now in his second year with the team. We asked him a few questions…
Q: What sparked your interest in racing and how did you get your start?
TK: “I have always had an interest in cars, racing, and all sports since I was little. My mom tells me my first real word was “car”, my first time getting pulled over for speeding was during my drivers ed course, and I got my first project car not long after getting my license. I got my professional racing start through my meeting Warren, the Foyt shock guru, where he put in a good word for me to help him out here at Foyt.
A young “Jeff Gordon” aka Tim Kuschel at age 7.
Q: When did you start working professionally in racing?
TK: “My first introduction to any organized racing was at the racing program at my university, where I led the formula-style racing team there. It was through that program I met some IndyCar team members that introduced me to Warren. Then I started working for Foyt just last year in January of 2021.”
Q: Which series have you worked in and in what capacity?
TK: “I have only worked in IndyCar, the last 2 seasons here at Foyt. Helping build shocks for Bourdais, Kellett, Kirkwood, Calderon, Hildebrand, Kimball, and also Stefan Wilson for this past Indy 500.”
Q:What are your responsibilities with the AJ Foyt Racing team?
TK: “My responsibilities are to help build and manage anything damper or spring related for all of the Foyt cars. I also change the inside front tire during pit stops for the No. 4 car.”
Kuschel changes the inside front tire on Dalton Kellett’s car this season. He is changing the right front tire in St. Petersburg.
Q: What is your career goal? Professionally, where would you like to be in 10 years
TK: “Being new in racing I think I am still figuring that out, but for the time being, my goals are to learn as much as I can and keep working.”
Q: What is your favorite track and why?
TK: “My favorite track so far is probably Long Beach. It’s pretty hard to be in a bad mood in that city and atmosphere.”
Q: Most memorable moment of your career thus far?
TK: “The most memorable race is probably the intermittent rain race at the Indy Road Course this past May. Lots of pit stops and chaos on track.”
Q: Greatest challenge you’ve faced?
TK: “The biggest challenge so far was probably grinding through my degree while working a job and working on the university race team. My home, job, and university were all intertwined in and around different sides of Chicago so commuting between the three within the same days was a huge ball of fun.”
Kuschel at recruitment presentation for the university team.
Q: What interests do you have outside of racing?
TK: “Outside of racing I like to play music, cook/bake, ride motorcycles, work with film photography, and travel.”
Kuschel on a motorcycle camping trip with a buddy (who took the picture).
Q: What are the top 3 things on your bucket list?
TK: “I have already checked off most of the cool ones like bungee jumping, skydiving, motorcycle trips,
and backcountry camping. But I’m planning some scuba diving and some international trips in the future.”
Q: If you didn’t work in racing, what would you be doing?
TK: “When I was offered the position at Foyt, I was discussing a position as a design engineer for a well-known grill company. It is up for debate which position has better smells.”
Q:What is your favorite saying?
TK: “The situation is fluid.”
Kuschel (in uniform) chats with his university team during a test session.
Q: What is the best advice your mother (or father) ever gave you?
TK: “The first thing that comes to mind is when I was younger, I made a comment to my grandfather that it would suck to try out for a team and only make the B-team. And his reply was that you don’t care about which team you’re on, you play because you love the game. That was something that always stuck in my mind.”
Tatiana Calderón participated in her first Goodwood Festival of Speed in West Sussex, England last weekend. She drove the 1957 Kuzma Offenhauser in which Jimmy Bryan won the national championship. When Bryan switched teams in 1958, A.J. Foyt was hired to drive and made his first start in the car at the Indy 500.
“It has been a privilege to be driving the 1957 Kuzma Offenhauser car at Goodwood and to learn that it
was the car where A.J. did his debut in Indy,” said Calderón. “Also to contrast it a little bit with today’s Indy cars and see how much change we’ve seen in Indy cars. It’s incredible that they went on the banking at over 160 miles an hour back then in ’57 and to drive the car that won the Race of the Two Worlds in ‘Monzanapolis,’ it was a big privilege. The cars back then were much simpler in a way. No buttons on the steering wheel just the fuel, the ignition and you basically still go with the starter. Huge steering wheel, just the water and oil on the on dashboard, it’s incredible to think that they were going 160 miles an hour in those cars with no mirrors and barely any protection! It’s been an incredible experience. I’m super honored and thankful to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum as well for giving me that chance and to be at Goodwood for the first time. It’s incredible to see so many legends, so many cars, bikes, and the passion of the people out there as well. So now back to modern IndyCar for the weekend.”
Racing at Mid-Ohio this weekend will give Calderón her first chance to race on a track that she has actually tested on before the race weekend–her test came last year following the Mid-Ohio race.
“Mid-Ohio was where I first tested the car with the team,” the young rookie said. “So at least I know a little bit about the track and the feeling with this car. It’s the first time I am going to a circuit that I know, that I had a feeling for before (the race weekend). I think we had a good test. And a good race car there, so hopefully we can straight away from free practice 1 start closer to the pace. And yes we will just keep working. The physical side there is tougher, it’s a small track so that’s going to be a nice test (laughing). And yes, I’m looking forward to it.”
Calderón Fast Facts: Age 29…Born in Bogota, Colombia and now living in Miami…Began racing karts at age 9 and has competed in Formula 2, Renault Series Formula V8 3.5 (first female on podium in Bahrein-2017), GP3, European Formula 3, British Formula 3 Series (first female on podium)…Test driver for the Alfa Romeo Formula 1 team for past four years…Enjoys tennis, water skiing and drinking coffee.
The future of the No. 11 Chevrolet beyond this weekend’s race at Mid-Ohio is not guaranteed due to funding issues with primary sponsor ROKiT which Team President Larry Foyt is trying to resolve. “We are trying to work through a difficult situation as I know ROKiT wishes to continue the program but there are some issues which may prevent that. We will continue to either resolve it with ROKiT or try to find alternate funding which is difficult at best at this point in the season. The No. 14 entry will run the entire season as it is not solely dependent on the ROKiT funding.”
Dalton Kellett is flying to Columbus, Ohio from his hometown of Toronto where he was doing a media advance this week for the Honda Indy Toronto scheduled for July 17th which marks the return of the NTT INDYCAR Series to Canada for the first time since 2019.
“Mid-Ohio is definitely one of the more exciting tracks that we go to every year,” said Kellett. “It’s got a
great flow to it. It’s definitely my type of road course. It’s kind of the opposite of Road America where there you’ve got long straightaways and you’ve got groups of a couple of corners separated by really long straightaways. Mid- Ohio, the whole thing kind of flows together, which I’ve always really enjoyed tracks like that. It’s super physical, really. It’s always one of the tough races with the heat of the summer. So definitely we’ve been training hard to get ready for this one, and I can’t wait to hit the ground running with the K-Line No. 4 Chevy.”
Kellett Fast Facts: Age 28…Born in Toronto, Canada and lives in Indianapolis…Became engaged to Nicole Westra and they plan to wed on New Year’s Eve…Graduated from Queens University with a degree in Engineering Physics…Brand spokesman for Ten80 Education’s National STEM League…Enjoys rock climbing, backcountry skiing, camping, playing guitar, cooking and golf. For the technically curious, Kellett posts TikTok videos (@dalton_kellett) about the race car labeled “Indy Mondays” with subjects ranging from the steering wheel to the weight jacker to cold tires.
Kyle Kirkwood spent last weekend competing in the IMSA WeatherTech Series at Watkins Glen International. He teamed up with Ben Barnicoat to drive the Vasser-Sullivan No. 14 Lexus in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen. They finished fifth in class. At Mid-Ohio, Kirkwood has enjoyed much success when he has competed there in the junior formulas. In the Indy Lights Series last year, he won three races in four starts.
“Mid-Ohio is a track that I love and cherish, I almost consider it my home track,” said Kirkwood. “It’s a place that I’ve always had the most success at, given a season. It’s my favorite track to go to. And I think it’s a place where the team has done well at in the past, and we now have a couple week break prior to it. So it’ll be nice to kind of relax and recuperate and get ready for that weekend. I’m not sure what I love about the track, but it’s just suited me, it’s very high speed. There’s tons of elevation. It kind of reminds me of a karting track a little bit tighter, but a bit high speed, high downforce, high grip. I’m not sure why it suits me, but I really like it.”
Kirkwood Fast Facts: Age 23…Born in West Palm Beach, and lives in Jupiter, Florida… Only driver to win championships in all three divisions of the Road to Indy ladder system…Began racing karts at age 5…Won the 2018 Cooper Tires USF2000 title (12 wins in 14 races) and won 15 of 17 races to claim the F3 Americas Championship…Won the 2019 Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires with nine victories and five poles in 16 races (RP Motorsports)…Won the 2021 Indy Lights championship with 10 victories and seven poles in 20 races (the 2020 season was canceled due to the pandemic). Enjoys surfing, deep-sea fishing, diving and golf.
Past Performance: Dalton Kellett has run three INDYCAR races at Mid-Ohio with a best start of 20th and a best finish of 21st in 2020. Tatiana Calderón and Kyle Kirkwood will be making their first starts in an Indy car there. In the Indy Lights Series, Kirkwood ran four races in 2021 and won three of them, two of which he started on the pole. The Foyt team’s best start is 7th and best finish is 4th — both with Ryan Hunter-Reay in 2009. In the CART Series (1987-1995), the team’s best start was 12th (1988-A.J. Foyt, 53) and best finish was 2nd (1993-Robby Gordon, 24).
Last Race: At Road America, the Foyt team struggled. Kirkwood started 24th and finished 20th, Kellett started and finished 23rd, and Calderón started and finished 25th.
The Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio Presented by the All-New 2023 Civic Type R will be broadcast live Sunday, July 3rd on NBC starting at 12:30 p.m. ET. It will be streamed live on Peacock Premium, which will also stream qualifying on Saturday at 2:45 p.m. and the practices on Friday (3:30pm), Saturday (9:30 a.m.) and Sunday (9:45 a.m.). The INDYCAR Radio Network will also air the race.
LKHART LAKE, Wis. (June 12, 2022) — Sunny skies and cool temperatures made it a beautiful day for racing at picturesque Road America but the Sonsio Grand Prix turned into a tough day at the track for the AJ Foyt Racing team.
Kyle Kirkwood started 24th in the No. 14 ROKiT Chevrolet and finished 20th. He was 18th in the closing laps but on a restart with three laps to go, he was punted by Devlin DeFrancesco who had already been penalized for avoidable contact for an incident with Will Power earlier in the race.
Kyle Kirkwood poses with crew chief Didier Francesia (center) and race engineer Mike Colliver before the race. Chevy engineer Eric Westenkirchner looks on.
“We had a good strategy, everything executed properly, just didn’t really have the pace,” Kirkwood said afterwards. “I can’t really tell you why we had the pace yesterday in the warm up and then we rolled the car out today and some things had changed. I’m not sure what but it’s a disappointing finish. Given yesterday I felt like we should have been fighting for a top-10 but at least we gathered some points up this weekend and were able to finish and kept the car clean for once so that was good. We look forward to Mid-Ohio.”
Dalton Kellett started 23rd and finished 23rd in the K-Line Insulators USA Chevrolet. The “dual personality” car made for a long day in the office for the personable Canadian.
Dalton Kellett looks down the grid before the race.
“Overall, it was a difficult day for us,” Kellett said. “The pace on blacks still seems to be an issue, the reds felt better. But all weekend we seem to be struggling with this sort of “two-problem car” which was low-speed understeer and being really twitchy and on edge in the high speed corners. And you’ve got some pretty fast, high commitment corners here so that’s not a good characteristic to have. We really have to come up with a couple of different packages or options to try some new stuff in Mid Ohio.”
Perhaps the toughest day belonged to Tatiana Calderón who learned on race morning that her race engineer Danielle Cucchiaroni had taken ill the night before and would not be in her pitbox for the race. His presence was missed as Calderón ran low on fuel and lost time in the pits getting the car restarted because of the low fuel pressure. She also incurred two pitlane speed violations which resulted in a couple of drive-through penalties in the No. 11 ROKiT Chevrolet.
Tatiana Calderón smiled for our photographer before the race.
“Well it was a tough race for us in every sense,” said Calderón, who finished 25th. “We sort of ran out of fuel then when we wanted to pull away in the pitstop, we had no fuel pressure. So I stalled, then we had to restart the car a couple of times to get that fuel pressure back up so we lost a lot of time there and I think I had a speeding penalty also. So had a couple drive throughs and an issue on the yellow flag. Overall, a really tough day for everyone. But I want to thank the whole team for the last three weeks–they’ve been flat out. So hopefully we’ll have a reset the next couple of weeks and good news is we go back to Mid-Ohio where I first drove the Indy car. At least I know a little bit of the track and the feeling with this car. So hopefully we can make a big step forward.”
Josef Newgarden became the Million Dollar Man with his victory today as he won the PeopleReady Force for Good Challenge bonus by being the first driver to win on a street course, an oval and a road course this season. The $1 million will be split evenly with half going to his team and the other half going to his designated charities: SeriousFun Children’s Network and Wags and Walks Nashville.
Finishing second was Indy 500 winner Marcus Ericsson with Sonsio GP pole winner Alexander Rossi completing the podium. Rounding out the top five were Romain Grosjean and Colton Herta.
The next race on the NTT INDYCAR Series schedule is the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio on July 3. It will be broadcast on NBC starting at 12 noon ET.
ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (June 11, 2022) — The drivers of AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolets will be looking to improve on their qualifying runs tomorrow in the Sonsio Grand Prix at Road America.
Dalton Kellett, who will start 23rd in the No. 4 K-Line Insulators USA Chevrolet, said, “Overall, we were not too happy with how the run went. We’d like to be starting a little further up but we felt like we were maybe a little over the top on being a bit loose that run. I think we are just looking for some grip overall across the camp right now between the three of us. Straight-line braking seems to be a bit of a struggle. I made a little mistake on the start of my second lap and that probably cost us a couple of tenths, but that wouldn’t really have affected our position in our group I don’t think. Overall, still trying to figure out what it is we really need to kind of hit the nail on the head here. We seem to be still looking for that. So, we’re going to look at the data between the three cars and see if we can come up with for warmup.”
Driving the No. 14 ROKiT Chevrolet, Kyle Kirkwood had a mechanical issue in the morning practice and lost most of the session.
“Definitely not the best qualifying that we’ve had all year,” Kirkwood said. “Qualified P24. I think some of that is caused by losing some [time] in the second practice which was unfortunate. Conditions have changed a lot I think from yesterday to today and I feel like we probably missed out in qualifying. We got the car a lot better from the first run to the second run, but still just not enough and it’s been really tight up at the front. So unfortunate starting position, but we’ll see how the race goes.”
Tatiana Calderón showed the most improvement in lap time from yesterday to today after gaining over a second since her first practice. She will start 25th in the No. 11 ROKiT Chevrolet.
“I think we improved a lot since free practice,” said the Colombian. “Unfortunately, I made a big lock up on my quickest lap where we lost a lot of time. So that cost me quite a lot of lap time obviously. I think this is the closest I’ve been to my teammates so that’s encouraging. I think the car felt much, much better than free practice 1 and free practice 2. So hopefully we can build on that. We need a good race car because they I think that tire degradation will be key here so hopefully, we can get closer to the top guys in race trim.”
Alexander Rossi won the pole with a lap time of 1 minute, 44.8656 seconds (137.799mph). Rounding out the Firestone Fast 6 are: Josef Newgarden, Alex Palou, Marcus Ericsson, Colton Herta and Pato O’Ward.
The teams will have a 30-minute practice this afternoon, the final warmup on the beautiful 4-mile permanent road course in the Wisconsin Dells. The 55-lap race will be broadcast live on NBC tomorrow starting at 12:30 p.m. ET.
O’Ryan Bosek joined AJ Foyt Racing as a front-end mechanic and tire changer in May 2021. This year, he works as the front-end mechanic on the No. 14 ROKiT Chevrolet and inside rear tire changer on the No. 11 ROKiT Chevrolet. Born in Alexandria, Minnesota, he got hooked on racing from an early age – but not just four wheels. Bosek is a third-generation snowmobile racer and competes in both cross country and oval circuits across Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin, North Dakota and Iowa. We asked him a few questions…
Q: What are your roles at AJ Foyt Racing?
OB: “I am a front-end mechanic on the 14 car. My job duties are driver fit, cockpit, front suspension, and brakes to name a few. During the race, I am the Inside Rear tire changer on the 11 car.”
Q: How did you get your start in motorsports? What was your first job in auto racing and what series have you worked in?
OB: “When I was 13, I started building demolition derby cars (with the help of a family friend mechanic) for my sister to run because I was too young to drive myself. From there, I built my first dirt track enduro car and enjoyed racing and working on cars. After high school I went to college for automotive studies and had to do an internship for my degree. One day I was talking to my aunt who has worked for INDYCAR and race teams, and told her that I need to do an internship and she suggested doing an internship with a race team. I never really planned to be a racecar mechanic, but I contacted Steve Moore at KV Racing. I asked if they would take me on as an intern. So my first job was in INDYCAR for KV Racing in 2014 as an intern for the Indy 500, and I really enjoyed it. After college, I came back as a front-end mechanic for KV and have been in racing since. I have worked for teams in INDYCAR, IMSA, Ferrari Challenge, and SRO.”
Q: What would you like to achieve in your career? What’s your greatest goal?
OB: “My goal for my career would be to crew chief a car and win the Indy 500.”
Q: What do you think is the biggest challenge you face during race weekends?
OB: “Being prepared for anything that can happen during the race to keep our cars on the track.”
Q: During the winters, you race snowmobiles in your home state of Minnesota and it started with your grandfather, correct? Tell us more!
OB: “I am a third-generation racer in cross country snowmobile racing. My grandfather John and grandmother Arlene Bosek raced in Minnesota. My grandfather was “Driver of the Year” in 1968 and 1969. My dad, Jim, and my uncles raced both Minnesota cross country and Michigan ice oval circuits. So growing up I got to watch races and listen to all of their racing stories. I always wanted to race snowmobiles but my mom never wanted me to race them. So I saved up, came home with a race sled in the back of the truck and said since I have a race sled, now I have to race. During the winter I race cross country in the Cor Powersports Series along with my brother, Anakin, under Bosek Racing. In cross country we race all different kinds of terrain from ditches along roads, to fields, woods, lakes, rivers and ski hills. This last year I started racing for RCI racing in the Pro Mod Enduro in the MIRA series and Soo I500 (the “Indy 500” of snowmobile racing). My co-driver “Kyle” and I race 250 to 500 laps on half-mile and one mile ice oval tracks throughout Michigan and Wisconsin.”
Back Row (L to R): Bosek’s Uncle John, O’Ryan, his dad Jim, and Anakin, O’Ryan’s brother. Front row (L to R): His nephew Sawyer, niece Belle, Grandpa John, nephew Weslee and niece Maddie
Q: Are there any similarities between snowmobile racing and racing on four wheels?
OB: “INDYCAR and Enduro snowmobile pitstops have a lot of similarities. Both have a fueler and jack man, but instead of tire changers we have ski changers because the carbides on the ski will wear down. We can also do shock adjustment and before we come into the pits, we radio in and talk about the balance of the snowmobile. From there we can decide if we go to a different type of ski or change the length of the carbide to help with the handling.”
Bosek racing at his favorite snowmobile track: the Son I500 in Sault Set. Marie, Mich.
Q: Road America is your “home” track on the INDYCAR circuit. What do you enjoy most about it?
OB: “Road America is an awesome track by being out in the country with a bunch of small towns around it. It is really spectator friendly and you can experience so much at the track.”
Q: What is your favorite track?
OB: “My favorite track is the Soo I500 in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. My favorite INDYCAR track is the Long Beach (Calif.) street circuit.”
Q: What is your favorite race in the NTT INDYCAR Series?
Ob: “Last year’s race in Nashville would be my favorite race. The city was packed with fans and excitement for the first year racing on the streets.”
Q: What do you do when you have time off?
OB: “When I get time off, I go back to Minnesota to work with my family’s business at Bosek Fisheries. We operate a walleye and sucker hatchery. We raise and stock walleyes into Minnesota lakes to help enhance the population of native fish.
The Bosek fish hatcheries…
“Walleyes are a river spawning fish. Our hatcheries are designed to make an artificial river in the jars to keep the walleye eggs rolling. As the eggs darken they go into their “eyeing up” stage. From there they hatch off into fry, which is the size of a mosquito. They swim out of the jars into a catch box, where they are then moved into the blue holding tanks until they are ready to be planted out in our rearing ponds. We hatch off around 6-7 million walleye fry a year. After a summer’s growth in our rearing ponds, they are ready to be harvested and stocked in Minnesota lakes for sportsmen fishing.”
Bosek stocks a Minnesota lake with walleye fingerlings.
Q: What would you be doing if you didn’t work in motorsports?
OB: ” I enjoy the outdoors so if I wasn’t in motorsports I would keep working at the fisheries.”
Dalton Kellett – No. 4 K-Line Insulators USA Chevrolet
On Road America: “It’s a quick back-to-back road course weekend after a busy month of May, coming off of a top 20 result at Detroit. We’ll be looking to see what we can learn from
our previous experience at road courses this year and try to kind of up our performance on the road courses. Overall it’s been somewhere where we’ve struggled. Qualifying, still being really important, it’s somewhere we’re going to have to focus this weekend.
“Road America is one of the most historic and well-known venues that we race at, so always excited to go there and see the fans camping out and it’s really a place where you see the family side of IndyCar where you’ve got people have their campers and tents and all that. So it’s really nice to see the next generation of fans kind of being brought up that way and it’s a fun area. So hopefully we’re happy and we’re going to Siebken’s Sunday night!”
Kellett Fast Facts: Age 28…Born in Stouffville, Canada and lives in Indianapolis…Became engaged to Nicole Westra and they plan to wed on New Year’s Eve…Graduated from Queens University with a degree in Engineering Physics…Brand spokesman for Ten80 Education’s National STEM League…Enjoys rock climbing, backcountry skiing, camping, playing guitar, cooking and golf. For the technically curious, Kellett posts TikTok videos (@dalton_kellett) about the race car labeled “Indy Mondays” with subjects ranging from the steering wheel to the weight jacker to cold tires.
Tatiana Calderón – No. 11 ROKiT Chevrolet
On Road America: “Well, I think you know, everybody loves Road America — all the drivers — and
I think you can compare that with Spa Francorchamps in Europe because of the elevation changes and you need a certain flow. I think it’s going to be one of the really nice tracks we go to. I am excited for the simulator actually next week to prepare for that race, and to get back into not hitting walls [laughs]. I think that I’m more used to that and looking forward to that.”
Have you picked out your coffee shops in the area to visit?
“Well, I have had a look at those! I found three places which is perfect because we have three days, the sessions are not too early, so I can go try them out.”
Calderón Fast Facts: Age 29…Born in Bogota, Colombia and now living in Miami…Began racing karts at age 9 and has competed in Formula 2, Renault Series Formula V8 3.5 (first female on podium in Bahrein-2017), GP3, European Formula 3, British Formula 3 Series (first female on podium)…Test driver for the Alfa Romeo Formula 1 team for past four years…Enjoys tennis, water skiing and drinking coffee.
Kyle Kirkwood – No. 14 ROKiT Chevrolet
On Road America: “Road America! So it’s a very fun, permanent road course that I think everyone in INDYCAR loves. I’m excited to go there. It’s a track that I’ve had a lot of past success on. I think I’ve won in every category being USF 2000, Indy Pro 2000 and Indy Lights. So it’s a track that I really love and I’m looking forward to getting back on track after a not so great weekend at Detroit. It’s very smooth, high-speed, long straights, a lot of character with undulations and elevation changes, which is a lot of fun. And I think it promotes good racing because of the long straights and high-speed corners.”
Kirkwood Fast Facts: Age 23…Born in West Palm Beach, and lives in Jupiter, Florida… Only driver to win championships in all three divisions of the Road to Indy ladder system…Began racing karts at age 5…Won the 2018 Cooper Tires USF2000 title (12 wins in 14 races) and won 15 of 17 races to claim the F3 Americas Championship…Won the 2019 Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires with nine victories and five poles in 16 races (RP Motorsports)…Won 2021 Indy Lights title (2020 season canceled due to pandemic) with 10 victories, seven poles in 20 races. Enjoys surfing, deep-sea fishing, diving and golf.
Past Performance at Road America: Dalton Kellett will be making his fourth start at Road America. His best finish is 20th. Tatiana Calderón will be competing for the first time at Road America in an Indy car (she did race there in Star Mazda 10 years ago). Kyle Kirkwood is also making his first start at Road America in an Indy car. He won the first race of the Indy Lights doubleheader there last year. AJ Foyt Racing’s best start is 8th in 1993 with Robby Gordon, and their best finish is eighth in 1991 with Mike Groff. The team did not compete in IndyCar races at Road America from 1996-2007. In the past seven races, the team’s best finish is 10th with Charlie Kimball in 2020.
$2 Million Raised! ABC Supply and AJ Foyt Racing collaborated in a donation match campaign for the 106th Running of the Indianapolis 500 to support the Homes For Our Troops (HFOT) organization. America rallied behind its Veterans, donating over $1 million to Homes For Our Troops. With ABC Supply’s match of donations pledged from May 1 to May 31, over $2 million was raised to support the Veterans! Homes For Our Troops builds custom homes that are specially adapted for severely injured post 9/11 veterans. Their slogan Building Homes Rebuilding Lives encapsulates their mission. ABC donated the livery design to HFOT and the result was an American flag inspired livery on the No. 11 Chevrolet which J.R. Hildebrand drove to a 12th place finish after starting 15th.
The crew poses after J.R. qualified the Homes For Our Troops Chevrolet for the Indianapolis 500. (INDYCAR Photo)
Last Race: In the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear, Kyle Kirkwood competed with an injured right hand sustained in practice the day before the race. He started 15th and ran in the top five before brushing the wall, which broke the left rear upper wishbone and toe link, ending his race prematurely. He placed 24th. Dalton Kellett started 26th having missed qualifying due to extensive repairs after a crash in practice; he finished 20th. Tatiana Calderón started 24th and finished 23rd.
The Sonsio Grand Prix at Road America will be broadcast live on NBC on Sunday, June 12 at 12:30 PM ET. The practices and qualifying will be streamed live on Peacock.
INDIANAPOLIS (June 8, 2022) — ABC Supply and AJ Foyt Racing collaborated in a donation match campaign for the 106th Running of the Indianapolis 500 to support the Homes For Our Troops organization. America rallied behind its Veterans, donating over $1 million to Homes For Our Troops. With ABC Supply’s match of donations pledged from May 1 to May 31, over $2 million was raised to support Veterans!
Just beyond the halfway point of the 200-lap event, J.R. Hildebrand was 27th but he fought his way back to a 12th place finish!
With the race happening on Memorial Day weekend, it had a deeper meaning to all who attended or watched from home as J.R. Hildebrand piloted the Homes For Our Troops Chevrolet to a 12th place finish in the 500-mile contest.
AJ Foyt Racing’s No. 11 Chevrolet Indy car was designed in the red, white, and blue colors of the Homes For Our Troops non-profit which builds custom-designed homes for severely injured post 9/11 veterans. Originally scheduled as a 10-day match (from May 21-31), ABC Supply generously proposed tp match all donations in the month of May.
While the donation match has ended, ABC Supply continues its multimillion-dollar partnership with Homes For Our Troops to help them in “Building Homes and Rebuilding Lives” for severely injured, post 9/11 Veterans. Learn more about HFOT at hfotusa.org.
DETROIT (June 5, 2022) — Grace under pressure. Courage. Kyle Kirkwood showed a true measure of it in the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix Sunday afternoon with his impressive drive in the No. 14 ROKiT Chevrolet.
Unfortunately, in sports, heroic efforts don’t always yield heroic results. So the records will show he finished 24th in the final grand prix at the Raceway at Belle Isle Park. The race will move downtown next year.
It will not show that he drove through the pain of his injured right hand that swelled to twice its size. What the records will show is that he was fastest in practice on Friday, his first time as a rookie.
Race engineer Mike Colliver talks with Kirkwood after their race ended early.
That joy was short-lived however as a mechanical issue combined with circumstances in Saturday’s morning practice saw him crash into the tire barrier with enough impact that he sustained an injury to his right hand. X-rays showed it was not broken so he was cleared medically to drive.
The ROKiT crew repaired the car in time for qualifying and he started 15th right alongside eventual race winner Will Power. Like Power, Kirkwood started on the primary black tires and moved into the top five. He got fresh blacks for the second stint and continued to run in the top five.
On his final stop, he took on the mandatory alternate compound (softer) red Firestones with just 22 laps left in the race. Pushing hard on his out lap, he hit a curb which launched him into a fishtail wiggle as he got on the power. He appeared to save it but he brushed the wall with his left rear at just the right angle to bend the upper wishbone of the suspension. Making his way back to the pits, the crew determined it wasn’t fixable.
And so ended a drive filled with true grit and determination. However disappointing the result, the crew one by one congratulated the 23-year-old rookie on his effort because they knew what it took to deliver that performance.
“We were having an amazing race,” said the 2021 Indy Lights champion. “Fantastic strategy. The 14
ROKiT Chevrolet felt absolutely solid all the way through the entire stint. We were super competitive and yeah, pitstops were great. Everything was solid and on our last stop when I knew it meant a lot to get that one out lap under our belts really, really quick, I made a very small mistake that had massive consequences, which is a very common thing I guess around street courses. Super unfortunate. I feel really, really bad for the team with all the effort that we put in. I was even fighting an injury throughout the entire past two days and feels like some efforts have gone to waste because of that.”
Dalton Kellett who also crashed in Saturday morning’s practice was fortunate to escape injury as he hit a curb wrong and the car snapped and he hit the wall hard with the left side. The crew spent the rest of the day repairing the car so Kellett missed qualifying and had to start last in the 26-car field.
On a track that is notoriously difficult to pass, Kellett was able to gain some positions in the 70-lap race. He posted his fastest lap of the race to move into 18th just before pitting for new red tires on lap 46. He slipped to 21st due to track position when he pitted but moved back up to 19th three laps later. Scott McLaughlin passed him on lap 57 dropping Kellett to 20th.
“We started last and we were able to move up to 20th so I was glad to salvage some positions for the number 4 K-Line Chevy. The crew was flawless in pit lane, we had good stops and we were on the two-stop strategy. Although it led to a pretty hair-raising stint at the end on the reds, I think that was the right choice overall, just given the pace on blacks.
Kellett chats with race engineer Mike Pawlowski as his Mark Kellett looks on.
“Overall, I feel like the setup we have seems to treat the blacks a bit better; it didn’t seem like we could keep the reds under us for very long,” Kellett continued. “You know once we got into like 10 laps on that last stint, they were they were pretty far gone and by the end, I was losing two seconds a lap so we were pretty exposed there. and we were able to keep the keep the positions that we gained on track and on good out and in laps.”
Tatiana Calderón finished the race on one of the bumpiest street courses in the NTT INDYCAR Series which was slowed by just one yellow that came on the final lap when Rinus Veekay crashed.
Calderón shares her thoughts with team president and strategist Larry Foyt.
“We finished the race which was positive,” said the Series’ only female driver. “I think it’s the first time in history that there’s no yellow flag on a really tricky track. Unfortunately, I did two mistakes on the first set of tires. And on my red tire run I had a big flat spot so I compromised a little bit my pace there. I couldn’t really brake hard, because I was just locking up so easily. So I had to take it easy on that part of the race. I think in the last stint on the blacks, there were some competitive lap times. At the end, when the leaders came you just lose so much grip [letting them pass] so it’s frustrating. But I think we made a big step with the ROKiT Chevrolet. I’m super thankful to the crew for all their hard work and now the good thing is we have another weekend coming up just next week, so hopefully we can do much better.”
Power displayed his road and street course prowess in holding off a hard-charging Alexander Rossi in the final laps. Third through fifth were Scott Dixon, Josef Newgarden and Pato O’Ward.
The teams head to Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin this week for the Sonsio Grand Prix at Road America. It will be broadcast on NBC starting at 12:30 ET.
DETROIT (June 4, 2022) — Hopes were high entering today after Kyle Kirkwood set quick time in the No. 14 ROKiT Chevrolet in yesterday’s practice session at the Raceway at Belle Isle Park.
Unfortunately, a shunt into a tire barrier early in this morning’s practice caused by a mechanical issue, resulted in Kirkwood missing most of the practice session. He sustained a sprain to his right hand but was able to make it out for qualifying four hours later.
Kirkwood posted a lap time of 1 minute, 16.1255 seconds (111.132mph) and will start inside of row 8 alongside Will Power.
“It’s actually better than I thought,” Kirkwood said. “P 15. Pretty mid pack. We feel like we definitely should have made it into the Fast 12, maybe in the Fast Six, but we lost too much track time in practice 2. That was the unfortunate thing. And then we went into qualifying kind of blind, especially on the red tires. And that’s where we lost all the time. We were really fast on blacks and then went to the red alternate tire and we just didn’t get the speed that the other people did; they obviously had already ran reds [in the morning practice]. Disappointing, but on the bright side, the car’s really good on black tires, and that’s what this race usually is — a black tire race. So hopefully we can just move forward with that.”
Tatiana Calderón is back in the No. 11 ROKiT Chevrolet for the first time since her 15th place finish in the GMR Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course. She timed in at 1 minute, 18.3657 seconds (107.955mph) and will start 24th alongside Graham Rahal.
“We’ve progressed in all the sessions,” Calderón shared. “It’s just quite difficult, like for example, free practice 2 we didn’t really have a clean sort of outing with all the red flags and people backing off in the last sector, so it was kind of unknown what we did for qually [qualifying] but I think we are making progress. Not as much as I would like to, but I think it will be a long race. A lot of yellows will be there probably. So we need to be there when it counts. And I’m happy with the changes we’re making for the warm up tomorrow.”
Dalton Kellett missed the qualifying session after sustaining heavy damage to the left side when he spun in this morning’s practice shortly after Kirkwood’s accident. He will start 25th in the No. 4 K-Line Insulators USA Chevrolet alongside Felix Rosenqvist.
“Tough day overall for the for the K-Line crew having a crash in practice this morning took us back,” said Kellett. “We weren’t able to get out for qualifying because we had to swap an engine and do substantial repairs to the car but we will be ready for tomorrow. It’s obviously unfortunate that we’ll be starting on the back row.
“I think we’ve been relatively happy with our cars here and I think we’ve always been pretty positive on our street course package. So we’re just looking at some data to figure out how we can maybe make the bump handling a little bit better. I think the issue that caught us out was going through the last corner I just caught a bump. Just caught it a little bit wrong at the apex, didn’t really get on the curb, but just at the worst moment tagged a bump and it just unloaded the rear axle and spun me and sent me in into the wall. We’re trying to look at how we can make that a bit more predictable for the race. I think you know you’re going to be in racing situations where you might be offline and all so we’ll try to make sure we have a kind of a predictable car for the long run.
“And that’s really what it’s all about tomorrow,” the Canadian continued. “Just making sure we’re getting to the first corner and being clean on the stops and taking advantage of opportunities. Tire degradation is going to be a factor. So definitely will try to keep those Firestone reds under us for whichever stint we’re going to run them. A 70-lap race, probably looking at two stops. If it goes green [all the way], we’ve got to manage the tires.”
Josef Newgarden won the NTT P1 award in the final seconds of qualifying for the NTT INDYCAR Series’ seventh round. Newgarden clocked a lap of 1 minute, 2153 seconds (112.477mph) around the 2.35-mile circuit to secure the pole for tomorrow’s Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix. Takuma Sato will start second. Third through fifth are Simon Pagenaud, Helio Castroneves and Pato O’Ward.
A 30-minute warm-up at 10:15 a.m. will give teams the chance to refine their race setups prior to the start of the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix which will be broadcast on the USA Network starting at 3 p.m. ET.
INDIANAPOLIS (May 29, 2022)–The Greatest Spectacle in Racing returned to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Sunday afternoon under sunny skies for the first time since Roger Penske took ownership of the Brickyard. Packed grandstands gave the track the color it had been lacking since the pandemic hit in 2020. It was a just reward for the man who poured over $30 million into the historic facility’s makeover.
The 106th Running of the Indianapolis 500 was held before a near capacity crowd at the Brickyard.
Making lemonade out of lemons. That’s what J.R. Hildebrand and his Home For Our Troops team did after not one, but two untimely cautions sent the No. 11 Chevy to the rear of the field after his second and third pit stops. However fast pit stops and strategy calls helped Hildebrand claw his way back through the field to a 12th place finish.
“It was an eventful day,” said Hildebrand, who started 17th. “Huge kudos to the guys in the pits, we had really great stops all day, which definitely helped. We went for an undercutting strategy early that carried some risk like getting caught out by a yellow. We ended up succumbing to that risk. I think it could have played out a little bit differently for us if we’d have just tweaked our perspective on it a little bit at the time. At the halfway point it was looking a little grim in terms of where we were going to be as it was definitely hard to pass. The car was fast when we could get out in clean air. We had some speed but it just was hard to get by cars even if I was running full rich and some guys were fuel saving, with the way conditions were today. It was just really tricky to pass so managed to make lemonade out of lemons for the second half of the race.
“I had some good restarts so picked off some guys just on restarts,” Hildebrand continued. “Grabbed an on-track pass or two over the course of the pit cycles or when I was on new tires in the pitstop sequences. I definitely felt like we were able to define those parts of the race as a strength and take advantage of it which definitely felt good. After the final restart, just kind of hanging on to it there at the end. I didn’t really have much for the guys that were right in front of me. We were able to hold off some cars that were on fresher tires — the 2 car [Josef Newgarden] comes to mind for sure. They were a little more well equipped for that sprint to the end than we were so, all in all, I think we squeezed a lot out of it today given how the day started — the guys made some good adjustments. And we brought it home in one piece.”
Kyle Kirkwood started 28th in the No. 14 ROKiT Chevrolet and was running a solid 14th and appeared to be headed for top finishing rookie honors but an error on the penultimate pit stop proved costly as Kirkwood dropped to 24th. However, in a few short laps he worked back to 20th and then 17th when the checkered flew.
Kirkwood was smiling during pre-race with Didier Francesia.
“We had an awesome race,” said the 23-year-old Floridian. “I’m ecstatic. I got out of the car, all smiles ear to ear. We fought forward, we gained positions on strategy. I passed some people, made some really good restarts and went from 28th up into almost fighting for a top-10. And then we had a little bit of a hiccup on a pitstop, and around here that’s pretty detrimental. So that was the only mistake we made all day and it was very minor but it cost us a few positions and we ended up 17th. I actually fought for the Rookie of the Year Award. Going down into Turn 1, I was by David Malukas. And Sage Karem was stopped at the bottom of Turn 1 and I had to avoid him and next thing he’s in the wall. I had to do some evasive reaction to get by him and that’s what let David back by me so that was unfortunate. But we still fought for it. We fought all day, made it to 500 miles and came out clean, so I couldn’t ask for anything more than that.”
Starting 29th, Dalton Kellett had a long day in his cockpit as the team tried to make adjustments to the car throughout the 200-lap race but they didn’t seem to yield the results he was looking for.
“I brought the No. 4 K-Line Insulators USA Chevy home,” the young Canadian said. “We had a really hard time running in traffic. On the first stop, we added a wicker to the rear wing trying to add some downforce and we only had that one opportunity to do that. If we’d known, we would have added the bigger one, realistically I think we were a bit shy there. It was pretty hard to run in traffic and then on our own mechanically. I think we just had some understeer built into the car on the exit and we kept trying to tag it with the front wing. It gets to a point where you’re going to tip over the entry and we definitely got there and it got pretty loose on turnout. And so it was a long day. There were lots of opportunities to knock the wall down and we came home with all four corners attached so I’m sure the crew’s happy about that. I’m certainly happy about it. There’s some good lessons learned I think from that experience to carry into the next ovals. We’re back at Detroit this weekend, which will be really fun. I like that track a lot. Street circuits seem to be our forte so that should be fun.”
Marcus Ericsson won the Indy 500 to become just the second Swede to win the 500 at the Brickyard, the first being Kenny Brack who won in 1999 driving for Foyt. Second through fifth today were Pato O’Ward, Tony Kanaan, Felix Rosenqvist (another Swedish driver in the race), and Alex Rossi.
Hildebrand and Foyt chat after the race.
Team President Larry Foyt summed up the day saying, “Well it wasn’t the day we were looking for overall but it wasn’t a terrible day. We knew from where we were starting there were going to be a lot of challenges and it was just that way, the race was very tough. You could see that everybody was very close in speeds and it made the passing pretty difficult. J.R. ended up almost getting into the top-10 with us. We took some strategy gambles and it paid off the first stop, but then the yellow came out at the wrong time on the second one and we had to start over–went all the way to the back. We just kept sticking with that strategy and it ended up paying off and helping us get up to 12th. So that car did a great job and had great stops all day.
“I think Kyle learned a lot in his first Indy 500,” Foyt added. “He really got going there probably two thirds into the race. Looked like he had a great restart and was passing cars and doing a great job. We had a problem on the final stop. It doesn’t take much and he said he slid just a tick long in the pits and it just made the stop a little longer. You lose so much track position when cars are going 220 miles an hour so that was a bummer. But still a good day, I knew he learned a lot.
“Unfortunately, Dalton didn’t like his car — he had his hands full all day and that was too bad,” Foyt revealed. “Probably missed it a little bit with the car and he just had a long day, but he brought it home and that’s all you can do. You’re going to have days like that and he did a good job to get it to the finish because some guys didn’t. So we got a lot of information. We’ll learn a lot from this and come back better next year.”
The NTT INDYCAR Series is taking it to the streets next week with the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear on Sunday, June 5 at the Raceway at Belle Isle Park in Detroit. It will be broadcast on NBC starting at 3 p.m. ET.