Archives for A.J. Foyt Racing PR


JONATAN “JJ” JORGE joined AJ Foyt Racing this season as a driver coach and spotter for Kyle Kirkwood. Born in Porto Alegre, Brazil, the 39-year-old former race driver transitioned to a driver coach in 2004 when he retired from driving, although he did two seasons of IMSA Prototype racing (2017-18). He has coached many drivers who have gone on to compete in the NTT INDYCAR Series. He lives in Tallahassee, Fla. where he met Quinn, his wife of 15 years. They have a 7-year-old daughter Gabriela. We asked him a few questions…

How did you get interested in racing?

JJ: “Being from Brazil I wanted to play soccer but I was terrible at that, so my dad bought me a go kart

when I was 8 years old. That’s pretty much how it started, something to do with my dad on weekends

that now has consumed every inch of my life.”

You used to drive race cars–which series and what was your highest achievement?

JJ: “My first race was in 1991 in Brazil and I raced karts for about 10 years all over the place. In 2000, I moved to the US to learn English and try my luck on this side of the world. Most of my racing was done in open wheel here in the U.S. and in Europe. I drove all sorts of cars… Skip Barber, F1600, F2000, F-Renault, F3, several GT’s and Prototypes as well before I retired from racing and started coaching in 2004. I came back and did two seasons of Prototype racing in IMSA in 2017 and 2018 that served as a good refresher on driving which now helps on the coaching. Aside from Karting championships, I would say winning Daytona in an LMP3 co-driving with Kyle (Kirkwood) was right up there on what I consider a cool accomplishment.”

Why did you stop driving?

JJ: “This is a great question, I fought with this answer for a long time but I suppose the first time I realized my driving career was over was when life got in the way of me working to continue to find funding for racing. That was the main reason for it, but looking back at it now, it had a lot to do with lack of guidance. Pretty much flying solo trying to make it with only family support was difficult, especially because we didn’t have a clue how the sport and the industry really worked.”

What is your most memorable experience in racing?

JJ: “You know, there are so many of them and very few of them of me actually driving a car believe it or not. So many fantastic memories from coaching and achievements with so many drivers and teams… I pretty much live for these moments that continue to happen even when things don’t go your way.”

What is the best advice you ever received as a driver?

JJ: “Two quotes that I live by were actually advice that I carry with me for everything related to racing: ‘You never lose, you either win or you learn’ and ‘Expect nothing, accept everything.’

What is your favorite track and why?

JJ: “This is a tough one but I always have been a big fan of Mid-Ohio. I really enjoy the flow of it as a driver, the way conditions change from day to day and how you have to adapt and adopt different approaches during the weekend always fascinated me.”

Which came first: being a driver coach or a spotter?

JJ: “I didn’t even know about spotting until the ovals came along kind of late in my coaching career but now it’s all mixed together as part of one thing. Started with me being really upset with the sport after I had to stop driving… I kept seeing people whom I raced with and beat move on while I sat watching. I tried getting out of racing but completely lost my identity when trying to do that. So, it started as a way to make money but it became a new way for me to get my “fix” as I get the same high from what I do now as a coach that I did when I drove. I have a company called JJRD (Jonatan Jorge Racing Development) and have tried in the past to hire coaches but for the past bunch of years, I have been a one-man band. Like anything in life, especially in racing, personality and character is everything, so I decided to just focus on what I can do rather than to try and manage others.”

How does being a former driver help you as a spotter?

JJ: “As I mentioned before, spotting came pretty late for me so I am still learning about it. I think a lot of the spotters who have been doing this for a long time and have so much experience can do just as good of a job as any coach or ex-driver in that regard. For me, having been a driver before is helpful because I can see some car behaviors that sometimes trigger a suggestion for the driver to try. Also just understanding the struggles of the driver in the car when you are fatigued and hot in there to help keep the focus in the right area with the right type of message and timing of information can be helpful.”

What are the most challenging tracks for a spotter and why?

JJ: “For me, Indy is really tricky just because it’s so large and with two spotters passing the cars from one end to the other over the radio can add some variables. In addition to that, where we have to stand is kind of awkward because you see the cars coming right at you, so to judge if someone is clear of other cars is not as straightforward as other places. The 24 Hours of Daytona is also really tough but for other reasons! I usually spot the entire race by myself, so it’s pretty challenging from the length of the race and the speed disparity from the multi-class racing is always a bit difficult to manage.”

What satisfaction do you get from a being a driver coach?

JJ: “I feel the absolutely exact same feelings I had as when I drove. I get nervous before the race, calm during it, and whatever happens after matches as well. For me, everything I do as a coach is exactly the same as when I was a driver, except I no longer drive the car.”

Whom have you coached in the past?

JJ: “I don’t know if I have enough space to name everyone in all these years, so I will stick with the ones I have helped in INDYCAR or to get to INDYCAR in the lower series: Conor Daly, Kyle Kirkwood, Pato O’Ward, Rinus Veekay, J.R. Hildebrand, Spencer Pigot, R.C. Enerson, Oliver Askew, Kyle Kaiser, Max Chilton, Sage Karam. Now Benjamin Pedersen, having done his first INDYCAR test a couple months ago, is the next one in the pipeline. I hope I’m not forgetting anyone and if I am, I’m sorry, I’m getting old.”

Jorge walks with Kirkwood and Benjamin Pedersen at Indy.

What interests/hobbies do you have outside of racing?

JJ: “I really enjoy spending time with my girls at home. My wife and my daughter, we try to spend all our time together on the rare occasions I get to come home. Aside from that, I really enjoy swimming as a form of exercise, I find it calming. I have really grown to enjoy using my simulator to work with drivers especially in the off season. It’s work but also a hobby of mine now.”

What do you do when not at a race track?

JJ: “Time with family and thinking about my next event — I have a hard time turning off from racing most of the time, so that is always a work in progress. My entire life revolves around my two passions: my family and my racing.”

What are the top 3 things on your Bucket List?

JJ: “Great question… I for sure would love to win the Indy 500 and the INDYCAR Championship with a driver in which I feel like I was a huge part of their career in terms of development. Another one on my bucket list is, I would love to be able to retire one day and spend more time with my wife Quinn. She is always holding down the fort at home while I’m out here living my dream and doing what I love. So, repaying her with more time together, perhaps some leisurely travel with her, is at the top of my list.”

Last year, the race started later and the latter portion was run under the lights. Here Kellett finishes his final stop in the race.

DALTON KELLETT seems to have good fortune in August! He celebrates his 29th birthday Friday, Aug. 19th. The Toronto native posted his career-best result in the NTT INDYCAR Series at WWT Raceway last year when he finished 12th in the Bommarito 500. He started a career-best 12th in the final street race of this year in Nashville on August 7th.

“Last year, we scored our best finish at World Wide Technology Raceway, so the No. 4 team is looking

forward to being back in St. Louis! This is always an exciting race for fans, so it should be a good show. We tested here last week, and I’m glad we had that opportunity because we worked through some setup and overall approach options that we wouldn’t have had time to do during the race weekend. I think we’ll be able to hit the ground running thanks to that prep work. The AJ Foyt Racing team will be pushing hard to finish strong on the last oval race for the 2022 season!”

Kellett Fast Facts: Age 29 (as of Aug 19)…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 in 2015…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.

FIRST PITCH! Kyle Kirkwood will throw out the first pitch at Busch Stadium as the St. Louis Cardinals take on the Colorado Rockies Thursday afternoon–game time is 12:15 p.m. CT. This will be Kirkwood’s first time on the pitcher’s mound — ever! He is quite thrilled about what he sees as a “cool” experience in Major League Baseball. He didn’t play baseball in his childhood; he played soccer — his father was a professional soccer player. Kyle was quite good as a youth but chose to pursue motorsports instead.

KYLE KIRKWOOD returned from a short vacation in the Bahamas after testing at WWT Raceway on Aug 11. His car will be sporting a new sponsor as the Bommarito Automotive Group is the primary marketing partner of the No. 14 Chevrolet for this race. Rebel Bourbon signed on as an associate marketing partner for this event while Sexton Properties is the major associate marketing partner this weekend. Kirkwood competed at this track in Indy Lights last year winning a pole and finishing second in both races.

“The feeling of momentum is definitely with us with an overall solid race weekend at Nashville and a very good test at World Wide Technology Raceway this past week in preparation for this weekend. This has notoriously been one of the best tracks for A.J. Foyt and I also have been very fond of this smooth yet unique oval. Based on our test, a lot of this race is won on either qualifying or strategy, so we have really done our homework to make sure we nail both of those to best of our ability.”

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.

Last Race: At Nashville, Dalton Kellett posted his best qualifying run of the year having advanced out of the first round. He started 12th in the race but was caught up in a multi-car wreck on a lap 25 restart. Kellett’s gearbox sensor was impacted forcing him to retire early. He placed 25th. Kyle Kirkwood started 16th and appeared to be having one of his best runs of the season as he was running in the top-10 and then the top-five for a good part of the race. However, he tangled with David Malukas, whom he was trying to pass, and both cars ended up in the wall and out of the race. He placed 19th.

The initial start of the race in Nashville which was waved off.

Past Performance at WWT Raceway: Dalton Kellett’s only start here was last year when he qualified 24th and came through to finish 12th. Kirkwood competed at WWT Raceway in the Indy Lights Series last year; he started on the front row both races (won the pole in the second race) and finished second in both events. The Foyt team’s best start is 8th (2017 – Carlos Muñoz) and its best finish is 3rd (2019 – Tony Kanaan).

The Bommarito Automotive Group 500 will be broadcast on the USA Network Saturday evening starting at 6 p.m. ET. The race will be streamed live on Peacock Premium as will qualifying on Friday at 4:15 p.m. ET. The INDYCAR Radio Network will also broadcast the race.

Race Report: Big Machine Music City Grand Prix

NASHVILLE (Aug. 7, 2022) — The music stopped and AJ Foyt Racing was left without a chair in the second edition of the Big Machine Music City Grand Prix. Torrential rain delayed the start of the race by over 90 minutes, but once the race got underway, the game of musical chairs began.

In the opening laps of the race, both Dalton Kellett, who started 12th in the No. 4 K-Line Insulators Chevrolet, and Kyle Kirkwood who started 16th in the Sexton Properties Chevrolet, were running one of their best races of the season. Unfortunately, neither driver finished.

Although Kellett slipped from 12th to 18th early on, he was running a good pace when the first round of pit stops began following the second full course caution on lap 22, for Helio Castroneves’ spin in Turn 3. Most of the field ducked into the pits for service.

This first stop on lap 21 was pivotal in the race strategy.

In a fortunate turn of events, Kirkwood had pitted a lap earlier and was able to leapfrog from 13th to fourth when the field pitted, prompting race strategist Larry Foyt to say, “Maybe our luck is turning around.”

However, when the race restarted on lap 25, Kellett was caught up in a multi-car crash in Turn 6 that forced at least six cars to the pits, some of whom were able to return to the race. Kellett could not and finished 25th.

Kellett follows close behind Takuma Sato.

Kellett explained, “We got caught up in the accordion effect, a bit of a pileup in that back part of the

track going up into Turn 6 and there was nowhere really to go. Got into the back of Dixon and then Simona (DeSilvestro) hit me from behind. There’s a sensor in the back of the gearbox that if that gets broken off, you can’t shift and that’s basically what happened to us.

“Not the way we wanted our weekend to end here in Nashville after our best qualifying so far in the NTT INDYCAR Series,” he added. “Definitely leaving here taking the positives away from this weekend that we can, you know with a good qualifying performance and we made good strategy calls. There was also some pace that we found that I don’t think we’ve had before, so that was a good confidence boost for the whole team and for myself as well, so looking forward to taking that into the remaining road courses. Next up we’ve got Gateway (World Wide Technology Raceway) and that was a good race for us last year. We test there next week, so hoping that goes well and that should be an exciting race.”

On that same restart, Kirkwood dropped from fourth to sixth after being passed by David Malukas and Scott McLaughlin but Foyt calmed his driver, reminding him there was a lot of racing left. On the next restart on lap 33, Kirkwood moved into fifth after passing Jimmie Johnson and he ran there until the fifth full course caution of the day unfolded for the Takuma Sato and Devlin DeFrancesco incident in Turn 10 on lap 52.

Kirkwood passes Jimmie Johnson for fifth and trails Scott McLaughlin.

This time Kirkwood got leapfrogged by several cars who had pitted just before the caution. He dropped to 10th despite the quick stop. When the race restarted, he gained three spots in one lap only to have officials rule that he jumped the restart; he had to drop back to ninth. In a couple laps, he moved into eighth and was realistically seventh since leader Josef Newgarden still had to pit and Kirkwood did not.

On lap 64, Kirkwood was making a move on Malukas when the two rookies made contact in Turn 9 and both ended up in the tire barrier ending their day. Kirkwood injured his right hand and it requires further examination to determine the extent of the injury which he will have done this week.

Foyt and Kirkwood after the race.

“Honestly it was a fantastic race overall up until the lap that it ended for us,” said Kirkwood when he returned to the paddock from the track’s medical center. “Fantastic strategy by the team cycled us up into what I think was P4 on strategy, and it was really close to even being further up than that. We cycled back a few spots after some other people got lucky on a caution, but then boom right away, we’re back into hunting for what seemed like a podium. Looking at the end of the race there, we were right behind Scott McLaughlin and he was fighting for the win at the end of the race, and that’s where I felt like we should have been, so I was pushing everything I had. David Malukas was probably about a second off the pace, and I went to pass him and I just don’t think he saw me going for the lunge on the inside of turn nine. I did the same move on Simon Pagenaud and he was aware of the situation, but I guess I’ve got to look into it more, but that was just unfortunate. We were pushing super hard to try and get a podium because that’s what I think this team deserves at the moment.”

Malukas was penalized for “avoidable contact” and dropped to 20th while Kirkwood was scored in 19th.

One who always seems to snag a chair when the music stops is Scott Dixon. He won his 53rd INDYCAR race thus moving past Mario Andretti into second place on the all-time victories list, trailing behind only A.J. Foyt, who has 67 triumphs. Dixon was involved in the lap 25 melee that claimed Kellett but after six pitstops, five more cautions and 55 more laps, it was Dixon taking the checkers.

Following him across the line were: pole winner Scott McLaughlin, Alex Palou (with a broken front wing), Alexander Rossi and Colton Herta (both of whom were involved in early accidents). The next race on the schedule is the Bommarito 500 at World Wide Technology Raceway which will be broadcast on the USA Network at 6 p.m. ET.

Qualifying Report: Big Machine Music City Grand Prix

NASHVILLE (Aug. 6, 2022) — Making music in the Music City. Dalton Kellett posted his career best qualifying run in the No. 4 K-Line Insulators USA Chevrolet in the final street course event of the season.

Starting 12th in tomorrow’s Big Machine Music City Grand Prix, Kellett topped his performance in the season opener in St. Petersburg when he qualified 14th. Kellett used two sets of the green-rimmed alternate compound tires to advance out of the first round of qualifying. He was sixth fastest of the 13 qualifiers on track.

In the Fast 12, Kellett was at a disadvantage as he had only two used sets of alternate compound tires available while most of his competitors had a new set to utilize. However, that fact did not dampen the elated feelings of the team or the driver.

Kellett gets a hug from his fiancée Nicole Westra.

“We just posted our best qualifying of the 2022 season so far and it feels really great just to get that No. 4 K-Line Chevy into the Firestone Fast 12 on a great weekend here in Nashville,” said the 28-year-old Canadian. “Lots of interesting stuff going on, we had the Firestone guayule green alternate tires on which were coming up to temp really quick. It was kind of a parallel to the St. Pete qualifying where we did quite well. It seems like when we can get the tires to activate quickly and really just make it happen on that first lap, we seem to have an advantage there. We really press that advantage by just making sure we got ahead of the order of things as far as greens coming out to transfer so that’s something to look at. Very proud of this team overall for the result that we got here today.”

Kellett with his parents Cinde and Mark after posting his best qualifying run to date.

Kyle Kirkwood had high hopes going into qualifying after being fifth quickest in the No. 14 Sexton Properties Chevrolet in this morning’s practice. However, he did not advance out of the first round of qualifying. He will start 16th.

“I have to say we don’t really have the pace that everyone else gets out of their cars on the green tires for whatever reason,” Kirkwood said after climbing out of his car. “Fortunately, we assume it’s going to be a primary race tomorrow with the primary black tires, which we’ve been very quick on. Very quick on them in practice one, and we’re super quick on them practice two. We’ve got the car in a good place. So tomorrow if it’s black race, a primary race and everything stays dry, we’re going to be quick.”

Team President Larry Foyt congratulated Kellett on his run and said afterwards, “Really for happy for Dalton and the 4 team. It was great to see that K-Line Chevy advance to the top 12 in qualifying. So really hoping we have a great day tomorrow. The 14 car is starting 16th, not where we want to start, but the car has been good all weekend. Hopefully we’ll have two good finishes and get out of Nashville with some good points.”

Scott McLaughlin won the NTT P1 Award with his time of 1 minute, 14.55 seconds on the 2.1-mile street course. Rounding out the Firestone Fast Six were Romain Grosjean, Christian Lundgaard, Alex Palou, Pato O’Ward and Josef Newgarden.

The Big Machine Music City Grand Prix will be broadcast live on NBC and streamed on Peacock Premium tomorrow starting at 3 p.m. ET.

Notes & Quotes: Big Machine Music City Grand Prix

Source: Team PR

RAUL MOLINA is a weekend warrior who was drafted into service at the Indianapolis 500! Co-owner of Molina’s Cantinas, the very successful family-run Tex-Mex restaurant operation in Houston, Molina has known the Foyt family for over 50 years. He went from a being a fan who took pictures of the race team to becoming an active crew member on race weekends. We asked him a few questions… 

How did you first meet A.J. Foyt?

RM: “I grew up two blocks from AJ Foyt, Sr.’s (Tony Foyt) automotive shop located on South Shepherd and Milford St. and my dad had an old Jaguar that he would take to Mr. Foyt to adjust the side draft carburetors while A.J. worked on an old restaurant van. I would go to the shop with my dad and that is how I got to meet both Foyts and had my first exposure to a race car. I was about 8 or 9 years old and also rode my bike over to the shop often just to nose around. Mr. Foyt let me hang around a lot.

“After that, I was and still am a great fan of A.J. Foyt. Growing up, I would listen to the Indy 500 races on the radio and cheer on Foyt. On a sad note, one day I went up to the Foyt garage only to find that it had moved to north Houston but, there was still the fire station next door, and the firemen would “let” me and my friends wash the fire hoses after a fire and roll those heavy things up for them…. so our kid life of adventure was not all that bad.”

What was the first race you saw in person? 

RM: “My first race to see A.J. drive would be a midget race in the Houston Astrodome back in 1969. Jimmy Greer sponsored the car I believe. It was one of the most exciting things I had ever seen and to make it better, A.J. won.”

When did you start coming to Indy car races? 

RM: “A.J. and his family have been customers of my family’s Mexican restaurant for many years and back when the Month of May was the entire month, A.J. was having dinner before heading to Indy. He asked me about getting some chips and hot sauce so that he could take to Indy. I was joking with him and I told him, if he could get me a place to watch the race, I would deliver the chips and hot sauce in person. To my surprise, he told me to call one of his employees and it would be taken care of. I was 23 years old and newly married, but I jumped in a restaurant van and drove all the way to Indy with five other guys with A.J.’s chips and hot sauce. That was 42 years ago and I have only missed one Indy 500 race ever since! I was a guest of A.J.’s in his Turn 2 suite to watch my first Indy 500 and it was such an amazing time! I was fortunate to visit his suite many times during subsequent Indy weeks and A.J. helped me get really nice tickets in the grandstands to watch the race.”

When did you first start working with the team?

RM: “After attending the race for many years with a group of friends, the group decided not to go back so, I started going to Indy with only my camera. Thanks to A.J., I had pit/garage passes so that I could have access to take photos of the event. Many times prior to the Indy 500 race, I would take dinner to the Waller (Texas) race shop for the crew members as a treat while the crew worked long days and nights in preparation to head to Indy. I became friends with Rodney (“Dawg”) while hanging out at the race shop. Back when we could take anything we wanted on an airplane, I would take chips, hot sauce, tequila, and margarita mix with me for the suites. Carb Day used to be on Thursday and we would celebrate until race day, eating, and drinking margaritas in the high-roller parking area. During those old days, I was eating dinner in one of the motor homes with Bob Galloway one night and ended up getting to meet and talk to General Chuck Yeager!

“If I had to guess, about 15 years ago, I was walking the pits taking pictures and I stopped to check in with Rodney to see how everything was going in the pits. Rodney’s reply was, ‘I know that you are here taking pictures but, you need to put that camera down and give us a hand, we are short of help.’ All I had to do was hold a rear tire for the inside tire changer, how bad could that be? I found out real quick just how fast things can go wrong. The car in the pit box 1 or 2 from us had some sort of issue and a front tire came bouncing towards our pit box. Before I knew it had even happened, the loose tire flew by me. What had I gotten into? Since then, I have run tires, worked the Deadman valve, pulled air gun hose, anything to help out.”

Now that you are a weekend warrior, what do you do to help out the team (aside from pit stops)?

RM: “I started off this season working with the 11 car. Duties included helping prep the car in the morning to get fired up by connecting the oil and water heater, hand crank motor. Work with the damper team to insure the proper damper springs and alternate dampers are taken to pits for the practice sessions. Help mechanics in garage setting tire pressures, clean brake bleeders after brakes have been bled, help remove and then reinstall car body work. Load the tugger with all equipment necessary for the practice and race sessions. Pull the car to and from the race track. During the limited time allotted for practice, listen to crew radio, stay focused on what crew members are doing, try to anticipate what items the crew chief might want on the pit wall like dampers, springs, front or rear camber shims in order to have an effective and efficient practice session. For pre-race, clean, polish and prep primary and backup wheel nuts along with the car’s uprights. During the race, stop sign and the water cannon and help the tire guy keep front tires in order, ready for the next pit stop.”

What is your favorite memory (or most memorable experience) from a race track?

RM: “I took my dad to the Indy 500 in 2007. He was so excited. A memory I will always cherish so, for that reason, my most memorable. My two boys also have become regular Indy boys traveling up there with me many times, starting in their high school days to present; they are 28 and 30.”‘

Your family restaurant, Molina’s Cantina, used to cater lunch for the ABC Supply Day at the Track outside of Houston. You also took pictures and had a special experience there–tell us about it.

RM: “What kid that grew up around cars would not die for the chance to drive a Race Car? When Larry Foyt offered me the chance to drive the ABC Indy car, it was a Dream Come True. It was so awesome and gave me a real appreciation for the skills that professional race car drivers have. Both my sons also had the opportunity to drive.”

Who started Molina’s Cantina?

RM: “My family’s restaurant business got started back in 1941 by my grandparents. Later my dad and uncle got into the business after they served in the military. I now work with my two brothers operating three locations, two in the greater Houston area and the newest in Fulshear (a suburb west of Houston).”

Raul (in orange shirt) with his brother Ricardo (left), his dad Raul, Jr. and other brother Roberto. The occasion for the photo was the 80th Anniversary of the first opening of the restaurant in 1941.

What are the other locations, and do you still have the first location operating?

RM: “The original was in the downtown Houston area but has long been gone. We have had numerous other locations, mostly inside the Loop 610, plus the one out on Westheimer, which is still open today.”

What do you do for the family business?

RM: “What I do is wear many hats. I don’t have to work on the floor seven days a week anymore, thank goodness! My main responsibility, after my parents sold the business to me and my brothers, is business administration and operational systems for our family of companies.

My other responsibilities include facilities development and maintenance, and can include things like electrical repairs, plumbing, HVAC, equipment repairs, fixing golf carts used for our security and on occasion cooking, plus computer systems and more. I must say, it is nice to have a race shop full of tools and one Jack Starne (AJ Foyt Racing’s general manager) to help with some of my many equipment repairs!”

What do you do in your spare time?

RM: “What spare time? This year between the family business and races, there has been little spare time but, when there is, I love spending time in Galveston at our beach house, mowing, relaxing, enjoying adult beverages, listening to music (60’s & 70’s), BBQ pit and friends. I have to say, my hobbies/interest are work, races, photography and listening to music.”

What are three things on your Bucket List?

RM: “I’d love to be there working an Indy 500 race that we WIN!!!(2)Spread out in a big fancy house on Galveston Bay with a boatlift.(3) Have grandkids to spoil.”

Firestone “Green” Tires? As part of an ongoing effort to make Indy car racing a “greener” sport, INDYCAR and Firestone are working together on initiatives such as the Firestone Firehawk guayule race tires which will make their competition debut as the alternate race tire at the Big Machine Music City Grand Prix. The green (instead of red) sidewalls of the tire are made with guayule-derived natural rubber which is a sustainable product. Guayule is a drought resistance, heat tolerant, woody

desert shrub native to the American southwest. The guayule natural rubber within the tire’s sidewall allows it to maintain the same quality and performance as the existing race tire. The guayule race tire will only run this race this season.


“I’m very excited to be going back to Nashville. With the city, the promotion, and the track, I think it’s well on the way to being a marquee event on the calendar. I liked the layout last year, despite the challenges of the bumps and the inevitable learning opportunities of a brand new street circuit. The adjustments to the circuit all look like they will make the racing and driving better. Especially addressing the seams on the bridge and the big bumps in the downtown section should really improve the overall driving experience. It’s our last street circuit for the 2022 season, so it’s bittersweet since those are my favourite circuits. I really enjoy the challenge IndyCar racing brings to city streets. We have felt good about our street package on the No. 4 K-Line car, but we have a new test with Firestone’s green alternate compound tire that is being debuted this weekend. All indications are that the performance is the same as the red (alternate compound tire), so it shouldn’t be much of an adjustment. It’s great to see Firestone taking the lead on developing renewable tire compounds!”

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 in 2015…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.


“I would probably put Nashville as the second-best event of the year, next to the 500. We’ve shown good pace at most street courses this season and I fully expect to again this weekend. They’ve made some changes to the track, which I believe works in my favor or for anyone who hasn’t driven on the circuit yet. It will be hot, physical, bumpy and all new to me but we’re excited for the challenge.”

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 at Nashville: In the inaugural event, Sebastien Bourdais, who started 16th, was taken out on an early restart when Marcus Ericsson rear-ended Bourdais so hard that Ericsson’s car bounced over the top of Bourdais’s car and damaged the No. 14’s suspension beyond repair. Dalton Kellett, who brought out that first caution due to steering wheel issues, soldiered on but on lap 40, he tried to miss sitting duck Scott McLaughlin who’d spun after tangling with his teammate Will Power. Kellett damaged his suspension and retired. Ericsson went on to claim his first Indy car victory.

Last Race: At the Gallagher Grand Prix, Kellett started 24th and finished 21st. Kirkwood started 20th and finished 23rd.

The Big Machine Music City Grand Prix will be broadcast live on NBC this Sunday starting at 3 p.m. ET. Practice and qualifying will be streamed live on Peacock Premium.

Race Report: Gallagher Grand Prix

INDIANAPOLIS (July 30, 2022) — This too shall pass. Auto racing is a tough sport because it is unforgiving and sometimes downright cruel. But racers – drivers, owners and especially crew members — are blessed with an innate optimism which serves them well when times get rough.

Dalton Kellett has had some challenging days at the office in the No. 4 K-Line Insulators USA Chevrolet this season but he always seems to find the positives.

Starting 24th and finishing 21st in the Gallagher Grand Prix, Kellett recounted his race and gleaned the positives the race had to offer.

“Moved up from where we started, which was definitely the goal today after a pretty rough qualifying,” Kellett said. “Happy we were able to make up some spots in that No. 4 K-Line Team Chevy.

“The track here is always pretty tough to nail the setup down,” he continued. “We started the weekend really not in a window where either of us were very happy. We went in two separate directions for (morning) warm-up just trying to figure something out. I think we found something we were happy with, and definitely a lot more pleased with the balance of the car overall during the race. I think the engineers did a great job from where we started the weekend to now.

“As the race played out, we started on blacks which were definitely the slower tire but luckily most of the field was on the blacks to begin with, so we didn’t lose too much track position there,” the 28-year-old Canadian said. “Got spun around early after tangling with the 48 car with Jimmie (Johnson). No real blame or anything to be mad about there, looks like just a racing incident. He was on the outside, I was trying to hold the inside line, and we touched wheels and I went around. It wasn’t anything too egregious on either of our parts. Luckily, the AMR safety crew got us started and we didn’t lose a lap, which is great, because that would have ended our day pretty much. So, hats off to them.

“Strategy wise, we were just trying to run as hard as we could initially,” he revealed, adding, “and then with that yellow that came out about halfway through, we had to do a pretty long stint in the middle. So, we’re saving fuel really aggressively, getting input from the stand on fuel mileage I needed to hit, and I was able to actually pick up the lap time while saving fuel, so that’s always the goal. Then had a relatively normal length stint at the end where you could push hard which I was trying to stay ahead of the leaders — just in case the yellow came out. But once they were close, then we let them by and have their battle. I was able to keep Jimmie behind us at the finish, so it all worked out I guess.”

Teammate Kyle Kirkwood had a particularly tough time on the 2.43-mile, 11-turn road course and described his race as “eventful.”

After a positive morning warm-up where the No. 14 Sexton Properties Chevrolet showed competitive pace, the team anticipated a competitive race. Indeed, it started off in the right direction with Kirkwood moving up from his 21st grid spot to 17th but a slow stop on lap 15 dropped him to 23rd. An issue getting away on the second stop compounded the trouble but the icing on the cake was getting tagged by Helio Castroneves on lap 49 which sent Kirkwood spinning. He was able to keep it running but the rear of the undertray sustained damage which affected the car’s performance. Castroneves was levied a penalty for avoidable contact. The race finished under green so Kirkwood never got the chance to get his lap back and he placed 23rd. Castroneves met him afterwards to apologize for the shunt.

“It was actually a fun race but we were on the wrong strategy,” said Kirkwood. “Started off on the red tires which didn’t work out for anyone except for Scott McLaughlin, which he went long on them I believe, and we just didn’t really have the pace on the black tires. From there we went to an old set of reds because that’s all we had left and we used them in practice.

“Very eventful race,” he continued. Got hit in turn 9 and that really gave us too much damage to have any pace at all for the rest of the race. Ultimately, it put us a lap down with an extra pit stop due to an issue with the rear right tire from that incident. Unfortunate day, but we’ve made improvements this weekend, so we’ll take the positives from it. That (improvements) was definitely one of them. And we’ll go on to Nashville, another street course. Hopefully, fingers crossed, we’ll be good there.”

Alexander Rossi won his first race since 2019, thus ending a 49-race winless streak. Finishing second through fifth were rookie Christian Lundgaard, who posted his career best finish of the season, Will Power who was trailed by his teammates Scott McLaughlin and Josef Newgarden.

This week the NTT INDYCAR Series heads to Nashville. The Big Machine Music City Grand Prix will be broadcast by NBC on Sunday, August 7th starting at 3 p.m. ET.

Today started off with a unique photo opportunity at the Speedway. The IMS staff gathered INDYCAR’s Indianapolis 500 winners and NASCAR’s Brickyard 400 winners and one Brickyard 200 road course winner to pose together at the Yard of Bricks. Some past winners drove or flew in just to be part of the photo and enjoy the historic moment.

Standing (L to R): Will Power, Brad Keselowski, Alexander Rossi, Marcus Ericsson, Helio Castroneves, Jeff Gordon, A.J. Foyt, Roger Penske, Mario Andretti, Rick Mears, Jimmie Johnson, A.J. Allmendinger (Brickyard 200 road course), Casey Kahne, Simon Pagenaud. Seated (L to R): Sam Hornish Jr., Ricky Rudd, Arie Luyendyk, Jr., Kyle Bush, Takuma Sato, Dale Jarrett, Bobby Rahal, Kevin Harvick.

Optimists all!

Qualifying Report: Gallagher Grand Prix

INDIANAPOLIS (July 29, 2022) — The tough qualifying sessions continue for the AJ Foyt Racing team as the NTT INDYCAR Series shares the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course with the NASCAR Cup Series this weekend. The Gallagher Grand Prix kicks off the festivities on Saturday while NASCAR’s Verizon 200 at the Brickyard wraps up the weekend on Sunday.

Kyle Kirkwood will start 21st in the No. 14 Sexton Properties Chevrolet after posting a lap time of 1 minute, 11.21 seconds (123.293 mph) around the 2.439-mile course.

“Ended up 21st. Obviously, not as good as we’d like to be,” Kirkwood said. “And we felt like we were a lot better at the test when we were here a few weeks ago and very similar conditions. So, we’re scratching our heads a little bit, but now we’ve got some time between qualifying and tomorrow’s warm up to really dig into the car and see what’s different. Granted, this is a different car than what we tested here. And so that might have something to do with it. But we’re gonna have to dig into and see exactly what the discrepancies are to figure out if we can get this baby back to the front for tomorrow’s warm up.”

Dalton Kellett will start 24th in the No. 4 K-Line Insulators USA Chevrolet having lapped the 14-turn course in 1 minute, 12.00 seconds (121.940 mph).

“Overall tough qualifying for us,” said the 28-year-old Canadian. “Just didn’t feel like we’ve quite got the most out of the reds. Still struggling with the same thing since the start of the first practice: understeer in high and low speed corners. So, trying to dial some of that out. We thought we made a good decent swing at it for qualifying but still kind of missed on the balance a little bit with the reds. We opted to go to reds early and were one of the first ones on reds, so that never really helps. We’re still looking for a chunk of time so we’re gonna figure out just how we can get a little more front grip dialed into this No. 4 K-Line car and see what we’ve got for tomorrow.”

Felix Rosenqvist won the pole with a lap time of 1 minute, 10.22 seconds (125.030 mph). Finishing in the Firestone Fast 6 were Alexander Rossi, Pato O’Ward, Will Power, Josef Newgarden and Christian Lundgaard.

The Gallagher Grand Prix will be broadcast Saturday, July 30th on NBC at 12 noon ET with the green flag waving at 12:30 p.m. ET.

Notes: Gallagher Grand Prix

Pete Drummond was born and raised in Indianapolis which is where he currently lives. The 22-year-old is currently a senior studying for a degree in Motorsports Engineering at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). He currently works on the front end of the No. 4 K-Line Insulators Chevrolet and handles the airjack on pitstops. We asked him a few questions…

How did you get interested in racing?

PD: “Growing up my family did not come together for Christmas or other holidays but we all came together in Indianapolis for the Indy 500. The month of May was always important to me and my family. I went to as many races as I could when I was young and always wanted to get involved as I grew older. The first race I attended was an Indy car race in 2005 at Kentucky Motor Speedway.”

When did you get your start in racing and when did you start working for our team?

PD: “I began working in racing in 2018 as a mechanic for an F4 team and while also working for a few teams in the Road to Indy. In 2020, I worked the Harvest GP on Dalton Kellett’s car as a tire handler. The following year I began working full time with the team beginning with the Indy 500.”

What gives you the most satisfaction from the job?

PD: “I think the most satisfying part of my job is when the fans are up close to the car and are excited to see the car and ask questions about it. I am lucky to do what I do and it feels rewarding when people are impressed with the car because I know the hard work I had to put in to make it look and perform as well as it does.”

What are your career goals?

PD: “Even though currently I am a mechanic as well as take classes in engineering school, one day I want to be in a team management role.”

Drummond handles the Airjack (at rear of car) for Dalton Kellett.

What is your favorite Track?

PD: “Sebring because of its history, I’ve enjoyed some of the smaller races there and I like testing there with the Indy car–and it’s in the middle of Florida!”

What is your favorite race (if Indy, what is your second favorite)?

PD: “Other than the Indy 500 my favorite race is Long Beach. I enjoy the area and the fact that the track is near the water. It’s just a fun race.”

What is your most memorable moment so far?

PD: “The most memorable moment of my career currently has to be when JR (Hildebrand) qualified for the Indy 500 in 2021. When he crossed the yard of bricks, I knew we were in the show and that was a big moment for me. “

At Indy in 2021, Drummond is guiding J.R. Hildebrand’s car after he qualified for the 500.

“I remember getting a hero card from him when I was a kid. So it was awesome to work on his car as the first time I worked on an indycar as a mechanic.”

If you didn’t work in racing, what would you do?

PD: “If I did not work in racing I would have liked to work on fighter jets–either as a mechanic or as an engineer designing them.”

What is the hardest part of the job?

PD: “I think the hardest part of the job has to be mid-season when you are worn out but still have to meet tight deadlines and be ready for anything.”

Drummond helps run a karting team in his spare time.

What do you like to do outside of racing?

PD: “Outside of racing I enjoy helping run a Karting team as well as racing karts myself. When not at a race track, I enjoy working on projects around the house or on my car and spending time outdoors.”

Pete took in a Red Sox game at Fenway Park with his brother Joe and sister Liz in 2019.

What is the best advice you have ever gotten?

PD: “The best advice I have gotten that applies to this job and life is to always listen and be willing to try something new. You can always learn something from anybody. ”

What are the top three things on your bucket list?

PD: “1 – Win an Indy 500; 2 – Participate in the 24 Hours of Le Mans; 3 – Win an INDYCAR race.”

DALTON KELLETT is coming off a tough couple of weekends but he is looking to rebound here at his other “hometown track” as a resident of Indianapolis. Kellett moved from his native Toronto to Indianapolis in 2015, the summer after he graduated from Queens University in Kingston, Ontario. Last year, he bought his first house in Indianapolis.

“I’m really excited to be back at IMS. You know it’s a back-to-back weekend of exciting racing action for

IndyCar fans and NASCAR fans this weekend with the doubleheader. Really looking forward to being there and just being part of that big show. You know, it was a great event last year so I’m really happy to see that continuing. The overall trend this year is that our street course cars have been a little bit stronger than our road course car with that road course Firestone tire being a little bit different. So, we’re still trying to work that out. We think we’re on the right track, but again, we’ll have to get on track and see how everything shakes out. I’m really happy to be back racing at IMS and hoping for a good weekend for the No. 4 K-Line group.”

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 in 2015…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 is looking to capitalize on is experience gleaned from running the IMS road course in May. It will be the first time he will have race experience in an Indy car on a road or street course having raced on the track in May.

“So going back to Indianapolis. I think we had a fairly good test there between the last race and now and we were able to make some gains definitely on the car and setup. We’ll see how we stack up there. We’re coming off a bit of a hectic weekend between starting from the back in two races, crashing in one of them and finishing 15th which was a decent finish I felt. We’ll see exactly what we learned from our tests because we felt pretty strong at the end of it. Hopefully, fingers crossed, we have some good finishes there.”

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.

Chris McFadden Update: McFadden, the inside rear tire changer who was injured in a pit lane accident at Iowa Speedway on Sunday, stopped by the team’s race shop in Indy on Wednesday. He is aiming to be back in action for the final race of the season in Laguna Seca, Calif. It will depend on the progress he makes in the next 10 days as to when he can start seriously training. He plans to be at the Nashville race as an observer.

Past Performance: Kellett’s best finish at the IMS road course is 20th in May, 2021. Kirkwood finished 26th after being tagged from behind and knocked out of the race. AJ Foyt Racing’s best start on the IMS Road course is fourth with Jack Hawksworth in 2016 and their best finish is fourth with Matheus Leist in 2019. In both cases, the drivers were in their sophomore year of NTT INDYCAR series competition.

Last Race: At Iowa Speedway’s Hy-Vee doubleheader last weekend, Kyle Kirkwood posted his second-best finish of the season in Race 1 when he finished 15th. Dalton Kellett finished 20th which tied his second-best finish of the year. In Race 2, Kirkwood ran high going into Turn 1 after going three-wide when leader Josef Newgarden and Rinus Veekay (fighting to stay on the lead lap) passed him entering Turn 1. Kirkwood hit the wall and was out of the race but wasn’t injured. Kellett was running in the top 18 when he was penalized with a 30-second stop and hold after a pit lane accident involving rear tire changer Chris McFadden. He placed 22nd.

The Gallagher Grand Prix will be broadcast live on NBC on Saturday starting at 12 noon ET. Peacock Premium will stream the practice (9:30 a.m.) and qualifying sessions (1:00 p.m.) on Friday. All times Eastern.

Race Report: Hy-Vee Salute to Farmers 300

NEWTON, Iowa (July 24, 2022) — The Hy-Vee Salute to Farmers 300 at Iowa Speedway is one race that the AJ Foyt Racing team would like to forget.

Rookie Kyle Kirkwood, who started 20th in the second race of the doubleheader, was optimistic about his chances in the No. 14 Sexton Properties Chevrolet. He was running 17th on the seven-eighths mile banked oval when his race ended against the Turn 1 wall on lap 120. Kirkwood had just been passed by leader Josef Newgarden and Rinus Veekay who was fighting to stay on the lead lap. Diving low, Veekay made it three-wide as all headed towards Turn 1 with Kirkwood on the outside. As a result, Kirkwood entered too high and hit the marbles and he slid hard into the Turn 1 wall sustaining considerable damage to the car but fortunately he escaped injury.

“I’m not really sure at the moment [on what happened],” said Kirkwood as he emerged from the infield care center. “I’ll have to really look into it to really know. It just felt like Rinus (VeeKay) put us three-wide into there and I was just stuck out into the marbles from the start of the turn-in and then went wide into the wall. The car just didn’t turn from my point of view. It is what it is.

“It’s super-unfortunate the way it turned out because I thought we were having a pretty good race compared to yesterday,” the 23-year-old American continued. “At least we were making improvements that entire race. We were getting better and better and making passes happen. It was an unfortunate situation for myself where it almost felt just like something let go and I went straight off into the wall. Here on entry, I just turned and there was nothing there. I’ll be scratching my head because we damaged that side of the car but yeah, it’s just unfortunate.”

Kirkwood placed 25th.

Starting 26th, Dalton Kellett was having a good race in his No. 4 K-Line Insulators USA Chevrolet when he entered his pitbox too fast and too close to the wall. He struck Chris McFadden, the rear inside tire changer, who sustained a leg injury. McFadden was taken by ambulance to MercyOne Medical Center in Des Moines for further evaluation. Kellett was assessed a stop and hold penalty — a 30-second hold in his pit. The penalty cost him four positions; he finished 22nd.

This pit stop went smoothly.

After checking on McFadden in the infield car center, Kellett summed up his day.

“Overall, I think we made the race car better today from where we were yesterday. That was a good

step. Was running p18, having made up some good spots on track and just getting some clean air and running hard. I was really happy with that. On the last pitstop, I came in a little hot and just didn’t get it down into neutral quick enough and had an issue grabbing the clutch pedal given the angle going into the box and tagged a couple of the crewmen, just went long. So you know, really feel bad for those guys. It’s part of the job but it’s never easy when someone else has to pay for your mistake. So feel really bad for Chris and Shelby [Tracey]. Chris has got an injury to his leg. He’s gonna have to get evaluated at the hospital and he’ll be sidelined for bit but I know he’s a strong and fit guy. He’ll bounce back and be ready to go in no time. But like I said, really sorry to the number 4 K-Line pit crew. You never want to have a race car pinching you between the wall.

“Otherwise, I think we ran a good race, car felt racy, little bit of inconsistency on the balance. Set to set was a bit of a question mark. I think we were shy on COP to begin with and then corrected that and then car felt really hooked up after we put some wing in. Then on the last set of tires, some understeer came back in so we’ll just kind of look at that. But with the penalty from the long stop, we lost three or four spots. Sad to throw that away because we obviously need the points but still it shows that we can be racy on the short ovals.”

Pato O’Ward took the lead when Josef Newgarden crashed in Turn 4 on lap 235. O’Ward went on to win the race. Second through fifth were Will Power, Scott McLaughlin, Scott Dixon and Jimmie Johnson, who posted a career-best finish in the NTT INDYCAR Series.

The teams head to Indianapolis this week for the Gallagher Grand Prix at the IMS road course. Practice and qualifying will be streamed on Peacock Premium on Friday, July 29, at 9:30 a.m. ET and 1 p.m. ET respectively. The race will be broadcast live on NBC on Saturday, July 30, starting at 12:00 p.m. ET.

Race Report: Hy-VeeDeals.Com 250

NEWTON, Iowa (July 23, 2022) — The excitement around the Hy-Vee doubleheader at Iowa Speedway was palpable today! Tim McGraw performed before the Hy-VeeDeals.Com 250 and Florida Georgia Line followed up with another concert after the race.

Tim McGraw kicked off the afternoon with a high energy performance.

With ambient temperatures nearing 100 degrees, heat was going to be a factor for the drivers as well as the crews today. However, the Foyt team had solid pit stops and both Kyle Kirkwood and Dalton Kellett drove some of their best races of the season.

Kirkwood, who started 24th in the No. 14 Sexton Properties Chevrolet, had to endure one difficult stint but as the track changed for his final stint, the car started coming into its own towards the end of the 78-lap stint. He gained four spots in the last 11 laps of the 250-lapper to finish 15th, his second-best finish of the year.

“I think it was a solid day considering where we started P24 to P15,” said Kirkwood. “Our car was really good late in the stints. I think the way the race played out, if it was a lot more green running, we would have looked even better. But with all the cautions and people going to new tires very quickly, it put us in a position that we’re always on new tires and fresh tires. And then at the end we made hay, we passed four cars right at the end just because we went longer on a stint and our car stayed with it for a longer period. So that’s definitely good to know, for tomorrow, because if it stays a lot more green, we’ll probably be looking better from our better starting position in 20th.”

Questioned about the blistering hot weather, Kirkwood revealed, “Definitely the hottest race of the year.

No doubt. I think it was over 100 degrees for most of the race. And my water was actually too hot to even drink so I didn’t drink any water. Cool suit wasn’t working anywhere near as much as it has been in the previous races. Which should be even more here because you’re going a lot faster and get a lot more air to the radiator. Tomorrow is supposed to be 20 degrees cooler, so that definitely helps everyone, not only myself.”

Dalton Kellett started 26th in the No. 4 K-Line Insulators USA Chevrolet and found himself racing amongst the leaders in one stint as the pit cycles shuffled cars around. He not only maintained but outran some of them before it was his turn to pit. However, unlike Kirkwood whose car was stronger at the end of a stint, Kellett’s was stronger at the beginning of the stints. About a third of the way through the last stint of 78 laps Kellett was closing in on Kirkwood who was running 19th. However, the change in the track conditions worked against Kellett and he lost ground to the leaders in the final half of the stint. He finished 20th, which tied his second-best finish of the year.

“It was good to move up a few spots from starting on the last row to bring it home 20th for the No.4 K-Line Chevrolet so that was a good progression for our day,” Kellett said. “I think overall we’re okay on pace and at the start of the run and the first third of the stint but it really seems like we’re abusing the rear tires and just making it pretty tough to hang on towards the end. We’ll have to figure out what we can do to keep the tires under us longer in the stint. We went 78 laps on tires in that last and I was hanging on for dear life for the last 30 or 40 laps. So that’s a key factor here is how long you keep it underneath you without really losing the front or the rear end too much for us. We’re losing the rear so we’ll have to see what we can do to kind of protect those rears a little bit.”

Asked if the heat was a factor for him, Kellett replied, “I don’t think it factored into it during the race

but definitely afterwards I was feeling pretty…well with the adrenaline I felt fine during the race and as soon as I got out of the car, I was dizzy, my vision was a bit blurry and just a little dazed. I went over and had medical give me the onceover so that was good to get filled up (with fluids) and hydrated for tomorrow. Luckily, it’s going to be a little bit cooler but it’s a longer race. The physicality of this place is definitely one of the toughest races that we’re going to do this year.”

Josef Newgarden grabbed the lead from pole sitter Will Power on lap 23 and only relinquished it once to Jimmie Johnson during the pit cycles. He took command on lap 80 and was never headed again. Second through fifth were Pato O’Ward, Power, Rinus Veekay and Scott Dixon. The top five were the only cars to finish on the lead lap.

Tomorrow Will Power will again start from the pole for the Hy-Vee Salute to Farmers 300. Kirkwood will start 20th and Kellett will start 26th in the race which will run an extra 50 laps. Concerts will again bookend the race with Gwen Stefani performing before the race and Blake Shelton afterwards. The race will be broadcast on NBC starting at 3 p.m. ET.

Florida Georgia Line performed after the race to the delight of fans and participants alike!

Notes & Quotes: Hy-Vee Doubleheader at Iowa Speedway

CORDELL DURCHOLZ began his work with AJ Foyt Racing as an intern in 2018 while pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). Graduating in May 2020, Durcholz then started working with the team full-time. He informed, “IUPUI is one of the only colleges with a degree specifically geared towards any engineering career in the motorsports industry.” We asked him a few questions…

Where are you from?

CD: “I am from a small town just outside of Jasper, Indiana, called Ireland. Jasper is where I went to

high school with a graduating class around 250 people and a population of around 16,000. The town use to be known for its cabinet making in the first half of the 1900’s. Now it is the home of Jasper Engines and Transmissions as well as businesses like Masterbrand Cabinets and Kimball Electronics. Both of my grandparents settled in the town as farmers, raising livestock and growing crops.” [Cordell pictured with his wife Kellie]

What was your first job as an intern working with AJ Foyt Racing?

CD: “My first race for the team was the Indy 500 where I helped the tire guy manage the 33 sets of tires given to each car.”

What are your responsibilities with AJ Foyt Racing?

CD: “Starting my career here as an intern, I was not able to attend all of the races due to class. I stepped into a support engineering role focusing on research and development projects from CAD drawings, program coding, wiring, or whatever the team needed help with. I have spent time as a data engineer for various races and currently I am a performance engineer. I started the year focused on the 11 car but have recently focused on supporting the 4 and 14 car and preparing for the 2023 season.”

Durcholz is now supporting the engineering on the No. 14 car. Also pictured are race engineer Roberto Garcia (who subbed for Mike Colliver in Toronto) and strategist Scott Harner.

How did you get interested in racing and when did you get your start professionally?

CD: “My interest in racing stared in my early years, watching NASCAR with my parents. I rooted for my

favorite driver, Tony Stewart, whom I met during the 2021 Indy 500. [Tony came to the 500 as A.J.’s guest and honorary owner of the No. 11 entry driven by J.R. Hildebrand]. Ironically, I was not a Jimmie Johnson fan at the time but now I am happy to see him in an Indy car and hope he does well. In high school, I joined a motorsports team where we built and raced small race cars. I decided I liked the motorsports atmosphere, and it would be more interesting than any other career path I was considering at the time, so this drove my decision towards IUPUI and its engineering program.”

If you didn’t work in motorsports, what would you do?

CD: “If I did not work in racing, I would likely be working for a military defense contractor. This career path was my first internship during college at a nearby naval base where I supported a submarine program.”

What is your career goal?

CD: “My career goal has and always will be to work in a fun and intellectually challenging environment in an engineering role. Naturally, I find that I am willing to do and learn about anything. The motorsports industry has fit this goal of mine perfectly, challenging me every day to find better solutions to different problems every day. The environment is competitive, and I enjoy it every day.”

Durcholz receives a hug from Tatiana Calderón after her 15th place finish at the GMR Grand Prix in Indianapolis earlier this year. Durcholz was the performance engineer on the No. 11 car. Race engineer Daniele Cucchiaroni looks on.

What is your favorite track?

CD: “My favorite track is probably Laguna Seca. I think I like this track so much because of the elevation changes throughout the track. The first time I walked the track I stood at the top of the corkscrew and I could not believe that our cars could navigate this portion of the track at the speeds they do. It is one of those times that make you think about the talent all of these drivers have.”

What is your favorite race of the season?

CD: “My favorite race of the season is probably Road America. I go camping there every year and I enjoy the track layout a lot. There is always a lot of other series at the track to watch and the fans have always been plentiful.”

What is the most memorable moment of your career so far?

CD: “The most memorable moment in my career so far was the 2021 Indy 500. This was the first Indy 500 where I was closely involved in the car setup. I was much more engaged in the car performance, and I learned so much in the two weeks that make up the Indy 500.”

What is the hardest part of your job?

CD: “The hardest part of my job is being away from my wife and dog for many weekends during the season.”

Cordell and his wife Kellie enjoy the outdoors.

What do you enjoy outside of racing?

CD: “Outside of racing, I enjoy almost anything outdoors. More so when I lived back in Jasper, I rode four-wheelers a lot. I enjoy shooting guns and archery which I have been doing since I was very little. I have a wonderful group of friends back in my home town and we are often doing these things when I make it home to visit. These days, I enjoy snowboarding when I can, and I stay close to my family by going camping nearly every opportunity we have.”

What are the top three items on your bucket list?

CD: “The top 3 things on my bucket list are skydiving, riding in a fighter jet, and taking a trip into the wilderness of Alaska. One of these is much less likely to happen than the others.”

What is something that may surprise people?

CD: “As a kid, I was very involved in 4-H. Specifically, I was in a program called shooting sports for 12 years, learning and shooting different guns and bows. One of the activities that a group of my friends enrolled in during the fair was called pig wrestling. This was a timed event in which you run into a very muddy pit with a pig and you have to pick up the pig and place it on a tire in the middle of the ring. We were not fast but it was fun.”

DALTON KELLETT spent a couple of weeks busily promoting his hometown race in Toronto but mechanical woes plagued him in qualifying and the race which led to a disappointing result. He is looking forward to racing at Iowa Speedway where he had some of his best runs in the Indy Lights Series, finishing ninth in 2016, third in 2017 and fifth in 2018. It will be his first start in an Indy car although he did test last month along with his teammate Kyle Kirkwood.

“It’s going to be a fun couple of races (and concerts!) at the Hy-Vee IndyCar Weekend! With everything planned, I think it will be a great experience for IndyCar fans. We tested here a few weeks ago – the track is challenging and bumpy with a couple lanes that will open up for the races. Our cars always put on a good show here, so I’m excited for the racing. The doubleheader will be physical and demanding on the teams and drivers, but I’m looking forward to it. After a tough weekend at Toronto for the No. 4 K-Line team, we’re all happy to be back at it this weekend!”

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 has never raced at Iowa Speedway but he did test at the 7/8-mile banked oval last month along with Kellett. Kirkwood’s oval track experience is limited to just five races in the junior formulas (USF 2000, Indy Pro 2000 and Indy Lights) and two races in INDYCAR, both of which were on superspeedways (Texas and Indianapolis).

“After last weekend it’s nice to be straight back at it to hopefully redeem ourselves. With it being two races this weekend, I am sure it won’t be easy. We tested there about a month ago and felt like we got the car in a pretty good spot by the end of the day. It’s going to be a very physically and mentally demanding weekend, but we are looking forward to 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: AJ Foyt Racing’s best start at Iowa Speedway is 13th with Takuma Sato in 2016. Its best finish is fifth in 2007 with Darren Manning; they finished 10th with Tony Kanaan in 2019. This will be the inaugural race at Iowa Speedway for both Kellett and Kirkwood.

Last Race: At Toronto, the team experienced a tough race with both cars. Kellett didn’t make a qualifying attempt due to fuel system issues. In the race, the fuel system issues persisted and he finally exited the race after 30 laps with a smoking powerplant. Kirkwood lasted until lap 56 of the 85-lapper when he made contact with Jimmie Johnson and he had to park the car.

Broadcast information: The Hy-Vee doubleheader will be broadcast on NBC-TV with the 250 presented by Door Dash starting at 4 p.m. on Saturday and the Hy-Vee Salute to Farmers 300 presented by Google starting at 3 p.m. on Sunday. All times Eastern. The practice and qualifying session (counting towards both races) will be streamed on Peacock Premium. The INDYCAR Radio Network will broadcast the races, practices and qualifying sessions which can also be heard on Sirius XM 160, and the INDYCAR App powered by NTT DATA.

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