Andretti Autosport Media Recap: Mid-Ohio
 October 4, 2021| 
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Andretti MO II 2021
VP RACING FUELS GRAND PRIX OF MID-OHIO
PRESENTED BY COOPER TIRES
RACE 2 DEBRIEF
10.03.2021

 

 
Kyle Kirkwood was officially crowned the 2021 Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires Champion today at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Claiming the 2021 title, Kirkwood is the first driver to win all three Road to Indy Championships (USF2000 - 2018, Indy Pro 2000 - 2019, Indy Lights - 2021) and the first to capture all three titles in consecutive years, excluding 2020 when the Indy Lights Series did not run due to COVID-19 restrictions.
 
The Florida-native had his hands full on a wet Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course starting the second race of the weekend from the fifth position force to finish no worse than 11th in the 12-car field to clinch the championship title. With today's championship win, an Andretti Autosport driver has now won the last three Indy Lights Driver Championship titles.

After capturing his best start at Mid-Ohio, Devlin DeFrancesco wheeled his No. 17 around the 2.258-mile road course to bring home a fourth-place finish and the eighth top five of his 2021 Indy Lights campaign. Although the track dealt wet conditions, Danial Frost and Robert Megennis managed to drive a clean race to bring home sixth and ninth-place results, respectively.

 

DEVLIN DEFRANCESCO
No. 17 POWERTAP DALLARA

Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport
START FINISH CHAMPIONSHIP
4 4 6TH / 325 PTS.
OF NOTE: Captured his best Indy Lights finish at Mid-Ohio
"It was definitely a baptism by fire out there today at Mid-Ohio. This place is not a normal race track in the wet. It was a lot of fun being able to slide the car around, trying different lines, but it was a challenge that I enjoyed. It was great to finish the year with a strong race and I have to say huge congratulations to Kyle [Kirkwood] on his championship win. I have to give a massive thanks to my mechanics Tex and Madison, my engineer, Mark, and the entire Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport crew. Big thanks also go to my family who have made huge sacrifices for me to do this. Michael Andretti, George Steinbrenner, Sean Jones – I’m immensely grateful for everyone for giving me this opportunity. My sponsors PowerTap, Kimoa, Jones Soda, Fyllo, Allinsports, Simply Mac, Sol Yoga – thank you so much for all your support."

 

KYLE KIRKWOOD
No. 28 ROAD TO INDY / COOPER TIRES / CONSTRUCTION CONTRACTORS CLUB DALLARA
START FINISH CHAMPIONSHIP
5 5 1ST/ 537 PTS.
OF NOTE: Tied with Greg Moore for the record of the most wins in a single Indy Lights season [10 wins]
"To bring it home today and get this scholarship, it’s such a big relief. It’s been such a stressful season, especially at the end. We really had to push to beat HMD, they’ve been knocking on our door all season long. To get the win yesterday was crucial, and to survive today was crucial, though I have to say today was even harder than yesterday. But this is insane – I can’t thank everyone enough: Cape Motorsports, RP Motorsports, Andretti Autosport. It’s been an incredible four years. I’ve learned so much this year from the Andretti team. They’ve really taught me so much and I can’t thank them enough. And huge thanks especially to my entire 28 crew, they’ve worked so hard."

 

DANIAL FROST
No. 68 DEN-JET DALLARA
START FINISH CHAMPIONSHIP
9 6 5TH / 338 PTS.
OF NOTE: Despite a wet track, advanced three positions on track from his starting position of ninth
"In the final race of the season, we didn’t start where we ideally wanted, but we made great progress and got up to fourth at one point. I am quite happy that we found that much pace in such short notice. The pace was there and we managed to figure out a bunch of things. I think it was a decent race finishing sixth. Even though it wasn’t the result we wanted, we struggled with the car because the track was a little bit more slippery than we thought it’d to be. Thank you to the team. They did an amazing job this year. They gave a solid effort and I am proud of what they’ve done this year. I’ve become such a better driver in this past year. I’m just excited for how much I’ve developed and become a better race car driver. It was a learning process, there were some goods and bads throughout the year. You have to take the goods and bring them for the upcoming years. Hopefully, we can challenge for a title next year."

 

ROBERT MEGENNIS
No. 27 ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT DALLARA
START FINISH CHAMPIONSHIP
6 9 7TH / 319 PTS.
OF NOTE: Collected the 37th top-10 finish of his Indy Lights career
"It was not a good race. I felt like I had no rear grip. I was really trying to get temperature in the tires - really trying to push the car. I was really trying to get the most out of the car. We just had no grip and I have no clue why. I have never been that slow before. It’s not how we wanted to end the year. It’s disappointing, but I am super proud of the whole team. We had such an up and down year, but they did such a good job the whole year keeping it together and helping support me. I can’t thank everyone who is involved enough for this year."

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