Andretti Autosport On-Track Report: Barber Race One
 April 18, 2021| 
  • Team News
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INDY LIGHTS GRAND PRIX OF ALABAMA PRESENTED BY COOPER TIRES
RACE DEBRIEF
04.17.2021
 
After a 17-month delay, the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires heard the command to start engines. As the green flag flew for Race 1, an incident between Kyle Kirkwood and David Malukas brought out the first caution of the season on Lap 1. Kirkwood collected damage to the front wing and right-front tire, leading the driver of the No. 28 to enter pit lane for a change during the caution. With a restart on Lap 5, the field was smooth sailing around Barber Motorsports Park for the remainder of the 30-lap event.

Race 2 of the 2021 Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires season will broadcast live tomorrow on NBCUniversal's newest streaming service, Peacock, at 1:10 p.m. ET.
DEVLIN DEFRANCESCO
No. 17 POWERTAP DALLARA
Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport
START FINISH CHAMPIONSHIP
6th 3rd 3RD / 22 PTS.
OF NOTE: First podium finish of Indy Lights career // Challenged for second place in final laps of Race 1 // Will start fourth in Sunday's Race 2
"The Andretti Steinbrenner guys have done a fantastic job all weekend. We definitely started on the back foot, but we’ve been making progress all weekend. I have to thank all my sponsors, everyone who is on board for this year. I can’t wait for tomorrow. There’s fantastic work going on in the Andretti Steinbrenner truck with all the engineers that we have. We made a few changes and hopefully we make more progress tomorrow."

 

ROBERT MEGENNIS
No. 27 ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT DALLARA
START FINISH CHAMPIONSHIP
8th 6th 6TH / 15 PTS.
OF NOTE: Earned his 16th top-six finish // Battled with teammate Danial Frost after the restart on Lap 5 // Qualified third in Sunday's Race 2
"It was a solid Race 1. I think there’s a lot that we can do to improve and be faster in the next one, but it’s just so hard to pass around this track. It’s so tight and the field is so close. I gained a few positions on the start after the incident and just kind of held that spot for the rest of the race. It was a little close with the guys behind me at the end. I drove off my tires trying to get around the guy in fifth to make up some spots, but I pushed too hard and kind of burnt off the tires. This track is so fast and it definitely takes a toll. Good info for tomorrow and we’ll come back at it. I’m excited to start third in Race 2. I'm ready for a win or a podium."

 

DANIAL FROST
No. 68 DEN-JET DALLARA
START FINISH CHAMPIONSHIP
10th 7th 7TH / 14 PTS.
OF NOTE: Collected his first top-10 finish of his Indy Lights career // Starting 10th in Race 2
"We started in 10th in this race and we actually made it up to P6, and then the full-course caution came out, so I had to give a position back to Robert (Megennis). Then the restart happened and the whole rest of the race we were pretty much stuck behind him trying to find a way to pass. We tried our best to find a way around, but it makes it so much harder without the push-to-pass. Overall, I’m quite happy with where we are especially with how we struggled all weekend. Now we have to focus on tomorrow. We know of some stuff we can do with the car to make it faster, so I’m quite happy with the result even though it’s not close to where we want it to be. Thank you to Andretti Autosport for this weekend and hopefully tomorrow will be a better day."

 

KYLE KIRKWOOD
No. 28 ROAD TO INDY / COOPER TIRES / CONSTRUCTION CONTRACTORS CLUB DALLARA
START FINISH CHAMPIONSHIP
3rd 9th 9TH / 12 PTS.
OF NOTE: Involved in Lap 1, Turn 1 incident with David Malukas - resulting in a broken front wing and punctured right-front tire // Served a penalty for avoidable contact and was required to take the restart at the rear of the field // Worked his way inside the top 10 after restarting 12th // Qualified seventh for Race 2 on Sunday
"The start of the race was very unfortunate, just locked up. I’ve got to look at the video to really know exactly what happened. It all happened really fast. We damaged the wing so we had to replace that and the right tire was cut. We started from the back after the caution and got a couple of positions in the first couple laps, but it became impossible to pass really quick. I think after that we fell into a groove without push-to-pass with it not being available this weekend. I think it would have been a different story if that was enabled, but we did what we could. We finally got the car into a good window, now we just need to get positions."

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