Andretti Autosport WRLS Race One Debrief
 September 19, 2021| 
  • Team News
Gavin-LS-091821-GB-32737S
INDY LIGHTS GRAND PRIX OF MONTEREY PRESENTED BY COOPER TIRES
RACE 1 DEBRIEF
09.18.2021
 
 
It was a victorious day at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca for the Andretti Autosport Indy Lights team as Kyle Kirkwood collected his eighth win leading all 30 laps of Race 1 from the pole position. With Saturday's win, Kirkwood retakes the lead of the 2021 Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires Championship battle by eight points with only three races remaining.

Bad luck was the name of the game for the rest of the Andretti Lights stable with contact, suspension damage and a penalty plaguing Kirkwood's teammates. Danial Frost was on-track for a top-five result before late-race contact dropped the No. 68 machine back three positions with only nine laps to go. Also on his way to a solid result, Devlin DeFrancesco received a five-second penalty for jumping the restart, and teammate Robert Megennis was forced back to pit lane with suspension damage from curb contact.

The green flag will wave for the Indy Lights Grand Prix of Monterey Presented by Cooper Tires Race 2 at 10:15 a.m. PT Sunday with coverage streamed live on NBC's Peacock.

 

KYLE KIRKWOOD
No. 28 ROAD TO INDY / COOPER TIRES / CONTRACTION CONTRACTORS CLUB DALLARA
START FINISH CHAMPIONSHIP
1 1 1ST / 456 PTS.
OF NOTE: Set the fastest lap of the race with a time of 01:16.8764 // Earned his sixth Indy Lights pole position in Race 2 qualifying // Retakes the lead in the championship points standing
"This win is huge. We came into this weekend knowing we needed to be fast and we've been just that the entire weekend. I was unsure about our race pace going into the race, but it seemed like we were even faster there at the end than the beginning. I can't believe it. I have no words right now. It was probably one of the most effortless races I have had all season and for that to happen on this weekend, it's so crucial for our championship. Now, we have the championship lead. It was three points back coming in to the weekend and now it's eight points ahead. I'm stoked, it's awesome."

 

DANIAL FROST
No. 68 DEN-JET DALLARA
START FINISH CHAMPIONSHIP
5 8 5TH / 285 PTS.
OF NOTE: Will start Race 2 from fourth
"It was a pretty decent start and we managed to maintain our position. It seemed like the cars around us had fresher tires compared to our scrubbed tires, so it was quite difficult to hold the position from the guy behind me. We ended up losing the position to the 51 car. Later on, we managed to reel him back in and we were matching pace with the front runners, so the race pace was quite good. I think if we were in a better position, we would have been able to fight with the leaders as it seemed like they weren't pulling away much further than we expected. It looked like it was going to be a promising race until we got to the restart where an unfortunate event happened. We dropped back to the back of the field and at that point my right front (tire) was pretty shot. It was quite difficult to get past the other guys, especially at this track. Honestly, it was an okay race and we focused on making the car better and it seemed like we made it better, but track position is everything here. It is a little difficult to make up positions at the midpoint through the race here, especially if guys aren't making mistakes. We'll look forward to tomorrow. We are starting fourth which is going to be a lot better opportunity to get at least a podium or the win, so we will focus on making a better car for tomorrow."

 

DEVLIN DEFRANCESCO
No. 17 POWERTAP DALLARA

Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport
START FINISH CHAMPIONSHIP
7 9 6TH / 281 PTS.
OF NOTE: Worked his way from seventh to sixth on the start while battling teammate Megennis // Will start Race 2 from eighth
"We had strong pace in the race today. I was able to stay consistent and pressure the guys around us which was great since a bunch of them started on new tires. I was quite happy with our speed, but it is tough to overtake here. Sixth was the best we could have hoped for today. We had a penalty at the end of the race for passing my teammate before the restart. From my perspective, as soon as the leader goes, we go - but I passed him before it went green. It is what the stewards decided. We take the penalty, we take it on the chin and we move forward to tomorrow."

 

ROBERT MEGENNIS
No. 27 ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT DALLARA
START FINISH CHAMPIONSHIP
8 10 7TH / 270 PTS.
OF NOTE:Will start Race 2 from sixth
"Race 1 was not great. I hit a curb early on and damaged a push-rod, so I had to come in to fix it and ended four laps down. It seemed like we had a decent race car, before and after the contact. I think I was pretty fast out there for all things considered, so I feel good for tomorrow. I had a good start and had a lot of potential on the start until Devlin [DeFrancesco] tried to hit me. I feel good and think we can get a good result tomorrow and finish this weekend off well. It's been super tough up until now, but we will finish it off well and go into Mid-Ohio and end the year off on a high."

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