By Luis Torres, Staff Writer
One of the top rising American open wheel stars has found a home in Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires as reigning Indy Pro 2000 champion Kyle Kirkwood will run for Andretti Autosport this season.
Kirkwood will pilot the No. 28 car that was driven by last year’s Indy Lights champion Oliver Askew, who graduated to the NTT IndyCar Series, driving full-time for Arrow McLaren SP.
The 21-year-old Floridian said he’s hoping to deliver similar success with Andretti after feeling the pairing was meant to be after last month’s test at Sebring.
“I am ecstatic that I can now say I am competing in Indy Lights with Andretti Autosport this season,” Kirkwood said. “They have established a winning program in Indy Lights and we plan on carrying that reputation throughout 2020. We are a fantastic match for each other and our Sebring test in December proved that.”
Michael Andretti said he’s been following Kirkwood’s massive rise on the Road to Indy ladder that includes the 2018 USF2000 title where he won 12 races in 14 starts (tied with J.R. Hildebrand’s 2006 campaign), followed by nine Indy Pro 2000 wins and a championship the next year.
“We are very excited about the addition of Kyle to our Indy Lights program,” Andretti said. “We’ve followed Kyle’s career from when he started in 2018 with the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship and have been impressed with his success in every race that led to his Indy Pro 2000 Championship last year. As a championship-caliber team, Kyle displays the desire and talent that we look for in our drivers and are excited to see him hit the track for the 2020 Indy Lights season.”
In addition to his aforementioned titles, Kirkland also won the 2017 F4 United States and 2018 F3 United States championships, making it four championships in just three years. During that span, he won 47 times and scored 55 podiums in 71 starts.
Kirkwood will make his Indy Lights debut at the season opener in St. Petersburg March 13-15.