Kirkwood’s First Career Pole in IndyCar


Photo Credit: Aar

Kyle Kirkwood watched a replay of his flying lap during the Firestone Fast Six that gave him pole position while being interviewed inside the Andretti team paddock after the conclusion of qualifying at Long Beach, Calif..

Kyle Kirkwood (#27) of Andretti Autosport earned pole position during the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach’s qualifying period on Saturday, April 15. This marks Kirkwood’s first pole in his young NTT IndyCar Series career. He posted a time of 1’06.2878. Marcus Ericsson (#8) of Chip Ganassi Racing came in less than four-hundredths of a second behind Kirkwood to start the race at the front of the grid. Kirkwood’s teammate Romain Grosjean (#28) finished two-tenths of a second behind Ericsson to secure the third starting spot in Long Beach.

Drama struck the qualifying period after a red flag suspended the session. When qualifying was about to re-start Pato O’Ward (#5) of Arrow McLaren had the lead. With only a few laps worth of time remaining in the session and having some cars race on older tires, O’Ward’s NTT P1 award was sure to be his. The top three placing drivers all passed him on their last couple of laps. Notably too Kirkwood was racing with older tires.

Kirkwood currently sits at 20th in the IndyCar drivers championship and hopes to secure his first win on Sunday. Ericsson is second in the championship only seven points behind O’Ward.