Indy Lights Laguna Seca: Kirkwood dominates again for ninth win

Kyle Kirkwood scored his second straight Laguna Seca victory by 26 seconds, although title rival David Malukas limited the damage to the points margin by claiming runner-up spot.

Indy Lights Laguna Seca: Kirkwood dominates again for ninth win

Polesitter Kyle Kirkwood got a strong start and while Linus Lundqvist looked alongside HMD Motorsports teammate David Malukas, the front-row starter held on to second. Yet by the end of the first lap, Maluka was already 1.8sc down on his championship rival who had pulled eight points ahead with two poles and victory yesterday.

Behind Lundqvist, Danial Frost (Andretti Autosport) retained fourth ahead of yesterday’s third-place finisher Benjamin Pedersen and Robert Megennis. Devlin DeFrancesco had a sideways moment in the Corkscrew on the opening lap allowing Juncos Hollinger’s Sting Ray Robb to take a look through Turn 8 but he ran wide and fell back.

With the race being 35 laps as opposed to 30 laps yesterday, Kirkwood was eager not to burn his Cooper Tires up too quick and so his lead increased far more gradually than in Race 1. Plus on this occasion Malukas wasn’t bottled up behind his Global Racing Group teammates so he was able to set his own pace.

Still, Kirkwood had a 3.6sec lead by Lap 7, and Malukas was two seconds clear of Lundqvist.

On Lap 10, Rasmus Lindh escaped the attentions of his teammate Robb by getting around DeFrancesco on the run up to the Corkscrew to grab seventh place.

At half distance, Lap 17, Kirkwood’s lead was out to around 10sec, his fastest lap around 0.35sec swifter than that of Malukas. Yet the HMD driver was performing well having pulled out 5sec over Lundqvist. The Swede was having to keep an eye on his mirrors as Frost remained in push-to-pass reach, and Pedersen was only 0.9sec further back.

With 10 laps to go, Pedersen’s attempts to separate Frost from fourth was the main battle to watch, for Kirkwood’s lead was out to 17sec. When Pedersen’s challenge faded, the focus shifted five seconds further back, to Megennis holding off Lindh, De Francesco and Robb.

Kirkwood came into the weekend worried about how the Andretti Autosport cars might perform at Laguna Seca. With a 26sec victory, just a day after a similarly dominant performance, he heads to the final two rounds with a 15-point margin over Malukas – and believing that Michael Andretti’s cars will have the edge again in the Mid-Ohio double-header.

P

Name

Laps

FTime

Diff

ST

Team

Points

1

Kyle Kirkwood

35

1:16.9173

LAP 35

1

Andretti Autosport

488

2

David Malukas

35

1:17.2596

26.0555

2

HMD Motorsports

473

3

Linus Lundqvist

35

1:17.4821

39.3152

3

Global Racing Group w/HMD Motorsports

403

4

Danial Frost

35

1:17.4075

40.8857

4

Andretti Autosport

304

5

Benjamin Pedersen

35

1:17.6336

41.7672

5

Global Racing Group w/HMD Motorsports

322

6

Robert Megennis

35

1:17.8989

48.0055

6

Andretti Autosport

285

7

Rasmus Lindh

35

1:17.8793

48.5498

9

Juncos Hollinger Racing

57

8

Devlin DeFrancesco

35

1:17.8742

49.5310

8

Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport

294

9

Sting Ray Robb

35

1:18.0782

50.1593

7

Juncos Hollinger Racing

218

10

Manuel Sulaiman

35

1:18.0450

54.3030

10

HMD Motorsports

51

11

Christian Bogle

33

1:18.3135

2 LAPS

11

Carlin

207

 

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Indy Lights Laguna Seca: Kirkwood takes Race 1 win, points lead
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