Kyle Kirkwood had another perfect weekend. Last week in Portland it was a championship saving one. He went from fifth to second in Race 1 and ended up winning Race 2. This time around in Laguna Seca, he was untouchable. He led all 30 laps on Saturday and all 35 on Sunday en route to a weekend sweep. It was his eighth and ninth wins of his season which is one shy of tying the all-time season best record. The top is Greg Moore with 10 wins in 1995.
Kirkwood, now leads David Malukas by 15 points heading to the final race weekend in two weeks at Mid-Ohio. It’s another doubleheader to close out the year for what will be a $1.3-million scholarship for three races into the NTT IndyCar Series for 2022.
That’s why he and Malukas are coming up so much in Silly Season reports. Kirkwood, an Andretti driver, won the 2018 USF2000 title, the 2019 Indy Pro 2000 championship and without an Indy Lights season a year ago, could go three straight in 14 days from now. He’s a perfect 9-for-9 at Mid-Ohio in terms of victories, so it’s likely he’s 3-for-3 in the Road to Indy in championship seasons too.
With 30 wins in 48 tries through the Road to Indy ladder, he’s a coveted driver. Kirkwood, could be linked to Andretti but all signs point to them going with Romain Grosjean and his Indy Lights teammate Devlin DeFrancesco to join the already existing Colton Herta and Alexander Rossi with the team. Kirkwood’s name keeps coming up to replace Ed Jones with Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser Sullivan in their No. 18 Honda. He drives for them in IMSA after all.
Before we get too far ahead, he has to hold off Malukas who’s also drawing an INDYCAR interest. There’s rumors his team could move up to the NTT IndyCar Series and a pairing with DCR or even Ed Carpenter Racing makes sense.
Malukas, finished fourth though on Saturday but came back for a runner-up on Sunday for he and Kirkwood’s fifth 1-2 finish in the last six races. But, with Malukas having just five top two finishes in the last eight starts compared to eight for Kirkwood in the same span, that’s the difference right now.
It was Malukas’ 14th podium of the season though as Linus Lundqvist finished third for his fourth straight podium, three of which being third. He’s also had 14 top five finishes in his last 15 starts to claim the third spot in the standings and earns an INDYCAR test as a result.
Danial Frost and Benajmin Pedersen rounded out the top five in the caution free race.