Kyle Kirkwood Gets Toronto Redemption in Race 2
TORONTO, Ontario — Kyle Kirkwood may not have gotten the result he wanted on Saturday in Toronto, but he was able to score the victory in Sunday morning’s event.
“The win was fantastic,” Kirkwood told POPULAR OPEN WHEEL. “It’s a sigh of relief for everyone on the team after an eighth-place finish yesterday after starting on the pole. We’ve been extremely strong all weekend so I think we got what we deserve, and it’s a nice comeback for us right now.”
He started off Saturday’s race strong from the pole, but getting shuffled out of the lead on the first lap in turn one, followed by contact on Lap 2 ultimately saw him finish eighth. Although he led the way on Sunday, it wasn’t easy for the 2017 Cooper Tires USF2000 Champion, as he had Canadian Parker Thompson behind him from the drop of the green to the checkered.
“I don’t know how many seasons that he’s run, but Parker is extremely good around this race track and he has been for many years,” Kirkwood commented. “I think last year was disappointing for him as he had a couple mechanicals, but I think he could’ve won both. But he has a lot of experience in this car around this track, and this is my second year here. Three of the four races we’ve ran here, I’ve won.
“So Parker is an outstanding driver. He always keeps me on my toes; he’s the last one that I expect to make a mistake. So I knew that entire race, I couldn’t make a mistake and fortunately I didn’t.”
Even with the victory, he still sits 32 points behind Rasmus Lindh for the Indy Pro 2000 Championship presented by Cooper Tires points lead.
“We shouldn’t be that far out because we’ve had three races that you could practically say we had DNFs or had to pit for some reason, which is unfortunate,” Kirkwood said. “We should be leading the championship points, but you have to look forward. Things like that happen in racing and we’ve proven to be fast, we’ve won three races now.
“We just need to keep our heads down and try to diminish those fourth, fifth-place finishes we’ve been having due to broken wings in all three of the races we had to pit.”
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