MONTEREY, Calif. – Kyle Kirkwood thoroughly dominated the second leg of the Indy Lights Grand Prix of Monterey Presented by Cooper Tires Sunday to complete a weekend sweep at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.
The victory, his ninth this year, leaves him one shy of the all-time single-season record established by Greg Moore in 1995.
Kirkwood, who convincingly won the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship in 2018 and added the Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires crown one year later, now holds a 15-point margin over David Malukas in his quest to become the first driver to claim all three Road to Indy titles. At stake this year is a scholarship valued at $1.3 million to guarantee entry into a minimum of three NTT IndyCar Series races in 2022, including the Indianapolis 500.
Malukas finished a distant second, well clear of Global Racing Group with HMD Motorsports stablemate Linus Lundqvist.
Kirkwood set up his emphatic performance by snaring his sixth Cooper Tires Pole Award during qualifying on Saturday morning. After entering the weekend with a five-point deficit to Malukas, Kirkwood accelerated cleanly into the lead at the start and simply drove away into the distance.
He completed the first lap around the challenging 2.238-mile road course an astonishing 1.8 seconds clear of his nearest rival, Malukas, then hammered home his mastery by extending his advantage on every lap except the final one before taking the checkered flag some 26.0555 seconds clear. It was one of the most dominant drives in Indy Lights history dating back to 1986.
Malukas couldn’t hold a candle to Kirkwood today but he still trounced Lundqvist, who eventually finished more than 13 seconds in arrears.