THE BIG TIME
After a fast and near-flawless season in Indy Lights, a place on the
2018 Verizon IndyCar Series grid beckons for California’s Kyle Kaiser.
f you’re looking for a single standout
weekend in Kyle Kaiser’s 2017 Indy
Lights Presented by Cooper Tires
campaign, you might point to Mid-Ohio –
because that’s about the only one where
things didn’t go right for him.
The Californian came into the season
with two years of Lights experience
under his belt, coupled with all of the
advantages brought about through the
continuity of having been a Juncos driver
since his second year of Pro Mazda in
2014. Expectations were high and he
delivered, matching Matheus Leist with
three wins, but overwhelming his Carlin
rival on the consistency front, courtesy
of five podiums to the Brazilian’s one.
IKey to Kaiser’s season was Toronto.
Going into the weekend it was Leist
who had the momentum after stringing
together three victories from four starts,
including a memorable win in the Freedom
100 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Needing to regain the initiative, Kaiser
opened the Canadian weekend with pole
position, and ended it with back-to-back
wins. The consequent points buffer proved
especially helpful when the next race at
Mid-Ohio yielded only a pair of 12ths.
Kaiser went into the finale at Watkins
Glen with such a huge points advantage
that simply taking the green flag was
enough to secure the championship. As his
reward, he’ll spend at least three weekends
But for a couple of rocky weekends,
Indy Lights might have crowned a rookie
champion with a very familiar last name.
Colton Herta earned three wins and six
poles in the Andretti Steinbrenner entry
to finish third in the standings.
IT’S IN THE GENES
2017 INDY LIGHTS
Presented by COOPER TIRES
1. Kyle Kaiser 330pts
2. Santiago Urrutia 310
3. Colton Herta (R) 300
4. Matheus Leist (R) 279
5. Zachary Claman DeMelo 274
6. Aaron Telitz (R) 271
7. Nico Jamin (R) 269
8. Neil Alberico 225
9. Juan Piedrahita 208
10. Shelby Blackstock 207
counts if you make
it count –and
Lights driver Kyle
Kaiser was forced
to draw upon all of
his to defeat a
deep 2017 Indy
Lights field and win
the opportunity to
race in the IndyCar
Series next season.