NASCAR AMERICA: Monday Round-Up (VIDEO)

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Mondays are usually an opportunity to look back on the previous weekend’s big race. But in the NASCAR world, this particular Monday wasn’t just for pondering over Aric Almirola’s first career Sprint Cup win at Daytona, but also over nine of the Sprint Cup Series’ biggest teams forming a business association called the Race Team Alliance.

Today on NASCAR AMERICA, host Marty Snider and analysts Ricky Rudd and Bobby Labonte covered it all – starting with Almirola’s victory, which came on the 30th anniversary of his team owner Richard Petty’s 200th and final victory as a driver.

Snider then talked with RTA chairman and Michael Waltrip Racing co-owner Rob Kauffman about what the Alliance hopes to accomplish. Afterwards, NBCSN contributor and USA Today writer Nate Ryan joined in to discuss how the Sprint Cup garage has reacted to the RTA’s formation.

Another new episode of NASCAR AMERICA will air tomorrow at 5 p.m. ET on NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra. For more clips from the show, head on over to the archive page.

Indy Lights: Kyle Kirkwood joins Andretti Autosport

Road to Indy
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One of the Road to Indy’s most talented young drivers will climb another step up the development system ladder this season.

Kyle Kirkwood, the 2019 Indy Pro 2000 champion, has signed a contract to race for Andretti Autosport in the 2020 Indy Lights season. Kirkwood will drive the No. 28 car for the reigning championship team.

A native of Jupiter, Florida, 21-year-old Kirkwood has been incredibly successful in junior formulas over the last few years. He won the F4 US Championship 2017 and won both the F3 Americas and USF2000 titles in 2018.

Driving for RP Motorsport Racing, Kirkwood won 9 of 16 races in his maiden Indy Pro 2000 season last year, allowing him to win his fourth championship in three years and earn the Road to Indy scholarship.

“We are very excited about the addition of Kyle to our Indy Lights program,” Andretti Autosport CEO and Chairman Michael Andretti said. “We’ve followed Kyle’s career from when he started in 2018 with the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship and have been impressed with his success in every race that led to his Indy Pro 2000 Championship last year. As a championship-caliber team, Kyle displays the desire and talent that we look for in our drivers and are excited to see him hit the track for the 2020 Indy Lights season.”

Kirkwood previously drove for Andretti in a two-day test session at Sebring International Raceway in December. He will make his official debut for the team in the season-opening doubleheader at St. Petersburg on March 14-15.

“I am ecstatic that I can now say I am competing in Indy Lights with Andretti Autosport this season,” Kirkwood said. “They have established a winning program in Indy Lights and we plan on carrying that reputation throughout 2020.

“We are a fantastic match for each other and our Sebring test in December proved that.”

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