As one of six Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires drivers with past race experience at Road America, Dalton Kellett has a slight leg up on some of his competitors entering this weekend’s pair of races.
He also has a little bit of momentum. Kellett had a front row seat to the Dean Stoneman/Ed Jones photo finish in the Freedom 100 from third place, where he took his No. 28 K-LINE Insulators USA, Inc. Dallara IL-15 Mazda for Andretti Autosport to his first series podium.
Kellett enters the weekend 12th in Indy Lights points but with a good opportunity to move up into the top 10, as he sits five points behind both Scott Hargrove and Andre Negrao. Hargrove isn’t racing this weekend; instead, Garett Grist makes his series debut.
Alas, Kellett raced at the track four years ago in USF2000 and posted a best finish of 10th in a 20-plus car field in three races.
He’ll be hoping for an encore of his passing performance at the Freedom 100, when he started 14th but gained 11 positions to end in third.
“It was really nice because one sort of line that was back there was in the process of making it through the field. When it came down to the final laps I had already made a bunch of passes so I knew how to set everyone up and get my runs coming out of the corners,” Kellett explained post-race after Indianapolis.
“When you’re in the car, you’re just focusing on what you’re doing. I don’t think I had anyone trying to get clean laps, make passes, but this is definitely one of the greatest races I’ve ever driven in and the fans here are awesome. There are just tons of people here showing their support. We’re very grateful for that.”
Kellett has been training in Indianapolis in the interim, and was at Detroit driving pace cars there with a handful of others.
“I live here in Indianapolis so I’ve been training with the guys,” he said. “I credit them with my physical fitness, the training. Those guys do a great job. I don’t think we have any testing coming up, so I’m looking forward to getting back on the Cooper Tires road course compound and I’m really looking forward to Road America. It’s a fun track.”
Kellett’s part of a three-driver Andretti Autosport lineup, along with Shelby Blackstock who finished a season-best fourth in the Freedom 100 in his No. 51 Starstruck entry, and the team’s leading driver Stoneman, in the No. 27 Stellrecht car, who is on a roll having won both at the IMS road course and the Freedom 100. Stoneman ranks second in points, 29 back of Jones, with Blackstock in ninth.