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Dalton Kellett back in Indy Lights for second season with Andretti

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Dalton Kellett will run another year with Andretti Autosport in the 2017 Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires season, and is the first confirmed driver back in the championship next year.

The 2017 season will be Kellett’s sixth overall in the Mazda Road to Indy presented by Cooper Tires, having run in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda in 2012 and 2013, Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires in 2014 and 2015, and now having stepped up to Indy Lights this year.

The release is below:

Twenty-three year old Dalton Kellett will change his Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires ‘Rookie’ status to ‘Veteran’ after signing an extension to remain in the No. 28 K-LINE Insulators USA, Inc. Mazda at Andretti Autosport for the team’s 2017 campaign. The re-signing of the Canadian marks the third consecutive year driving for the Andretti stable and second season running in the Indy Lights championship.

Kellett, who participated in a Verizon IndyCar Series test in early August, plans to use the next year to continue to grow and focus on his ultimate goal of driving an Indy car.

“Returning to Andretti Autosport for the 2017 Indy Lights season is a great opportunity, ” said Kellett. “This will mark my third season with Andretti and I am happy to continue that relationship. Thanks to the expertise and wealth of knowledge of the team, I have grown greatly as a driver over the last two years and look forward to continuing that progression. Working with Michael [Andretti] and the rest of the team is very enjoyable and I know their drive and commitment to success will enable us to field a competitive program. Returning to Indy Lights for a second season, I will have the advantage of the experience from my rookie season. I look forward to coming back to some familiar venues and using that experience to my benefit.”

Michael Andretti, CEO and team owner of Andretti Autosport, is excited to keep Kellett in his Mazda Road to Indy roster.

“Dalton has showed a tremendous amount of work ethic and growth over the past year competing in our Indy Lights program.” Andretti said, “he has worked well along side his teammates to help evolve the team’s three-car effort and we are very pleased to continue working with him for the 2017 season. It is our goal to help develop our drivers and we are optimistic about the growth we will continue to see over the next year.”

The driver of the No. 28 K-LINE Insulators USA, Inc. Mazda finished third at this year’s Freedom 100 held at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and currently sits 11th in championship standings. The Toronto-native has competed at all three levels of the Mazda Road to Indy Program, beginning his American open-wheel career in 2012 driving in the USF2000 championship. Prior to his time in the Mazda Road to Indy Program, Kellett began his resume competing in the Ontario Formula Ford Championship as well as multiple karting championships.

The Mazda Road to Indy program consists of three ladder series leading to the Verizon IndyCar Series. The Indy Lights series champion is award a scholarship to participate in three events on the subsequent year’s IndyCar schedule. The final two races of 2016 Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires competition will be held this weekend at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Northern California.

Steve Torrence takes NHRA points lead with Gatornationals victory

NHRA Gainesville Steve Torrence
Jeff Robinson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Two-time defending NHRA Top Fuel champion Steve Torrence took the points lead Sunday in the AMALIE Motor Oil Gatornationals, beating his father, Billy, in the final round at Gainesville Raceway.

Torrence had a 3.809-second run at 322.11 mph to win for the third time this year and 39th overall. He is now on track for another championship despite missing the season opener.

“We’ve got some good momentum and to be in the points lead, it’s a testament to how hard these guys work,” Steve Torrence said after the NHRA Gainesville victory. “We’ve just got to stay focused and concentrate on what the task at hand is, and that’s trying to win a championship. These guys give me an unbelievable race car and you just try not to screw it up.”

Ron Capps won in Funny Car, Alex Laughlin in Pro Stock and Matt Smith in Pro Stock Motorcycle.

Capps raced to his second win this year and 66th overall, beating Tim Wilkerson with a 3.937 at 323.12 in a Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat.

Laughlin topped Aaron Stanfield with a 7.068 at 204.76 in a Chevrolet Camaro for his first win this season and fourth in his career. Smith rode to his first victory in 2020 and 25th overall, topping Andrew Hines with a 6.843 at 196.99 on an EBR.