A.J. Foyt Racing has confirmed reigning Indy Lights champion Kyle Kirkwood as the new driver of its iconic No. 14 Chevrolet.
“We are thrilled to welcome Kyle to the team,” team president Larry Foyt said of the 23-year-old American. “Obviously, he has been very successful on his climb through the Road to Indy championships, and his record speaks for itself. This deal came together rather quickly, but I’ve already been impressed with how Kyle thinks about racing and the maturity he seems to have for such a young driver. The NTT IndyCar Series is as competitive as ever, and the challenges are great, but we feel Kyle will be a great asset as we take on those challenges and work to grow as a team.”
Kirkwood follows Sebastien Bourdais, Tony Kanaan, Carlos Munoz, Takuma Sato, and Mike Conway as the latest driver to pilot the No. 14 over the last decade.
“I actually met Larry [Foyt] for the first time in 2018 at Road America when I was driving in USF2000 with Cape Motorsports,” Kirkwood said. “He was the first person in the IndyCar paddock to show me around the car, and explain the dynamics of what it takes to be an IndyCar team and driver. From that moment, I felt very comfortable with the atmosphere of the team, and now it has come to fruition that I will be driving the No. 14. It’s hard to explain in words the excitement I have to drive for such an experienced and legendary team. I know I will be filling some very big shoes, but I think it’s the perfect timing and group to be able to do so.
“Considering I have 19 years of experience driving, and it’s all led to this moment to becoming a full-time IndyCar driver — it’s truly a dream come true. It’s incredible seeing the completely unexpected path I took in previous years blossom into something I’ve always hoped for as a kid in karting.”
With three IndyCar tests recently completed with Andretti Autosport, Kirkwood is ready to apply all he’s learned so far and gain more knowledge once he’s able to start testing with the No. 14 Chevy.
“The biggest difference I’ve noticed in my tests is the tire,” he said. “The Firestone tire creates a lot more grip. There are other differences, like steering weight, downforce and braking capabilities, but all of those are just a nice step forward from the Indy Lights car.
“I’m sure I will know more as I enter the season, but I know I will be against some drivers that have years and years of experience in the car and with the tracks. I know my lack of experience will hurt in some aspects, but hopefully my driving will be able to make up for most of it.”