CHARLOTTE (August 11, 2023) – Several alumni of Formula 4 United States Championship Powered by Honda (F4 U.S.) and Formula Regional Americas Championship Powered by Honda (FR Americas) are finding success in the INDYCAR paddock. Four graduates started last weekend’s Big Machine Music City Grand Prix on the streets of Nashville, with the same four slated to take the green flag this weekend on Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s (IMS) 14-turn road course.
Last weekend, Kyle Kirkwood, one of the first drivers to officially climb the F4 U.S. and FR Americas ladder system, returned to victory lane for his second INDYCAR win. Driving the No. 27 AutoNation Honda for Andretti Autosport, the 2017 F4 U.S. Champion and 2018 FR Americas Champion earned his first-career INDYCAR win and his first-career INDYCAR pole in April on the streets of Long Beach. Last weekend, after starting the Big Machine Music City Grand Prix in the eighth position, Kirkwood held off polesitter Scott McLaughlin throughout a late-race restart and three-lap shootout to take the victory.
2020 FR Americas Champion Linus Lundqvist stunned in his INDYCAR debut at the Big Machine Music City Grand Prix. Substituting for an injured Simon Pagenaud, Lundqvist was announced as the driver for the No. 60 AutoNation / SiriusXM Honda for Meyer Shank Racing just days before the race. Proving he was up to the challenge, the 2022 INDY NXT Champion advanced into the Fast 12 in Qualifying, spent most of the event competing inside the top 10, and went on to post the fastest lap of the race on Sunday. He will once again return to the cockpit of the No. 60 this weekend at the IMS Road Course.
Other alums competing in last weekend’s event included 2020 FR Americas Vice Champion, David Malukas. Piloting the No. 18 for Dale Coyne Racing with HMD, Malukas brought out the first full-course yellow after an engine fire led to a failure in the rear-wing support. Benjamin Pedersen, the 2019 FR Americas Vice Champion, also suffered misfortune. Pedersen could have been on track for a top-15 finish after starting from the back, but an ill-timed caution during his pit cycle resulted in a penalty, and a multi-car pileup on a restart during the closing laps of the race sealed his fate with a 23rd-place result.
All four drivers will once again be back on track with the NTT INDYCAR SERIES this weekend on the IMS Road Course. USA Network will have live coverage of the 85-lap event beginning at 2 p.m. ET.
Photo by Gavin Baker Photography.