Seven events into his third season of Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires competition, Kyle Kaiser sits atop the series standings with a 14-point lead over Nico Jamin.
“We’re just around the halfway point of the season right now, and this year has shown that it is another highly competitive field of drivers,” he told POPULAR SPEED. “We’re in a good position right now leading the points, but I’m not going to take that lead for granted. I know it’ll be important to remain consistent and continue to finish races and fight for wins.”
Being in the championship fight is nothing new for Kaiser as he was one of the five drivers with a shot at the title heading into the season finale at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca last year.
“This season has been just as competitive, if not more competitive, than the 2016 season,” he said. “There are a lot of rookies in the series who have come up to speed very quickly and have shown they’re not to be underestimated. There have already been five winners from four different teams less than halfway through the season, so I think that speaks for itself.”
The latest event on the schedule did not go as planned, though, placing ninth in the Freedom 100 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for his worst finish of 2017 so far.
“The Freedom 100 is the biggest race on our schedule, but at the end of the day its only one race out of the 16 for the season,” he said. “So while the results weren’t what I was hoping for, we came out with a greater points lead than we left with. So I’ll have no problem moving on from an exciting month of May and be ready for Road America.”
Now heading into this weekend in Wisconsin, the Juncos Racing driver will look to return to the top-five after finishing sixth in both events at Road America last season.
“I’m excited to go to Road America since it’s one of my favorite race tracks,” he said. “We had a really strong test day at the beginning of the month, and I feel like we’re going to come into the weekend very strong. This will be an important weekend to try to extend the championship lead as the season reaches the halfway point.”
Kaiser notes the biggest challenge of Road America is putting together a perfect lap.
“The track is over 4 miles long, so this track requires, even more, focus and puts more emphasis on minimizing mistakes,” he said.
A solid performance this weekend would put him one step closer towards picking up the championship at season’s end, which would give him a scholarship to run three Verizon IndyCar Series events next year, including the Indianapolis 500.
“With this being my third season in Indy Lights and my fifth year in the Road to Indy, it would mean everything to be able to secure the Indy Lights Championship and know that I’ll be in an Indy Car in 2018,” he said. “My entire goal since joining the Mazda Road to Indy was to learn and improve as a driver so that I could compete successfully in the Verizon IndyCar Series, and winning this championship would be a huge step towards achieving my end goal.”
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