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Kaminsky Ends 2022 Campaign, SWitching focus to 2023

Jun 20, 2022 | News

Elkhart Lake, WI

When the checkered flag fell last Sunday, June 12th, it marked not only the end of Round 10 of the Indy Pro 2000 Championship presented by Cooper Tires from Road America but also a tentative end to Kaminsky’s 2022 conquest. With only a budget for half of the season guaranteed at the season’s launch, the order was stacked tall for Kaminsky to finish the remaining eight rounds of the 2022 season championship.

Entering the event at Road America, the duo of Kaminsky and Pabst Racing found themselves in a do-or-die situation after early-season successes faltered and their hopes for a strong finish in the overall championship slipped away. After failing to finish in the critical Carb Night Classic, a single race oval event awarding a 1.5-times points bonus to all finishers, Kaminsky’s point deficit to the championship leader nearly doubled from 33 points to 65 points. A strong performance in two races at Road America would be necessary to maintain Kaminsky’s footing in the championship race.

Early in the event, a strong performance appeared imminent. Kaminsky and the #27 bounced around inside the top five during pre-event testing. When qualifying sessions began, Kaminsky slipped slightly, finishing P7 in the first of two sessions, just two-tenths of a second out of the top five. In Qualifying 2, an unfortunate red flag fell just as Kaminsky prepared to make his ultimate charge. When the session later resumed, he had wasted the optimal window of his Cooper Tires. Eighth was the best he would manage.

Starting on the back foot with his season hanging in the balance, Kaminsky drove with the same mindset he had shown in successful races earlier in the year at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Unfortunately at Road America, rather than avoiding incidents on track, Kaminsky was caught by them. A damp patch in turn 5 of the 4.0-mile circuit collected drivers in 1st, 2nd, and 5th place, along with Kaminsky, and sent them wide off the track. Kaminsky was able to carry on from the 10th position and showed a good pace moving up the ranks from there. Ultimately, he would recover his original starting position to finish seventh.

The weekend’s second race would require an exemplary performance to renew Kaminsky’s championship battle. He showed a strong start on the opening lap, moving into 5th-place by just the 5th turn. Unfortunately, that would be the high for the day, as the #27 fell backward from there. Unable to extract a quick lap-time from the car, he dropped back to eighth by mid-race. In a hard-fought battle with his teammate, Sundaramoorthy, a loss of downforce from dirty air sent him wide off the track through turn seven, dropping him two more positions. When the checkered flag fell, he held the 10th spot.

The weekend’s, and now the season’s, final result is one that no one was hoping for. However, with his head held high, Kaminsky reflects on his year with Pabst Racing and all they accomplished together. After a difficult season opener at St. Petersburg, the duo earned three podiums in the following four races. Now, Kaminsky’s focus shifts toward 2023. With heaps of experience on the Road To Indy in both the USF2000 and Indy Pro 2000 categories for multiple seasons. Kaminsky knows he’s ready to move up the ladder and will aim to do precisely that.

Photos credit Gavin Baker Photography / Road to Indy

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