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Kaminsky Experiences Ups and Downs on the Alabama Rollercoaster

May 10, 2022 | News

Birmingham, Alabama

Barber Motorsports Park is commonly referred to as the Alabama Rollercoaster due to its twists and turns and undulating elevation changes. For the last weekend in April, The Road to Indy and Indy Pro 2000 Championship presented by Cooper Tires arrived at the picturesque road course for rounds 3 and 4 of the 2022 championship. Pabst Racing driver Colin Kaminsky experienced an up and down rollercoaster ride not just on the Barber Motorsports Park track but also on the results sheet. He finished second in the first of two races to match his best-ever Road to Indy result. Contrasting that, a mistake in Race 2 dropped him down the order, causing him to finish twelfth.

After eight test sessions through three days in March and April, Kaminsky and his #27 Pabst Racing / Slick Locks Machine were well-prepared for qualifying and double-header race events at Barber Motorsports Park. Knowing the winding road course and its notoriety for hampering overtaking maneuvers, Kaminsky understood that qualifying sessions would be most important throughout the weekend.

Early in Qualifying Session 1, Kaminsky laid down a flying lap around the 2.3-mile circuit marking a blistering 1:17.500 and capturing the provisional pole position. The time would hold until the session’s final minutes, but a late red flag prevented him from launching a countereffort. Kaminsky rolled off for Race 1 one in position number two.

That second position is precisely where Kaminsky would stay for the duration of Saturday’s 25-lap sprint race. Running without incident, he would finish on the second step on the podium, earning his first top-three finish in seven races since returning to Indy Pro 2000. Collecting a big chunk of points towards the season championship and finishing ahead of other leading contenders was a strong statement from Kaminsky and a big “up” to kick off the weekend.

Feeling confident and capable, the “down” of the rollercoaster was unfortunately just around the corner for Kaminsky. In Qualifying 2, Kaminsky once again found himself on the provisional pole late in the session. However, with track conditions still peaking and his tires exhausted, Kaminsky was forced to watch his number fall down the order, dropping to seventh place on the timing tower at the session end.

When the green flag flew for Sunday’s 30-lap melee, things went from bad to worse for Kaminsky. Coming through turn one on lap 2, for the first time at speed, a misjudged corner entry and aero wash from cars in front meant that Kaminsky was truly going for a ride on the Alabama Rollercoaster. Running wide through the grass and jumping over curbs before returning to the racing surface cost Kaminsky seven positions. He resumed action, holding 14th in the order. Proving just how challenging overtaking can be around Barber Motorsports Park while navigating dirty air from other racers, Kaminsky could only manage two passes in his comeback effort despite the strong pace that he had shown during qualifying. He would finish in twelfth position.

Despite difficulties on day two, Kaminsky and Pabst Racing have significant positives to take away from their weekend effort. The duo has shown signs of strength early in the season, earning their first podium of the year and posting the fourth-fastest lap in Race 2 despite their troubles. The Road to Indy and Indy Pro 2000 Championship turns to the Brickyard at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this coming weekend, May 12 – 14. As a unique triple-header event, 99 points are available to drivers. Kaminsky will be looking to take all of them.

Photos credit Gavin Baker Photography / Road to Indy

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