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Kaminsky Scores Two Podiums in Three Chaotic Races at IMS

May 22, 2022 | News

Indianapolis, IN

Chaotic may be an understatement to describe the events of last weekend’s GMR IndyCar Grand Prix of Indianapolis in Indy Pro 2000 presented by Cooper Tires. A handful of crashes and full-course cautions throughout the triple-header weekend proved to be deal-breakers for drivers throughout the ranks, allowing some to succeed while others plunged down the order. Showing keen attentiveness, avoiding spinning and even flying cars, Colin Kaminsky kept his #27 Pabst Racing machine out of trouble and contended for wins all weekend. In three races, he earned two podiums, rising in the rankings for this tightly contested 2022 championship.

Race 1 on Friday morning initiated the chaos that drivers in the series have come to expect on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Grand Prix course. Starting on a section of the high-speed Indy 500 oval, the 14-turn, 2.4-mile IMS circuit funnels into a winding infield road course. The opening lap of Race 1 demonstrated the perils of dense race traffic as 16 hot-headed drivers jostled for position in the narrowing turns one and two. The front row driver pairing came together in a dramatic scene that sent cars behind scattering to avoid contact. Leveraging his experience on the Road to Indy, Kaminsky positioned himself to avoid the melee. Holding an inside line, he gained a tremendous six positions, moving his black and orange Pabst Racing/Slick Locks/Kaminsky Park entry into second place before just the third turn.

Through the next 25 laps, Kaminsky shuffled into the lead before going off track himself, dropping to eighth, and restarting his advancement. He would finish the race in the fourth position, making more passes than any other driver. While the action on track had concluded, the drama continued when the winning car was found to be in violation of weight regulations. The resulting penalties allowed Kaminsky to move into the 3rd-place, earning him the extra championship points that come with the position and an opportunity to climb the renowned Indianapolis Motor Speedway podium.

On Saturday morning, Race 2 was a less eventful contest that proved more rewarding for Kaminsky. Again, an incident in turn one of the opening lap ensnared multiple drivers and forced Kaminsky to take evasive action. Utilizing the escape road, he would rejoin the action in 4th place. Only moments later, a battle at the front of the field ended with two more cars disabled in turn seven and allowed Kaminsky to capture second. During the full-course yellow that followed, Kaminsky was forced to surrender a position after gaining an advantage on the escape road. On the race restart however, an exciting pass on the outside through turn one enabled the black and orange #27 machine to regain the second spot. He would hold that position through twenty-five laps to take his second podium of the weekend.

After finishing 3rd and then 2nd in two races, Kaminsky was set on continuing his upward trend – taking the top step of the podium for the weekend’s final race. When the contest started incident-free, with all sixteen drivers safely navigating the opening laps, Kaminsky settled into his eighth-place starting position, managing his pace and looking for traditional overtaking opportunities. With three laps to go, he had worked his way into the sixth position but was unfortunately hit from behind in dense traffic at turn twelve. The impact caused him to leave the course and lose multiple spots. He fell to 10th place and remained there until the race ended.

Two podiums through three races is a strong result for Kaminsky and Pabst Racing. In the context of the group’s qualifying performance, which netted just the 8th best lap time, the outcome far exceeds expectations created following that result. A wheel-to-wheel racing focused setup and Kaminsky’s comprehensive Road to Indy experience allowed him and the #27 machine to capitalize on opportunities presented during races. Kaminsky now has podiums in three of seven races in this 2022 season.

Ultimately, the weekend’s performance serves the season’s overall objective well, closing Kaminsky to just 33 points from the current leader. From here, the series moves to the short oval of Indianapolis Raceway Park, where championship points count for 1.5 times their usual rate, and where Kaminsky earned his first Road to Indy pole position and podium finish in 2019. Kaminsky will look to repeat this feat when the Indy Pro 2000 Championship presented by Cooper Tires resumes on May 26-27 as a lead-in to the Indy 500 weekend.

Photos credit Gavin Baker Photography / Road to Indy

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