Top-Five Finish for Kaminsky at Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg
St. Petersburg, Florida.
Rounds 3 and 4 of the 2021 Indy Pro 2000 Series took place in sunny Florida on the streets of downtown St. Petersburg where the Albert Whitted Airport played host to a racetrack for a weekend.
The weekend started with a frantic first qualifying session that saw the session get red-flagged for 15 minutes of the 20-minute allotted time slot due to an accident on track between two other cars in turn three. This meant drivers were only able to run four laps on a full fuel load at the beginning of qualifying. After the red flag concluded, the series sent the drivers back out on track for just one flying lap to try and get it done. With no time to warm tires and burn fuel, Kaminsky found himself down in ninth, unable to make the most of the shortened session.
Qualifying 2 stayed green from beginning to end and allowed all drivers to turn their fastest laps. Kaminsky ran the seventh quickest, all while battling a gearbox issue that was found after qualifying. This set Kaminsky up to start ninth and seventh in race one and two for the weekend respectively.
Race 1 was all about survival for Kaminsky. Dropping back a couple of places, Kaminsky raced side by side in the tight flat-out corners at over 120 miles per hour, trying to avoid a lap one crash. He did just that and stayed out of trouble, recovering to his original starting position in ninth place.
Race 2 would prove to be the better of the two races in terms of excitement and finishing position. Lap one saw two cars crash just in front of Kaminsky on the run from turn five to turn eight where one car clipped the inside concrete barrier and shot across the track, taking out another competitor. This gave Kaminsky two free spots after he swiftly avoided the crash. From there on it was the accumulation of two perfectly executed passes on restarts after a couple of full-course cautions. The first being a pass around the outside of turn one after Kaminsky faked an inside move, then quickly switched to the outside, putting the leading driver on a dirty racing line. The second move was perfectly timed over and under through turn two when one of the cars ahead was caught out of position while trying to overtake the car in front of him. Kaminsky would challenge for a podium position in the closing laps but did not have quite enough. He would cross the finish line in the fifth position.
This was Kaminsky’s first top-five finish of the season, moving him to sixth in the championship point standings after four rounds. Kaminsky’s next races will take place at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the GMR Grand Prix of Indy on May 13th through the 15th.
Photos credit Gavin Baker Photography / Road to Indy
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