4/17/2023 Long Beach
“This is amazing, man,” Kirkwood said. “What a day. The calmest day I’ve had in two years, and it was a win.
“I was so happy with just the pole yesterday, but I’m over the moon right now. This is incredible for the whole team. We had a stellar day for the whole team with Andretti Autosport.”
Andretti Autosport teammate Romain Grosjean finished second in the No. 28 DHL Honda, .9907 of a second behind Kirkwood. It was the first 1-2 finish for Andretti Autosport since Colton Herta, Alexander Rossi and Ryan Hunter-Reay swept all three podium spots at the second race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in September 2020.
Florida native Kirkwood entered the series last season in the tire tracks of becoming the first driver to sweep titles in USF2000, USF Pro 2000 and INDY NXT by Firestone in successive seasons. But he had an incident-filled rookie season with the Foyt team and ended up 24th in the championship, the second-lowest full-time driver in the standings.
The first two races of this season also were rocky for Kirkwood, 24. He finished 15th in the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg presented by RP Funding and was eliminated by a mechanical problem from the PPG 375 at Texas Motor Speedway in 27th place.