Kyffin Simpson impresses with 14th place, highest rookie finish on INDYCAR debut

Kyffin Simpson, driver of the #4 Journie Rewards Chip Ganassi Racing Honda, impressed with a 14th-place finish at the 2024 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season opener at St. Petersburg, FL.

19-year-old Caymanian Kyffin demonstrated composure, raw speed and the occasional aggressive pass to muscle his way nine places up from his starting position of 23rd, finishing as the highest placed rookie of the day.

Kyffin’s weekend began conservatively, approaching each session with the goal to gain as much experience as possible in the time allowed. Despite a short encounter with a run-off area in Practice 1, Simpson remained mistake-free for the rest of the on-track sessions throughout, working closely with engineer Danielle Shepherd and strategist Chris Wheeler to prepare for qualifying on Saturday.

Simpson kept the #4 Honda clean to line up 23rd on the grid with a time of 1:00.295s, seven tenths shy of Josef Newgarden’s pole-winning lap.

Strategist Wheeler opted for a ‘black-black-green’ Firestone tire strategy on Sunday, allowing Kyffin to focus on saving his pace for the final third of the 100-lap Grand Prix of St. Petersburg – the point at which the young Caymanian would be most comfortable between the unforgiving concrete walls.

This approach paid off, and then some. As the second-biggest mover in the field (+9), Kyffin scored 16 championship points and the second-fastest lap of the race behind victor Newgarden.

Speaking after the race, Kyffin said:

“What an incredible day. I’m stoked to have such a good first race in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES. I felt like we had a good start to the race and then we just kept it clean. It was definitely tight at times with some side-by-side racing, but we were able to push through and keep things clean. We were able to really push it on the greens at the end with great pace. I’m very happy with the entire day for the Journie Rewards team.”

With the 2024 NTT INDYCAR SERIES underway, the grid returns to action on March 22-24 for the special ‘$1m Challenge’ event at Thermal Club, California, where Simpson aims to build on the experience gained at St. Petersburg for another strong finish. Live coverage for the race begins at 12:30pm ET on NBC, Sunday 24th March.

Fans can follow Kyffin’s progress via FacebookInstagram, X, TikTok and Threads.

Kyffin is an NTT INDYCAR SERIES driver for Chip Ganassi Racing. He is supported by Journie Rewards, Ridgeline Lubricants, Visit Cayman Islands, Boddens Legal, Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa, and Simpson Race Products.

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