AJ Foyt Racing’s Dalton Kellett in the No.4 K Line Insulators Chevrolet says that the thing he is looking forward to most about returning to Toronto this weekend after three years is racing an IndyCar in front of his hometown crowd.
The NTT IndyCar Series returns to the streets of Toronto this weekend for the first time since 2019 and taking part in a Q&A ahead of the weekend, the Torontonian was asked:
How and when did you become interested in racing cars?
DK: “My interest in cars and racing started when I was a kid. I had my first taste of racing when I was just a couple years old, at my parents’ cottage. Some friends and I used to race little snowmobiles on the frozen lake when we were ~2. On top of that I think I inherited a love of cars from my Dad. I started racing go-karts when I was 13.”
What did you miss most about Toronto?
DK: “I most miss being close to family and friends. I have great friends in Indianapolis, but the last couple years have made it more difficult to return home to visit. Toronto is a very metropolitan and multicultural city, there’s so much to do and lots of great neighbourhoods to explore.”
Returning to Toronto after 3 years, what are you looking forward to the most?
DK: “I’m most looking forward to the opportunity to race IndyCar in front of the hometown crowd. The Toronto Indy is one of the best street circuits we race on and I can’t wait to experience it in this car. I think the fans and the city are very excited to have us back, it should be a great turn out.”
What has changed in your life since last raced in TO?
DK: “Quite a lot has changed. I got engaged to Nicole! We were still dating back then. I’ve also made the jump to IndyCar and bought my first house (in Indianapolis). 2019 feels like a long time ago…”
For a first-time visitor, what are some Must Sees and Must Dos?
DK: “There are the classic tourist stops – like going up the CN Tower, catching a Blue Jays game at Rogers Center, or exploring the Distillery district. Toronto has some nice parks and neighbourhoods, Trinity Bellwoods/Ossington Avenue area, Kensington Market, Queen West, China Town, etc. There are plenty of museums and galleries. The Royal Ontario Museum and the Ontario Science Center are worth a visit. Toronto also has some famous music venues like Massey Hall, so maybe see if a band you like is playing.”
And what are your favorite restaurants there?
DK: “JaBistro, on Richmond, is one of my favourites spots for sushi. Just a short walk from the track, there are lots of great restaurants along Ossington Avenue.”
What is the secret to getting around Toronto?
DK: “I think Toronto in general, the secret is just leaving early enough to account for the traffic. (laughs) But getting around the racetrack, it’s a very bumpy track with lots of pavement transitions, so you have to tune the suspension and dampers to handle those well. You don’t want to bottom out excessively, but also can’t sacrifice too much ride height. A big part of the challenge is knowing how much bumpiness and movement from the car that you’ll just have to accept as a characteristic of the track versus what needs to be tuned out to get the mechanical grip you need.”
How many K-Line associates will attend the race?
DK: “We will have at least a dozen directly from K-Line and 150 or so in total guests, between friends and family. So there’ll be lots of people were in those teal K-Line shirts, which is great to see.”
Is there more pressure on you because it’s your home track?
DK: “There is certainly more pressure or focus on you when it’s the hometown race. My approach will be to just take it all in and try to enjoy the weekend. It will be busy but that’s part of the fun.”
What would you consider to be a successful weekend there for you?
DK: “The goal is a strong qualifying performance and a good finish in the race. There are no easy races in INDYCAR but I will be racing hard for a good finish for the home crowd!”
Kyle Kirkwood commented on the race this weekend his first time competing in the NTT IndyCar Series on the streets of Toronto saying:
It’s great that we are able to get back on the streets of Toronto. Given this year’s trend, I am always looking forward to the street courses. Toronto is a track that I personally have a lot of experience at and can’t wait to see what it feels like in the Indy car. I believe we’ll have a shot of redeeming ourselves from Detroit where we should have finished easily in the top 10.”
AJ Foyt Racing will just have two cars this weekend.