Dalton Kellett is embracing a change of scenery with Juncos Racing.
The team announced Tuesday the addition of the 25-year-old Canadian driver for the 2019 Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires season.
Kellett, who will pilot the No. 67 K-Line Insulators USA/Ten80 Education entry, brings a wealth of experience after three previous Indy Lights seasons at Andretti Autosport. That veteran presence should serve the team well with incoming rookie and 2018 Indy Pro 2000 champion, Rinus VeeKay.
“With this move to Juncos, being a veteran guy, I've obviously driven a fair amount of cars at Andretti as we developed that up throughout the years, tested with some other teams,” Kellett said.
“So just having the experience of many years in the same cars is definitely going to help my transition into Juncos. I think it'll be a great tool for the team as a whole for me to be able to work with Rinus. We can both push each other. He'll be able to lean on some experience. I think it'll be a good partnership both ways.”
During his time in the top rung of the Road to Indy presented by Cooper Tires development ladder sanctioned by INDYCAR, Kellett has built a strong reputation on ovals. He has three consecutive podium finishes – along with winning the pole last year – in the Freedom 100 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He also finished third on a road course last season, in the opening race of the doubleheader weekend at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
Juncos Racing, however, has 12 wins as a team in Indy Lights, but only one has come on an oval – at ISM Raceway in 2017 with eventual series champion Kyle Kaiser.
“My goals for this season are definitely to improve on road and street courses, and I think their strengths are going to really play into that,” Kellett said. “There's a lot of experience, a lot of developmental help that I can bring with getting a fast car on the (Indianapolis Motor) Speedway. We aren't going back to Iowa, which is one of my favorite tracks, which is sad. But I think we'll be very competitive both at (IMS) and that Gateway.
“It's a win-win for both of us because both of what we each need, we complement each other, which is going to make everyone more successful.”
Juncos has fielded the Indy Lights champion in 2015 (Spencer Pigot) and 2017 (Kaiser). Heading into another odd-numbered year, team owner Ricardo Juncos believes the addition of Kellett could lead to another championship push.
“He has continued to grow each year in the series, so we look to take this momentum and take it to the 2019 season,” Juncos said of Kellett. “Dalton is not only a great addition to our team, but also as a teammate for our rookie Rinus, who will make his first start in the Indy Lights series this year. I want to thank Dalton, his family and sponsors for the chance to add Dalton to our growing program.”
Indy Lights teams will have a final preseason test Monday, March 4 on the Homestead-Miami Speedway road course before embarking on the 2019 season that opens with a doubleheader race weekend at the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg from March 8-10. All Indy Lights races will stream live this year on INDYCAR Pass, the direct-to-consumer product offered by NBC Sports Gold. Click here for more INDYCAR Pass information and to subscribe at the discounted price of $49.99 for the entire year.