The AJ Foyt Racing team has their two driver lineup finalized for the 2021 NTT IndyCar series season. After starting eight races as a rookie last season, Dalton Kellett will take over the No. 4 Chevrolet full-time next season, teaming up with the previously announced Sebastien Bourdais who will be in the No. 14 entry. Kellett again brings K-Line Insulator USA as his primary sponsor. The first scheduled team test will be in January at Sebring International Raceway.
Today’s announcement did not mention a possible third part-time entry this season, but Larry Foyt noted on this afternoon’s conference call that the team still plans to field a third car for the Indianapolis 500. With today’s confirmation, the only remaining seats for next season are the two Honda entries at Dale Coyne Racing. Andretti Autosport (Hunter-Reay, Hinchcliffe) and Ed Carpenter Racing (Daly) are expected to make their official announcements soon. The full press release from today is below.
[AJ Foyt Racing Press Release]
Canadian Dalton Kellett will drive A.J. Foyt’s No. 4 Chevrolet full-time in the 2021 NTT INDYCAR Series. K-Line Insulators USA returns as the primary sponsor, moving from the No. 14 to the No. 4 for the upcoming season.
The 27-year-old rookie drove for Foyt in eight races this year as driving duties behind the wheel of the No. 14 Chevrolet were shared throughout the 14-race season by three drivers: Kellett, Tony Kanaan and Sebastien Bourdais. Bourdais returns to drive the No. 14 Chevrolet full-time as announced earlier this year.
Wearing masks were the norm throughout the 2020 season and they became part of the uniform for drivers and team members alike. Kellett is captured in a pensive moment.
“I couldn’t be more excited to be back with AJ Foyt Racing for the 2021 season,” said Kellett, who lives in Indianapolis. “Securing a full-time ride is a big boost heading into my sophomore year in INDYCAR. Despite the challenges presented by Covid-19 in 2020, A.J., Larry, and the Foyt team continued to develop their car and elevate the program, while standing by their employees and partners. That’s the kind of team I’m proud to both race for and be a part of. Being paired with Sebastian will be a great opportunity to continue to learn from one of the most experienced veterans in the field. I can’t wait to get back on the track for off-season testing and back behind the wheel in 2021.”
Next year the NTT INDYCAR Series schedule features 17 races, including a doubleheader at Texas Motor Speedway in early May and a new street course in Nashville, Tenn. in August.
Despite the challenges of Kellett’s rookie season taking place during a pandemic which sharply curtailed the normal track activity, he displayed a keen ability to stay focused and adapt, which factored into Foyt’s decision to retain Kellett for 2021.
Kellett debriefs with race engineer Daniele Cucchiaroni (far right) while Larry Foyt (center left) and driver coach Darren Manning talk after the race at Mid-Ohio.
“We are very happy to have Dalton back with the team and more importantly that he will be driving full-time,” said Team President Larry Foyt. “With the limited track time in 2020, it was a tough year to be a rookie, but he jumped in with a great attitude and adjusted to the Indy car quite well. He was getting quicker with each event and had a great test at Barber [Motorsports Park] recently. I think Dalton will truly benefit from having four-time champion Sebastien Bourdais there full-time. I’m really looking forward to seeing how our team progresses in 2021.”
The first scheduled team test will be in January at Sebring International Raceway in central Florida. The 2021 INDYCAR season gets underway on Sunday, March 7th in St. Petersburg, Fla.