Dalton Kellett returning to No. 4 IndyCar seat with A.J. Foyt Racing for 2022

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  • Dalton Kellett
    Canadian racing driver
  • Kyle Kirkwood
    American racing driver

During his first full IndyCar season campaign, Dalton Kellett teamed up with a 42-year-old four-time series champ. In 2022, the 29-year-old Canadian driver will be his team's elder statesman.

On Wednesday, A.J. Foyt Racing confirmed Kellett will return to the No. 4 Chevy full-time this next season, joining previously-announced Indy Lights champion Kyle Kirkwood on what at the moment appears will again be a two-car team.

Kellett's family company K-Line Insulators will continue as the primary sponsor of the No. 4.

"We are looking forward to the year and continuing to build on the momentum from 2021," Kellett said in a team release. "Looking back at 2021, we had moments of promise and some encouraging results. We need to enter the 2022 season on that trajectory."

May 14, 2021; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indy Series driver Dalton Kellett (4)  during practice for the GMR Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
May 14, 2021; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indy Series driver Dalton Kellett (4) during practice for the GMR Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Insider: With A.J. Foyt Racing, Kyle Kirkwood's IndyCar future hangs in the balance

Through 24 career IndyCar races, Kellett has logged one top-15 finish, coming this year at WWT Raceway when he finished 12th. His best qualifying run came this year at Nashville when Kellett took the grid 19th, one of just two top-20 starts in his IndyCar career. After finishing no better than 20th as a rookie in 2020, Kellett did so five times this past season, capping his 2021 campaign with a run to 19th in the Long Beach season finale.

Kellett finished with the fewest points (148) among the 19 drivers who ran all 16 races this season and behind four other drivers who ran partial campaigns. His No. 4 Chevy entry finished last in points among the 26 that ran at least six races in 2021.

Kellett's return to the team for the third season never much looked in question, as team president Larry Foyt reiterated both late last season and as recent as a few weeks ago when the team announced Kirkwood that he was deep in talks with the Canadian driver's camp to finish up a deal. When Kirkwood was announced, Foyt confirmed the team and ROKiT, the primary sponsor of the No. 14 entry a year ago, were still discussing the possibility of adding a third full-time car for 2022, though Foyt admitted he was still deep in the hiring process to fill out crews for the first two cars.

Shortly after last season's Long Beach season finale, Kirkwood's predecessor Sebastien Bourdais announced he'd be turning the bulk of his racing attention over to sportscars for a full-season ride in Chip Ganassi Racing's expanding IMSA DPi program. The French driver said at the time he would still be open to running a partial IndyCar calendar in 2022, outside the four certain race weekend conflicts and potentially three more (Texas/Sebring, Long Beach and Detroit). Fellow ROKiT-backed driver Tatiana Calderon, who made her debut IndyCar test with the team in July at Mid-Ohio, has been considered for some sort of role with the team in a possible third entry, but it's unclear at the moment whether that entry will come together before the 2022 season-opener Feb. 27 at St. Pete.

Email IndyStar motor sports reporter Nathan Brown at nlbrown@gannett.com. Follow him on Twitter: @By_NathanBrown.

This article originally appeared on Indianapolis Star: IndyCar: Dalton Kellett returning to A.J. Foyt Racing for 2022

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