One Interview With: Kyffin SimpsonINDYCAR
Chip Ganassi Racing and The American Legion will be conducting "One Interview With" Q&A's throughout the 2023 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season. Read previous interviews with 2021 INDYCAR champion Alex Palou, Retired Navy SEAL and Extreme E Team Manager Dave Berkenfield and Crew Chief Ricky Davis.
Today's rendition features Kyffin Simpson, a Chip Ganassi Racing development driver, who has picked up two podiums and pole position this year in the INDY NXY series.
As a reminder, Be The One to:
- Ask veterans in your life how they are doing.
- Listen when a veteran needs to talk.
- Reach out when a veteran is struggling.
What are the greatest lessons that you have learned over the past two seasons racing in the INDY NXT series?
“It’s definitely the art of patience. That seems to be a major thing in this series, as so many things happen over the course of the races. It’s very difficult to complete moves, so being patient is very important to be able to find the right opportunities at the right times.”
You earned your first pole position at Road America this year. How were you able to put the perfect lap together, and what was it like leading a field to green?
“It was an awesome pole position. It’s one of my favorite tracks, so I was very happy to get the pole there. It was great to get it done by just a little bit of a margin, as well. It was a very strange qualifying session where lots of drivers had trouble getting track position. It was a great feeling to lead the field to green and it’s something I was determined to carry through the race, but unfortunately, we weren’t able to.”
What has it been like learning under veterans of the sport like Dario Franchitti and Scott Dixon?
“Amazing. I spent quite a bit of time with Dario at the Indianapolis 500, and it was great learning from him through his experiences and wins. I feel like I’ve learned a lot about racing but also INDYCAR racing specifically that I wouldn’t have otherwise.”
What is one thing people may not know about Grand Cayman?
“Grand Cayman is one of the best places in the world to go diving.”
What has it been like working with The American Legion? What have you learned in your time interacting with the organizations and veterans across the country?
“It’s been an honor to work with them. There are a lot of veterans that recognize The American Legion at the track and want to connect with you. That is a very unique experience and I really enjoy those interactions, getting to know them better and hearing their stories.”
How do you approach judging the art of risk vs reward when it comes to overtaking?
“In INDY NXT, it’s very tough because you’re going all out with no pit stops. Each position is that much more important because you don’t have any other chances to get by them on strategy or in the pits. So, you have to take a little bit more risk. But in endurance racing, of course you need to be a bit more relaxed, especially when you’re in the earlier stints. But of course, it changes from race to race and track to track.”
What do you like to do away from the track? What would your ‘perfect off-day’ look like?
“My favorite thing to do away from the track is kite surfing, and the perfect day would be nothing but exactly that. Whenever I’m home and there is wind, I get out there because it’s such a fun hobby.”
What movie can you watch over and over and not get sick of?
What’s the spiciest thing you have ever eaten?
“Wasabi. I accidentally took a spoonful of it because I didn’t realize what it was. It was not fun at all and I don’t think I have touched it since.”
What’s the most ‘addicted’ you’ve ever been to a game? What was it and do you still play it?
“I got really addicted to WRC 5, which is a rally game. I think I ended up playing a single track for two straight weeks, just trying to perfect it.”
Source: Chip Ganassi Racing