Italian-Canadian Indy Lights driver Devlin DeFrancesco has been unveiled as the driver of the No. 29 Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport Honda, the fourth and final driver in Andretti’s 2022 IndyCar lineup.
DeFrancesco finished sixth in the 2021 Indy Lights championship racing for Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport, with nine top-five finishes including two podiums. In 2020, he was the runner-up in the Indy Pro 2000 championship and was named rookie of the year. The 21-year-old will join the team’s IndyCar program on a multi-year deal taking over for fellow Canadian James Hinchcliffe.
Michael Andretti, CEO and Chairman of Andretti Autosport, was impressed by DeFrancesco’s performance during a test with the team earlier this week at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and is excited to welcome the Road to Indy graduate.
“Devlin has been a great addition to our Indy Lights program and has showed a lot of growth and strength at the recent test days. I think he’ll continue to grow with INDYCAR and I’m really glad that we could again partner with George and the Steinbrenner Racing team for the No. 29.”
“Two years ago, we started a journey with Devlin with the intent to one day take him all the way to the NTT IndyCar Series and I’m thrilled that day has come,” said George Steinbrenner IV, CEO of Steinbrenner Racing.
“From Indy Pro 2000 to Indy Lights and now to IndyCar, he really impressed with his two initial days in an Indy car and we’re excited to see him in action in 2022.”
DeFrancesco now finds himself under the tutelage of some of IndyCar’s best and brightest talents in Alexander Rossi, Colton Herta and Romain Grosjean. In a press conference Wednesday morning, Michael Andretti confirmed that all of the team’s drivers are on multi-year deals.
“I am incredibly grateful to Michael (Andretti) and George (Steinbrenner IV) for the belief they have shown in me over the past two seasons moving up the Road to Indy ladder,” DeFrancesco said.
“To now take that final step into IndyCar with two of the world’s biggest names in sports – Andretti and Steinbrenner – is an incredible opportunity that I can’t wait to take full advantage of. I have three very experienced teammates to learn from and that is what makes this opportunity even more exciting.”
“…I’m so looking forward to getting started.”
Fellow Andretti developmental talent and 2021 Indy Lights champion Kyle Kirkwood was rumored to be moved to IndyCar with Andretti Autosport, but during the press conference Andretti stated that “It was always going to be Devlin,” per Nathan Brown of the Indianapolis Star. Brown also reports that Andretti does not expect Kirkwood to be in the team’s IndyCar program this year, but added that the team wants to bring him back in the future.
DeFrancesco will make his IndyCar debut with Andretti on 27 February 2022 on the Streets of St. Petersburg.