Home Featured Abel earns second Indy Nxt win with controlled display at Indianapolis

Abel earns second Indy Nxt win with controlled display at Indianapolis

by Ida Wood

Photo: Paul Hurley

Jacob Abel took a controlled second win of his Indy Nxt career in race one of the championship’s Indianapolis Motor Speedway double-header.

The Abel Motorsports driver – who broke his victory duck last time out at Barber Motorsports Park to become joint points leader – was fastest in qualifying on the circuit’s road course, and converted pole into an assured win.

A great start put him immediately clear of Caio Collet and Louis Foster, who fought intensely over second place.

On lap four their battle ended with an incident that gave Collet a tyre issue and then led to him spinning approaching turn seven. He was able to make it to the pits, where James Roe Jr had already been after he had a dramatic opening lap that dropped him from third to 21st.

Once Foster got into second he could not match Abel, and was soon under pressure from Nolan Siegel. Jamie Chadwick then got involved in their battle, and Siegel attempted a move at turn three on lap seven of 35 then went side-by-side with Foster through turn seven.

Foster shut the door at turn one next time by, but Siegel overtook him a few corners later. It got worse for Foster, as he picked up damage that required him to pit to change his nosecone.

Siegel sat five seconds behind Abel, a gap it took him nine laps to shave a second off before it then grew again. However his hopes of beating his title rival were boosted on lap 22 by a caution period caused by Yuven Sundaramoorthy getting beached in the gravel.

Chadwick, Callum Hedge and Reece Gold had been running peacefully in third, fourth and fifth until then, while battles had raged behind.

Sundaramoorthy was running in sixth on lap 10, with Salvador de Alba passing Jonathan Browne to be seventh. Michael d’Orlando overtook Browne a few laps later and immediately attacked de Alba after he had been pressuring Sundaramoorthy. De Alba finally got a move done on lap 15, going around the outside of Sundaramoorthy at turn seven. He continued the upward momentum by passing d’Orlando on lap 17, as Sundaramoorthy fell behind Browne and Myles Rowe.

A lap later Jack William Miller dived past Sundaramoorthy, who then went off at turn eight and pitted for a new front-left tyre.

D’Orlando spun sixth-placed de Alba around just before the planed lap 25 restart, leading to two more laps behind the pace car. De Alba tried to gain back his lost places, but race control sent he and Andretti Cape team-mate d’Orlando to the back.

Miller went off at turn one on the actual restart, then pitted, as Foster climbed to 11th. He was in ninth when the debuting Jordan Missig caused the next caution period on lap 30 by crashing, and there were three laps of racing left after that.

Abel kept Siegel at bay, Chadwick shadowed them in third (becoming Indy Nxt’s first female podium-finisher since 2010), Rowe passed Gold for fifth and Foster climbed to seventh.

Race result (35 laps)
Pos Driver Team Time
1 Jacob Abel Abel Motorsports 48m34.6690s
2 Nolan Siegel HMD Motorsports +0.5470s
3 Jamie Chadwick Andretti Global +2.0681s
4 Callum Hedge HMD Motorsports +3.6526s
5 Myles Rowe HMD Motorsports +4.4706s
6 Reece Gold HMD Motorsports +5.2579s
7 Louis Foster Andretti Global +5.6844s
8 Jonathan Browne HMD Motorsports +7.3758s
9 Christian Bogle HMD Motorsports +7.9286s
10 Niels Koolen HMD Motorsports +9.0195s
11 Salvador de Alba Andretti Cape +9.3670s
12 Michael d’Orlando Andretti Cape +11.1530s
13 Nolan Allaer HMD Motorsports +13.5266s
14 Bryce Aron Andretti Global +1 lap
15 James Roe Jr Andretti Global +1 lap
16 Jack William Miller Miller Vinatieri Racing +1 lap
17 Lindsay Brewer Juncos Hollinger Racing +2 laps
18 Jordan Missig Abel Motorsports +2 laps
19 Caio Collet HMD Motorsports +3 laps
20 Yuven Sundaramoorthy Abel Motorsports +4 laps
Ret Josh Pierson HMD Motorsports
Fastest lap: Abel, 1m16.1813s

Championship standings
1 Abel 149   2 Siegel 135   3 Foster 91   4 Rowe 82   5 Gold 77   6 d’Orlando 76   7 Hedge 73   8 Collet 69   9 Browne 68   10 Roe 64