Louis Foster took a lights to flag victory in the Indy Nxt race at Portland as the leading championship contenders ran into issues at turn one.
Christian Rasmussen and Hunter McElrea were among the drivers caught up in a multi-car collision at the first chicane. Rasmussen, despite getting spun and causing drivers to go wide in avoidance, managed to continue on the lead lap while McElrea and five other drivers went a lap down.
The incident started as five drivers tried to go side by side into the first chicane. Foster, at the front of the order, managed to avoid the drama. McElrea, who had started second, wasn’t as lucky and was hit from behind. As well as a spin for Rasmussen, a number of other drivers locked up or otherwise had nowhere to go as the field came together.
While six drivers were taken off the lead lap, most were able to rejoin the race a varying number of laps down. However, Jacob Abel and Josh Pierson were unable to continue.
Reece Gold, who was one of the drivers who went a lap down, was initially handed the penalty for the incident. That penalty was rescinded and Victor Franzoni was handed a stop-go penalty instead.
Racing resumed on lap six with Danial Frost second behind Foster and Nolan Siegel in third.
Initially there was little movement at the top of the order and the gaps between the top three stretched out. Siegel was able to catch Frost in the final laps, however. The pair went side by side on the final lap and Siegel managed to find a way through to finish second, 7.8583 seconds behind Foster.
Frost took third ahead of Christian Bogle, who spent the latter half of the race trying to find a way past Jagger Jones. Jones defended hard and cut across the front of Bogle, damaging Bogle’s front wing and sending himself off track. He then span back across the path of Bogle, but just managed to avoid the HMD Motorsport driver. Jones would be handed the penalty for the incident.
Not far behind them on track was Rasmussen. He had rejoined at the back of the lead lap after the lap one incident, then picked off Jamie Chadwick on the restart. He spent the remainder of the race not far behind Bogle and Jones, but never close enough to attack. His fifth-place finish leaves him with one hand on the championship trophy before the season finale next weekend.
Chadwick finished sixth, ahead of Ernie Francis and James Roe. Matthew Brabham and Yuven Sundaramoorthy completed the top 10.
|1||Louis Foster||Andretti Autosport||35 laps|
|2||Nolan Siegel||HMD Motorsports||+7.8583s|
|3||Danial Frost||HMD Motorsports||+8.6465s|
|4||Christian Bogle||HMD Motorsports||+25.3921s|
|5||Christian Rasmussen||HMD Motorsports||+26.4829s|
|6||Jamie Chadwick||Andretti Autosport||+27.1369s|
|7||Ernie Francis Jr||HMD Motorsports||+28.7009s|
|8||James Roe Jr||Andretti Autosport||+29.1783s|
|9||Matthew Brabham||Juncos Racing||+32.6804s|
|10||Yuven Sundaramoorthy||Abel Motorsports||+1 lap|
|11||Victor Franzoni||Juncos Racing||+1 lap|
|12||Jagger Jones||Cape Motorsports||+2 laps|
|13||Kyffin Simpson||HMD Motorsports||+2 laps|
|14||Reece Gold||HMD Motorsports||+2 laps|
|15||Hunter McElrea||Andretti Autosport||+6 laps|
|16||Jacob Abel||Abel Motorsports||+35 laps|
|17||Josh Pierson||HMD Motorsports||+35 laps|
|Fastest lap: Siegel, 1m02.8861s