Home Featured Jacob Abel makes it three poles in a row in Indy Nxt

Jacob Abel makes it three poles in a row in Indy Nxt

by Ida Wood

Photo: Chris Owens

Abel Motorsports’ Jacob Abel took pole for both of Indy Nxt’s races on Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s road course.

The 21-car field was split into two groups, with 11 drivers in the first group and 10 in the second which benefited from a more rubbered-in track.

HMD Motorsports’ Josh Pierson laid down the first benchmark of qualifying, a 1m17.6949s, and impoved to 1m16.3742s on his second lap in group one’s session.

His team-mate Callum Hedge took over at the top on the third lap, setting a 1m15.4173s that kept him on top for some time. Initially Reece Gold was his closest rival, than Caio Collet got within 0.0339 seconds of his pace to form a HMD 1-2-3.

Andretti Global’s Louis Foster was 0.1431s behind in fourth, and his team-mate Jamie Chadwick went to the top by 0.0678s on her fifth lap as she set a 1m15.3495s.

Nobody improved on their sixth laps, then on the lap after Collet went quickest with a 1m15.1126s that put him 0.0599s ahead of Foster. The gap was reduced to 0.0332s by Foster next time by, and Chadwick improved to be 0.1422s off Collet in third.

It all came down to the ninth and final lap of the session and none of the top five could find more pace. HMD’s Myles Rowe improved in sixth, behind Hedge and Gold.

Collet provisionally had double pole, with drivers’ second-best laptimes setting the grid for race two, but the second group quickly surpassed the pace of the first.

Joint points leaders Abel and Nolan Siegel were both in the second group, and were the top two from the off. Abel set a 1m15.6033s at first, improving to 1m14.9358s on his third lap as Siegel set a 1m15.1611s.

Andretti’s James Roe Jr was 0.2476s behind in third, and on his fifth lap got within 0.1026s of Abel’s pace as Siegel also improved but dropped to third. HMD’s Jonathan Browne and Andretti Cape’s Michael d’Orlando established themselves in fourth and fifth, clear of the rest of the field but unable to challenge the top three’s pace.

Bryce Aron (Andretti Global) improved in sixth place on his ninth lap, but otherwise the fastest point of the session had already passed and the order was set with Abel claiming his second and third poles in a row.

Qualifying round-up
Race 1 grid
1 Jacob Abel Abel Motorsports 1m14.9358s
2 Caio Collet HMD Motorsports 1m15.1126s
3 James Roe Jr Andretti Global 1m15.0384s
4 Louis Foster Andretti Global 1m15.1458s
5 Nolan Siegel HMD Mootrsports 1m15.1609s
6 Jamie Chadwick Andretti Global 1m15.1588s
7 Jonathan Browne HMD Motorsports 1m15.2103s
8 Callum Hedge HMD Motorsports 1m15.4173s
9 Michael d’Orlando Andretti Cape 1m15.3535s
10 Reece Gold HMD Motorsports 1m15.5239s

Race 2 grid
1 Abel 1m15.0528s
2 Collet 1m15.1403s
3 Roe 1m15.1371s
4 Foster 1m15.1725s
5 Siegel 1m15.1611s
6 Chadwick 1m15.2548s
7 Browne 1m15.3119s
8 Hedge 1m15.4241s
9 d’Orlando 1m15.3966s
10 Myles Rowe HMD Motorsports 1m15.6162s