Home Road to IndyIndy Nxt Jacob Abel tops Indy Nxt FP1 in mixed conditions on Nashville streets

Jacob Abel tops Indy Nxt FP1 in mixed conditions on Nashville streets

by Bethonie Waring

Photo: Joe Skibinski

Jacob Abel went fastest in Indy Nxt’s Friday practice session on the drying streets of Nashville. 

The field started practice on intermediate tyres, with laptimes in the mid-1m33s range. After roughly 20 minutes of running, the track was dry enough to switch to slick tyres and laptimes rapidly tumbled. 

Abel jumped to the top of the order late on. He had set the pace in the first 15 minutes on the intermediates, but wasn’t immediately quickest on slicks. Late on, he set 1m22.659s to go 0.3285 seconds quicker than James Roe Jr in second place.

Any last-minute improvements were stopped by an incident for Roe, who hit the wall on his final lap after the chequered flag. The incident brought out red flags for the second time during practice. 

Running had already been briefly paused when Nolan Siegel hit the wall with less than 10 minutes remaining. The incident was quickly cleared, leaving four final minutes of green flag action. 

Ernie Francis Jr had been top of the order when red flags were first brought out, but he wouldn’t improve in the final minutes and dropped back to third, ahead of Hunter McElrea and Kyffin Simpson. 

While most of the field lost roughly four minutes of the 45 minute session, Matthew Brabham’s running was more significantly impacted by the stoppage. A mechanical issue had kept him in the pits for the majority of the session. He was only able to get on track for the final 12 minutes of practice, and completed a total of five laps compared to the more typical 18 of Abel. He placed 14th overall.

Christian Rasmussen had been the first driver to set a time on slick tyres and was second quickest when the red flags appeared. Like Francis, he would not improve and dropped down to sixth ahead of Louis Foster, who had been second when the session stopped, but had his fastest lap removed.

Siegel did enough to place eighth ahead of Christian Bogle and Jamie Chadwick. 

Free practice results
Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 Jacob Abel Abel Motorsports 1m22.6592s 18
2 James Roe Jr Andretti Autosport 1m22.9877s +0.3285s 18
3 Ernie Francis Jr HMD Motorsports 1m23.0896s +0.4304s 16
4 Hunter McElrea Andretti Autosport 1m23.1181s +0.4589s 20
5 Kyffin Simpson HMD Motorsports 1m23.1214s +0.4622s 20
6 Christian Rasmussen HMD Motorsports 1m23.2336s +0.5744s 19
7 Louis Foster Andretti Autosport 1m23.4692s +0.8100s 20
8 Nolan Siegel HMD Motorsports 1m23.5357s +0.8765s 18
9 Christian Bogle HMD Motorsports 1m23.8976s +1.2384s 20
10 Jamie Chadwick Andretti Autosport 1m24.2560s +1.5968s 18
11 Reece Gold HMD Motorsports 1m25.2863s +2.6271s 20
12 Matthew Brabham Cape Motorsports 1m25.2973s +2.6381s 5
13 Rasmus Lindh Juncos Hollinger Racing 1m25.3244s +2.6652s 15
14 Josh Pierson HMD Motorsports 1m25.6601s +3.0009s 20
15 Jagger Jones Cape Motorsports 1m25.9718s +3.3126s 18
16 Yuven Sundaramoorthu Abel Motorsports 1m26.6868s +4.0276s 20
17 Danial Frost HMD Motorsports 1m27.3403s +4.6811s 12
18 Victor Franzoni Juncos Hollinger Racing 1m29.3327s +6.6735s 16
19 Francesco Pizzi Abel Motorsports 1m35.0711s +12.4119s 10