Home Featured Kyffin Simpson tops first Indy Nxt practice at Road America

Kyffin Simpson tops first Indy Nxt practice at Road America

by Alejandro Alonso Lopez

Photo: James Black

A late lap followed by a red flag allowed HMD Motorsports’ Kyffin Simpson to top Indy Nxt’s first practice session at a faster, resurfaced Road America circuit.

The resurfacing of the track removed some critical bumps and increased the grip, which led to considerably faster laptimes compared to the 2022 round. In fact, the whole field had already beaten Sting Ray Robb’s pole position time from 2022 halfway through FP1.

Abel Motorsports’ Jacob Abel was the first driver to set a representative laptime seven minutes into the 45-minute session. His 1m54.1618s was just 0.1875 seconds slower than Robb’s pole.

One lap later, Andretti Autosport’s Hunter McElrea lowered the benchmark to 1m52.7492s, an effort Abel would better by another second-and-a-half straight away.

Most drivers returned to the pitlane to make car adjustments after completing a short opening run of around five laps.

The track was busy again with 25 minutes remaining on the clock. Several drivers improved their pace, but no one could beat Abel’s 1m51.2583s from his first run.

A handful of drivers ran off the track and onto the grass run-off area at turn seven as they started to push the limits. However, they rejoined safely and no yellow flags were needed.

Abel’s team-mate Colin Kaminsky moved up to the top with a 1m51.0475s set 15 minutes before the end. Abel also improved on his previous benchmark by one-and-a-half tenths of a second to sit 0.0597 seconds behind Kaminsky.

Simpson claimed top spot in the final six minutes as he set a 1m50.2468s. He went even faster the following lap, laying down a 1m49.6479s benchmark.

Red flags were out with under three minutes remaining to recover the car of HMD Motorsports driver Ernie Francis Jr, who stopped on track coming out of the last corner.

The session didn’t resume, meaning Simpson was fastest by 1.3996s over Kaminsky, with HMD’s Danial Frost only slightly behind. Louis Foster, the pacesette in the previous round in Detroit, could do no better than 16th place, 2.7882s off the pace.

Free practice results
Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 Kyffin Simpson HMD Motorsports 1m49.6479s   15
2 Colin Kaminsky Abel Motorsports 1m51.0475s +1.3996s 15
3 Danial Frost HMD Motorsports 1m51.1016s +1.4537s 13
4 Jacob Abel Abel Motorsports 1m51.1072s +1.4593s 13
5 Ernie Francis Jr HMD Motorsports 1m51.3412s +1.6933s 14
6 Josh Green HMD Motorsports 1m51.3821s +1.7342s 14
7 Hunter McElrea Andretti Autosport 1m51.4118s +1.7639s 13
8 Matteo Nannini Juncos Hollinger Racing 1m51.4718s +1.8239s 12
9 Reece Gold HMD Motorsports 1m51.5277s +1.8798s 12
10 Christian Rasmussen HMD Motorsports 1m51.5961s +1.9482s 13
11 James Roe Jr Andretti Autosport 1m51.8531s +2.2052s 11
12 Christian Bogle HMD Motorsports 1m51.9922s +2.3443s 14
13 Rasmus Lindh Juncos Hollinger Racing 1m52.0292s +2.3813s 13
14 Jagger Jones Cape Motorsports 1m52.3167s +2.6688s 14
15 Enaam Ahmed Cape Motorsports 1m52.3232s +2.6753s 12
16 Louis Foster Andretti Autosport 1m52.4361s +2.7882s 12
17 Josh Pierson HMD Motorsports 1m52.6035s +2.9556s 16
18 Nolan Siegel HMD Motorsports 1m52.6957s +3.0478s 9
19 Jamie Chadwick Andretti Autosport 1m52.9457s +3.2978s 14