Home Featured Rasmussen grows Indy Nxt lead by winning night race on Gateway oval

Rasmussen grows Indy Nxt lead by winning night race on Gateway oval

by Ida Wood

Photo: James Black

Christian Rasmussen added to his Indy Nxt points lead with victory in a heavily delayed race on the Gateway oval.

Rain throughout Saturday meant the 75-lap race was shifted from the day into the night, and qualifying was cancelled which meant entrant points decided the grid. That put Rasmussen on pole ahead of Hunter McElrea, Nolan Siegel, Jacob Abel and Louis Foster.

It was 25C when the race began, which helped bringing tyres up to temperature despite the lack of sunlight. Siegel tried going down the inside of McElrea on lap one, while further back Matthew Brabham attempted a three-wide move.

James Roe Jr came from sixth to be passing McElrea for second by lap two, but McElrea got back past and when Siegel tried to get involved he got swallowed up by the cars behind. Roe also then sunk back, after a squabble with Brabham for third, and Danial Frost was in the final podium spot by lap four.

Louis Foster started attacking Jacob Abel for seventh on lap seven, but did not get his move done until lap 10. The gaps had opened up at the front, and the focus remained on Foster who went around the outside of Siegel on lap 16. Abel followed him through, and Siegel was swallowed up once again.

The pair cleared Brabham on lap 23 to get into fifth and sixth, while Rasmussen found his lead cut to nothing as he encountered traffic to lap. It took a few laps to clear Colin Kaminsky, with McElrea only taking two further seconds to lap him, and when he tried going around the outside of McElrea’s Andretti Autosport team-mate Jamie Chadwick he ended up losing the lead.

It took another three laps for him to finally clear her, with Frost right on his tail, but then when McElrea went to lap Rasmus Lindh it left Rasmussen the room to reclaim first place.

After being passed by Foster on lap 27, Roe sunk down the order and he was lapped by lap 39. The top three opened up again once lapping cars was not an issue, but then on lap 56 a caution period closed them together as Roe understeered into the wall at the last corner.

Racing resumed on lap 63 and there was battling for every position in the top six. Foster and Abel cleared Frost, who then got back past Abel as Foster passed McElrea. There was then contact between Abel and Frost, with the former moving back ahead.

Rasmussen raced away for his fourth win of 2023 ahead of Foster and McElrea, and further back Siegel recovered to beat Brabham to sixth.

Race result (75 laps)
Pos Driver Team Time
1 Christian Rasmussen HMD Motorsports 41m34.4069s
2 Louis Foster Andretti Autosport +1.7805s
3 Hunter McElrea Andretti Autosport +3.5628s
4 Jacob Abel Abel Motorsports +4.5840s
5 Danial Frost HMD Motorsports +6.3385s
6 Nolan Siegel HMD Motorsports +8.7792s
7 Matthew Brabham Juncos Hollinger Racing +10.2900s
8 Ernie Francis Jr HMD Motorsports +11.3580s
9 Reece Gold HMD Motorsports +12.3076s
10 Josh Pierson HMD Motorsports +13.0940s
11 Christian Bogle HMD Motorsports +13.8923s
12 Jamie Chadwick Andretti Autosport +1 lap
13 Colin Kaminsky Abel Motorsports +1 lap
14 Rasmus Lindh Juncos Hollinger Racing +1 lap
Ret James Roe Jr Andretti Autosport
Fastest lap: McElrea, 29.4825s (152.633mph)

Championship standings
1 Rasmussen 415   2 McElrea 365   3 Abel 337   4 Siegel 335   5 Foster 309   6 Gold 282   7 Roe 274   8 Frost 263   9 Francis 224   10 Kyffin Simpson 221