Home Featured Siegel dominates Indy Nxt’s St. Petersburg season opener

Siegel dominates Indy Nxt’s St. Petersburg season opener

by Bethonie Waring

Photo: Chris Owens

HMD Motorsports’ Nolan Siegel dominated the opening race of the 2024 Indy Nxt season in St Petersburg from pole.

Siegel, who will compete in select IndyCar rounds this year, led comfortably from lights to flag and had little trouble off the line as he started from pole.

Jacob Abel in second was briefly able to close in on his team-mate before Siegel pulled out a gap again. 

James Roe Jr intially put up a good defence against Andretti Global team-mate Louis Foster for third place, but Foster was eventually able to find a way through and closed onto the back of Abel, which helped Siegel drive away up front.

Siegel had a gap of close to eight seconds when Andretti’s Bryce Aron made heavy contact with the barriers with 13 laps to go of the 45-lap race. A caution period was thrown and that brought Abel onto the back of Siegel.

But Abel would not get a chance to challenge for the lead, as Siegel had a perfect restart and Foster tried to find a way past to second.

The race was almost immediately halted again when Jack William Miller made contact with the wall at turn three.

When racing resumed with seven laps remaining, it was a repeat of the first restart. Siegel pulled away while Abel, Foster and Michael d’Orlando battled for the next positions. Their squabbling caused them to drop further back, emphasising Siegel’s dominance.

Abel managed to hold on to second ahead of Foster and d’Orlando, who is seeking the budget to make sure he can do the full season with the Andretti Cape team.

There were a few incidents early in the race that caused retirements. Andretti’s Jamie Chadwick and HMD’s Josh Pierson had a coming together that resulted in a penalty for Pierson. Chadwick initially reported no damage, but would later come in to the pits with suspension problems and retire.

Niels Koolen’s headrest came away from his car, forcing him to pit, and when the issue could not be resolved he retired.

Late in the race, Josh Mason came to a stop on track, but managed to manoeuvre his car behind a wall to avoid the need for a caution period.

Reece Gold got in trouble at the beginng of the race as he was deemed to jump the start. He dropped down the order due to a penalty but recovered to finish fifth, comfortably ahead of Jonathan Browne. Both drivers made up positions after a wide moment for Myles Rowe dropped him to seventh. Caio Collet then managed to find a way through to demote Rowe to eighth. 

Salvador de Alba and Christian Bogle rounded out the top 10. 

Race result (45 laps)
Pos Driver Team Time
1 Nolan Siegel HMD Motorsports
2 Jacob Abel Abel Motorsports +1.3959s
3 Louis Foster Andretti Global +1.8168s
4 Michael d’Orlando Andretti Cape +2.5480s
5 Reece Gold HMD Motorsports +4.4578s
6 Jonathan Browne HMD Motorsports +7.9631s
7 Caio Collet HMD Motorsports +8.3781s
8 Myles Rowe HMD Motorsports +9.9905s
9 Salvador de Alba Andretti Cape +11.7563s
10 Christian Bogle HMD Motorsports +12.3531s
11 Callum Hedge HMD Motorsports +14.9387s
12 Yuven Sundaramoorthy Abel Motorsports +15.6720s
13 Josh Pierson HMD Motorsports +16.2240s
14 Nolan Aller HMD Motorsports +20.4555s
Ret Lindsay Brewer Juncos Hollinger Racing
Ret James Roe Jr Andretti Global
Ret Josh Mason Abel Motorsports
Ret Jack William Miller Miller Vinatieri Motorsport
Ret Bryce Aron Andretti Global
Ret Jamie Chadwick Andretti Global
Ret Niels Koolen HMD Motorsports
Fastest lap: Gold, 1m05.0994s