INDY NXT by Firestone testing wraps up with Nannini & McElrea quickest

Matteo Nannini during testing at Homestead-Miami Speedway in January Photo Courtesy of Penske Entertainment – James Black)

By Steve Wittich

Similar to the first INDY NXT by Firestone test on Firestone rubber, the second test at the same 2.21-Mile, 14-Turn Homestead-Miami Speedway road course saw a mix of expected and unexpected names at the top of the timing screens at the end of the day.

The one constant, though, was the pace shown by the pair of Juncos Hollinger Racing rookies. Matteo Nannini, who ended the late January test with the fourth-quickest time, was the only driver to turn a lap below 76 seconds to end the off-season on a high note. His teammate Reece Gold ended the day with the fourth quickest lap.

Returnee and championship favorite Hunter McElrea set the second quickest time, followed by his rookie Andretti Autosport teammate James Roe, Jr. as the third best.

Enaam Ahmed, announced as the second Cape Motorsports driver this morning, rounded out the top five after leading the test in January.

Nannini and McElrea had a sizeable time advantage over the remaining 17 drivers, who were covered by less than a second, however we suggest you don’t read too much into this. Drivers and teams were given the opportunity to utilize push-to-pass, and that can create lap time discrepancies depending on when and how the extra horsepower is applied.

The 19 drivers completed 1213 laps (2680.73 miles) of testing.

The same pilots will move to the opposite coast of the Sunshine State to start their season with practice on the Streets Of St. Petersburg on Friday.

Very unofficial testing results from Homestead-Miami Speedway

1Matteo NanniniJuncos Hollinger Racing75.935 63
2Hunter McElreaAndretti Autosport76.203-0.26875
3James Roe, Jr.Andretti Autosport76.582-0.64775
4Reece GoldJuncos Hollinger Racing76.646-0.71160
5Enaam AhmedCape Motorsports76.662-0.72738
6Louis FosterAndretti Autosport76.796-0.861106
7Kyffin SimpsonHMD Motorsports76.816-0.88167
8Rasmus LindhHMD Motorsports76.828-0.89368
9Jagger JonesCape Motorsports76.880-0.94554
10Jacob AbelAbel Motorsports76.895-0.9661
11Christian RasmussenHMD Motorsports w/Dale Coyne Racing76.979-1.04437
12Danial FrostHMD Motorsports w/Dale Coyne Racing77.037-1.10263
13Jamie ChadwickAndretti Autosport77.039-1.10474
14Colin KaminskyAbel Motorsports77.120-1.18539
15Christian BogleHMD Motorsports w/Dale Coyne Racing77.353-1.41868
16Josh PiersonHMD Motorsports77.427-1.49277
17Ernie Francis, Jr.Force Indy w/HMD Motorsports77.465-1.5369
18Nolan SiegelHMD Motorsports w/Dale Coyne Racing77.507-1.57256
19Josh GreenHMD Motorsports w/Dale Coyne Racing77.517-1.58263