By Steve Wittich
HMD Motorsports rookie Nolan Siegel led his second INDY NXT by Firestone practice session of the young 2023 season. The Californian was one of a dozen drivers under the current track record of 71.5149 seconds set by Linus Lundqvist in 2021.
The top four drivers came from the HMD Motorsports stable, and 16 of the 18 drivers were within a second of Siegel.
The green flag for the second 45-minute INDY NXT by Firestone practice session got the green flag at 10 am.
The skies were sunny; the humidity was down from Friday, and the ambient temperature of 68F.
TSO checked in with HMD Motorsports and confirmed the issue with Danial Frost’s Dan-Jet sponsored No. 68 was electrical. So to ensure they sorted the issue, they switched the entire wiring loom. As a result, they believe they have the problem sorted.
At the one-third point of practice, Hunter McElrea was at the top of the timing screens, with a lap at 71.0668 seconds, over a half-second quicker than the track record.
Practice #1 leader Christian Rasmussen (HMD Motorsports) was within a tenth of rival McElrea. Nolan Siegel (HMD Motorsports), Enaam Ahmed (Cape Motorsports), Louis Foster (Andretti Autosport), James Roe, Jr. (Andretti Autosport) and Frost were within a half-second of McElrea.
Most drivers were on used Firestone INDY NXT in the first half of practice.
With 20 minutes remaining in practice, a dozen of the 18 entries circulated on the 2.3-mile, 17-turn natural terrain road course and only 1.2 seconds separated the entire field.
With 15 minutes remaining, teams began to bolt on fresh Firestones, with drivers simulating qualification efforts.
With ten minutes remaining, the top ten drivers were all within a second, and the top nine were all under the track record.
Rasmussen was the first driver to go under 71 seconds, jumping to the top of the timing screens with six minutes remaining. With drivers on fresh tires, purple – signifying drivers setting their best laps – filled the timing screen.
On his last lap of the session, the Menlo Ventures sponsored No. 39 of Siegel jumped to the top of the timing screens.
The 18 drivers completed 434 laps, with Irishman James Roe, Jr., the busiest, completing 27 circuits of Barber Motorsports Park.
INDY NXT by Firestone practice #2 results
|RANK||CAR NO.||DRIVER||TEAM||BEST LAP||DIFF.||LAPS|
|1||39||Nolan Siegel||HMD Motorsports||1:10.6303||——||25|
|2||6||Christian Rasmussen||HMD Motorsports||1:10.7030||-0.0727||24|
|3||68||Danial Frost||HMD Motorsports||1:10.8493||-0.219||24|
|4||21||Kyffin Simpson||HMD Motorsports||1:10.8569||-0.2266||23|
|5||27||Hunter McElrea||Andretti Autosport||1:10.9006||-0.2703||24|
|6||26||Louis Foster||Andretti Autosport||1:10.9470||-0.3167||25|
|7||14||Toby Sowery||HMD Motorsports||1:11.2180||-0.5877||23|
|8||51||Jacob Abel||Abel Motorsports||1:11.2419||-0.6116||24|
|9||29||James Roe||Andretti Autosport||1:11.3057||-0.6754||27|
|10||3||Josh Green||HMD Motorsports||1:11.3894||-0.7591||23|
|11||57||Colin Kaminsky||Abel Motorsports||1:11.4237||-0.7934||26|
|12||47||Enaam Ahmed||Cape Motorsports||1:11.4359||-0.8056||21|
|13||98||Jagger Jones||Cape Motorsports||1:11.5168||-0.8865||24|
|14||7||Christian Bogle||HMD Motorsports||1:11.5304||-0.9001||26|
|15||76||Reece Gold||Juncos Hollinger Racing||1:11.6511||-1.0208||22|
|16||99||Ernie Francis Jr.||HMD Motorsports||1:11.6911||-1.0608||24|
|17||28||Jamie Chadwick||Andretti Autosport||1:11.7773||-1.147||25|
|18||75||Matteo Nannini||Juncos Hollinger Racing||1:11.9712||-1.3409||24|
The next time the INDY NXT by Firestone drivers are back on track is for qualifying at 1:20 pm.