INDY NXT by Firestone GP at Road America Practice #1 Notes and Results

Kyffin Simpson. Penske Entertainment: Travis Hinkle

By Patrick Stephan

The lNDY NXT by Firestone session got started at 1:50pm with the sun just about to pop out here at Road Americs. The 19 car field took to the track with the air temp at 64F and the track at 108F. With the sun increasing as the cloud layer burned off, the temp would slowly come up as the session ran, finishing at 66F and 109.4F respectively.

 As noted in the overall opening post, these driver’s are chasing Colton Herta’s 1:52.0034, 129.018 mph track record set on June 24, 2017. The new pavement here at Road America is clearly providing more grip, with Jacob Abel already under Herta’s record on just his 5th lap of the session.

With 10 minutes to go, Colin Kaminsky was leading Abel with a lap of 1:51.0475. Kyffin Simpson was 3rd, then Hunter McElrea, Matteo Naninni, Reece Gold, Christian Rasmussen, Ernie Francis, Jr., James Roe and Christian Bogle.

Notably almost all of those drivers had run off the track during this session. Lots of going wide at Turn 12 and some overshooting the braking zone for Turn 8. We saw Rasmussen off over at Turn 5, though so far, no one got stuck anywhere. Just lots of off and on’s through the grass.

Kyffin Simpson put on his second set of tires and jumped to P1 with 4 minutes to run with a lap of 1:50…nope, next time by he goes 1:49.6479. And well, I jinxed as Ernie Francis., Jr., brings out the red flag with 2 minutes to go as he is stalled at pit entry. That will prevent anyone else on new tires from posting a big final lap.

The AMR INDYCAR Safety team quickly gets to Francis, and rope tows him up the hill in to the pits, but the clock runs out, leaving Simpson a whopping 1.3996 up on Kaminsky, Frost, Abel, and Francis who finished the session 5th.

Kaminsky tells Michael Young on the INDYCAR Radio Network, that the new surface does indeed have a lot of grip, propelling him to perhaps the fastest speeds he’s every driven in a race car.

The Lights cars will next hit the track tomorrow morning for their second practice at 8:50AM.

Earlier today, I had the chance to talk with Detroit race #2 winner Nolan Siegel who finished 18th in the session (yep 3.04 seconds back – it’s quite the jumbled order). He said that win, “lifted all of our spirits, we’re all a bit more confident now, not that we weren’t before. Now we know what’s possible and we know what we can do, and we’re looking for more now.”

INDY NXT by Firestone GP of Road America Practice #1 Results

PosCar #DriverBest TimeDiffGapBest LapTotal Laps
121Kyffin Simpson01:49.6479–.—-–.—-1415
257Colin Kaminsky01:51.04751.39961.39961015
368Danial Frost01:51.10161.45370.05411213
451Jacob Abel01:51.10721.45930.0056913
599Ernie Francis Jr.01:51.34121.69330.2341314
63Josh Green01:51.38211.73420.04091214
727Hunter McElrea01:51.41181.76390.0297813
875Matteo Nannini01:51.47181.82390.061012
910Reece Gold01:51.52771.87980.0559912
106Christian Rasmussen01:51.59611.94820.0684813
1129James Roe01:51.85312.20520.257611
127Christian Bogle01:51.99222.34430.13911014
1376Rasmus Lindh01:52.02922.38130.0371213
1498Jagger Jones01:52.31672.66880.28751314
1547Enaam Ahmed01:52.32322.67530.00651112
1626Louis Foster01:52.43612.78820.1129812
1714Josh Pierson01:52.60352.95560.16741516
1839Nolan Siegel01:52.69573.04780.092259
1928Jamie Chadwick01:52.94573.29780.251314