XPEL Grand Prix at Road America – Indy NXT Qualifying Postponed; USF Pro Saturday Sessions Mid-Day Catch-Up

By Tony DiZinno

USF2000 field hurries up and waits. TSO Photo by Patrick Stephan

Approaching 1 p.m., we have been on a slight delay for track conditions and the rain ranging from steady to heavy over the last couple hours.

The first of two USF2000 races today gridded and waited while Road America track officials surveyed and cleaned up oil spills from a previous session at multiple points on the track; most notably between Turns 12 and 13.

As of 1:00 p.m., the race was red flagged before it even got going. Race Control radio: “Conditions are not acceptable for racing at this time.”

At 1:20 p.m., the Indy NXT qualifying session was postponed to a time TBD, with further updates to come in terms of weather. As of now, NTT INDYCAR SERIES qualifying remained on schedule.

At 1:40 p.m., it was announced the Indy NXT qualifying will run after NTT INDYCAR SERIES qualifying, with the USF2000 Race 1 postponed.

Quick other notes by series are below:


Before the first practice of the day and second of the weekend, we got an entry list update. Kiko Porto, who made three Indy NXT by Firestone starts in 2023 with Cape Motorsports, has been drafted in to the No. 39 HMD Motorsports Dallara with Nolan Siegel stepping up to IndyCar.

“I’m very happy with this opportunity. I will indeed have to readapt to the car very quickly, but it’s a great chance to return to racing in INDY NXT, and I want to make the most of it,” he said in a release.

HMD general manager Mike Maurini filled in the team side of the update when speaking to IndyCar Radio’s Ryan Myrehn (thanks to Steve for the help on transcribing this):

“He has the opportunity to go drive an NTT INDYCAR SERIES car and we’ll support that 100%. We’re a company that tries to put drivers into INDYCAR, and this is a good opportunity for him.

“As we rolled through practice yesterday, through last night and through 7:30 this morning, we got the news that he wants to focus on that (the No. 78 Juncos Hollinger Racing Chevrolet) this weekend.

“We, as a team, want to focus on INDYCAR NXT by Firestone this weekend, so we agreed that he should go do the INDYCAR stuff for now.

“We’ll circle back on Monday, and see where we stand on everything.”

Regarding Porto, Maurini said: “Kiko’s licensed from last season. He did three races with another program. He’s here on-site. He had his race gear. We’d spoken to him last year and spoke yesterday to him about certain things about 2025.

“He just happened to be in the right place at the right time. There are a couple other drivers here on site, but it was just a last-minute deal we put together at 7:30am.”

The No. 39 car had Porto’s name already adorning the roll hoop and rear wing.

New Kiko signage on No. 39 HMD Motorsports Dallara. TSO Photo by Tony DiZinno

Michael d’Orlando told IndyCar Radio he only got the call to drive this week on Wednesday.

Drivers were concerned about track conditions if it got wet, which it did.

“It was pretty awful in the rain last year, and I think we were the first ever cars to test on it and it was pouring. There was no grip,” Yuven Sundaramoorthy told TSO on Thursday.

The morning practice session was peppered with offs, notably four drivers in a row at various points of the 4.014-mile Road America track. This included Jordan Missig, Myles Rowe, Louis Foster and Jack William Miller in separate spots, but all returned to the pits without incident.

Callum Hedge also had a heavy off at Turn 14, and significantly damaged the back end of his car. The HMD Motorsports team repaired it and he was ready to go for qualifying, whenever it occurs.

Hedge repaired car. TSO Photo by Tony DiZinno

Dry times will ultimately be irrelevant in wet conditions, but Reece Gold ended the session on top ahead of Louis Foster, James Roe, Jacob Abel and Michael d’Orlando.

Times from the Saturday morning practice are below:

110Reece GoldHMD Motorsports1:50.58461:50.58461614
226Louis FosterAndretti Global1:50.67040.08581412
329James RoeAndretti Global1:50.83030.24571412
451Jacob AbelAbel Motorsports1:50.90590.32131511
53Michael d’OrlandoAndretti Cape INDY NXT1:51.14680.56221211
618Caio ColletHMD Motorsports1:51.33960.75501311
728Jamie ChadwickAndretti Global1:51.42340.83881111
82Salvador de Alba JrAndretti Cape INDY NXT1:51.51250.92791612
914Josh PiersonHMD Motorsports1:51.83001.24541512
1023Jonathan BrowneHMD Motorsports1:51.94011.35551313
1127Bryce AronAndretti Global1:52.02381.43921110
1299Myles RoweHMD Motorsports with Force Indy1:52.12601.54141414
1311Nolan AllaerHMD Motorsports1:52.18411.59951413
147Christian BogleHMD Motorsports1:52.20961.62501514
1522Yuven SundaramoorthyAbel Motorsports1:52.29421.70961614
1633Niels KoolenHMD Motorsports1:52.48291.89831714
1721Jordan MissigAbel Motorsports1:52.54871.96411412
1839Kiko PortoHMD Motorsports1:53.14532.56071615
1976Lindsay BrewerJuncos Hollinger Racing1:53.45152.86691615
2017Callum HedgeHMD Motorsports1:53.99843.413833
2140Jack William MillerMiller Vinatieri Motorsports1:54.21633.6317103

Qualifying Groups

Group 1: Foster, Abel, Collet, de Alba, Browne, Rowe, Bogle, Koolen, Porto, Hedge

Group 2: Gold, Roe, d’Orlando, Chadwick, Pierson, Aron, Allaer, Sundaramoorthy, Missig, Brewer, Miller

USF PRO 2000

An eventful and busy race of passing in the first of two USF Pro 2000 races saw Lochie Hughes take the win for Turn 3 Motorsport from pole, ahead of Frankie Mossman (Jay Howard Driver Development) and Ricardo Escotto (BN Racing). Pabst Racing’s pair of Jace Denmark and Christian Brooks completed the top five.

With Nikita Johnson only finishing seventh, Hughes has unofficially moved into the points lead. He’s at 209 points with Johnson second at 192, Denmark third at 180, Liam Sceats fourth at 167 and Brooks fifth at 156.

The USF Pro 2000 second and third races this weekend are scheduled for 4:10 p.m. Saturday and 10:00 a.m. Sunday.


Race 1 was on a hold due to the rain and track conditions. The race clock started with a single lap under caution but was immediately red flagged.

The second race was due to run at 5:05 p.m. Saturday.