The Indy NXT championship battle is down to Christian Rasmussen of HMD Motorsports and Hunter McElrea of Andretti Autosport, but both were outpaced by 2022 USF Pro 2000 champion Louis Foster at Portland Saturday.
A frantic 20-minute session saw a six-way battle for pole on a very busy 1.964-mile Portland International Raceway.
With a minute to go, it appeared that the title contenders would monopolize the front row, with challenger McElrea delivering a 62.7924s lap, a tenth and change ahead of points leader Rasmussen.
However, with his sixth and final lap, McElrea’s teammate Foster slipped in a 62.6302s effort to take pole by 0.1622s, so that Andretti has locked out the front row.
HMD cars fill the next four slots, with Kyffin Simpson joining Rasmussen on row two, and Reece Gold and Nolan Siegel in fifth and sixth.
Series returnee Victor Franzoni wrung a 63.2201s lap out of his Juncos Hollinger Racing car, but teammate Matt Brabham was struggling for pace and spun, costing him his best lap and relegating him to the back of the field for causing a yellow.
Danial Frost will line up eighth for HMD, ahead of an all Abel Motorsports fifth row, Jacob Abel a few hundredths ahead of Yuven Sundaramoorthy.
The Indy NXT race begins at 10:20 a.m. PT time (1:20 p.m. ET) Sunday.