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Foster paces first Indy NXT practice session in St Petersburg

Louis Foster is back where he feels he belongs, atop the field in the Indy NXT by Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

The Andretti Global driver, who won the pole for last year’s season-opening race of the Indy NXT by Firestone season, turned the quickest lap on the opening day of this season, too. Friday, Foster’s lap of 1m5.7384s in the No. 26 Copart/Novara Technologies entry was more than 0.4s quicker than series newcomer and Andretti Cape Indy NXT driver Michael d’Orlando.

Foster’s pole time last year on the 14-turn, 1.8-mile temporary street circuit was 1m05.1103s. This weekend’s qualifying session is at 1:05 p.m. ET Saturday.

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Last year, Foster won two races and four poles, and he said Friday’s effort shows his season is off to a proper start.

“We were fast here last year; we had pole,” the 20-year-old Englishman said. “We just wanted to continue where we (left) off, really. That’s where we expected to be, where I wanted to be.

“So, we’ll just keep pushing and trying to stay (on top).”