Redemption for Siegel with dominant Indy NXT win in Detroit

Nolan Siegel, who suffered a heartbreaking last-lap loss in Indy NXT’s first race on the new Detroit course, snatched the lead at the start of the second race and survived two restarts to claim victory. His HMD Motorsports teammate Christian Rasmussen was second, while polesitter Louis Foster of Andretti Autosport completed the podium.

The first start was flagged off when everyone from row five back proved dilatory in lining up. The next start was deemed fine, and after Saturday’s mishap in which Foster was punted out of P1 into Turn 1 on lap one by Andretti Autosport teammate Hunter McElrea, the polesitter managed to remain unharmed by fellow front-row starter Rasmussen on the run down to Turn 1.

When Rasmussen braked alongside him, though, Foster was overly concerned with preventing his challenger from staying with him around the outside of the first turn (Turn 3 at the start) and ushered him toward the wall. That left the door open for Nolan Siegel to sprint up the inside on corner exit and take the lead.


Foster’s strong-arm tactics bit him again on the following lap because it was time for payback. Rasmussen slotted the No. 6 car down the inside on corner entry and gave Foster no room on exit. Now the Briton was down to third and barely holding off McElrea.

Behind them, Ernie Francis Jr ran fifth ahead of Colin Kaminsky (Abel Motorsports) and Danial Frost (HMD) until he skated down a runoff. Almost simultaneously, the second Abel car of Jacob Abel (Abel) punted yesterday’s winner Reece Gold (HMD) wide and sent him tumbling down the order.

Siegel, who in Saturday’s race stalked Gold for the lead, grabbed P1 and then had his car’s driveshaft let go on the final lap, was not going to have it easy on Sunday’s race either. By lap 10, Rasmussen was still within half a second of him closely pursued by Foster and McElrea.

The first caution of the race came on lap 15 of 45, when yesterday’s runner-up Jagger Jones slid into the wall exiting Turn 2 and ground to a halt.

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The restart came at the end of lap 19, and although Rasmussen made a bold attempt around the outside of Siegel into Turn 3, the latter retained the lead, and there was no way through for Foster and McElrea. Behind them, Kaminsky, Frost, Abel, Toby Sowery (HMD), Enaam Ahmed (Cape Motorsports) and James Roe (Andretti) completed the Top 10. However, Sowery’s passing attempt around the outside of Abel at Turn 3 failed and he took a trip down the runoff.

The following lap, Christian Bogle and Rasmus Lindh clashed at Turn 3 and briefly spun to a halt, while Ahmed tried and failed to pass Abel. Meanwhile Francis, who had pitted to replace a damaged front wing, had climbed back into the Top 10, turning some genuinely impressive lap times.

With ten laps to go, Siegel had eked his lead over Ramussen to just 1.75s, with Foster and McElrea close to the Dane, and 5s clear of the fifth-placed Kaminsky vs. Frost battle.

On lap 36, Abel and Ahmed outbraked themselves while trying to outbrake each other into Turn 3, and they gave up seventh and eighth to Roe and Francis respectively. Two laps later, the second full course caution flew when Kyffin Simpson – already several laps down after contact with Jamie Chadwick on the opening lap and a drive-through penalty – struck the wall at Turn 9.

This was less than ideal for Siegel, who had pulled 2s on Rasmussen and would now have to survive another restart, with two laps to go.

Siegel timed it well, and remained well clear of Rasmussen into Turn 3, while Foster and McElrea had nothing for the top two. Kaminsky outbraked himself and allowed Frost, Roe and Francis up into fifth, sixth and seventh.

Siegel passed the checkered flag to take a thoroughly deserved victory by 0.6559s ahead of his HMD teammate, with Foster completing the podium. Siegel is second in the championship, just two points behind Rasmussen.


Story originally appeared on Racer