Siegel thrown into a Road America whirlwind with JHR

Nolan Siegel had two plans coming into this weekend’s event at Road America. The first was to compete in the Indy NXT series where he’s fighting to win the championship with his HMD Motorsports team. The other was to get through Sunday’s 20-lap NXT race and get on a plane to France where the 19-year-old will dive directly into activities at the 24 Hours of Le Mans with the United Autosports team.

Now, with Juncos Hollinger Racing’s decision to stand Agustin Canapino down at Road America to give him time to process the week-long war taking place on social media, Siegel has accepted the task of piloting Canapino’s No. 78 Chevy IndyCar with little more than one hour’s notice.

Jumping straight from his NXT car to run to the JHR transporters in the 15 minutes between sessions on Friday, Siegel didn’t get rolling in the No. 78 until half an hour later—just over 15 minutes after the IndyCar session started—and he did surprisingly well while using Chevy power for the first time, and while getting a feel for JHR’s setup compared to what he’s used at three events with Dale Coyne Racing.


“On track, I think the session went really well,” Siegel said after posting the 26th-fastest lap. “We had no issues going through what we wanted to get through. I made progress every outing. I was being super conservative. Getting thrown into this is not the easiest thing. It’s also not an easy track to just go out and push hard from the beginning. This track is super high commitment and super fast, so I took my time to get up to speed. I feel it went smoothly and now we have a good base to work off.”

Siegel was shaking hands with his No. 78 crew members—meeting some of them for the first time—as he was walking to step into the car on pit lane.

“Now, I feel like we can get the weekend going properly,” he said. “I can meet everyone as I only had like 15 minutes to get ready to do this. It’s not an easy situation but really happy to be here and excited to be working with the team.”

Story originally appeared on Racer