The INDY NXT by Firestone competitors took to the streets in downtown Detroit this past weekend for the fourth and fifth rounds of the 2023 campaign. With the stakes high early in the season, the new venue, a change from the famed Belle Isle the last few years, proved to be challenging for even the more skilled drivers and provided for, arguably, the most interesting wheel-to-wheel racing of the season. Not only did the drivers have to learn a brand-new road course in only one practice session, but they also had to prepare themselves for the first double-header event of the season.
HMD Motorsports driver Danial Frost was the first winner of the season in St. Petersburg and has battled amongst the top contenders in each race so far. Since this street course was new to everyone on the grid, it evened out the playing field. The unforgiving track took a few victims in practice and qualifying, one of those drivers being Danial, driver of the #68 DenJet branded car. Despite finishing third fastest in practice, a tough first qualifying landed Danial back in 18th for the start of race one. The veteran driver was able to make up some ground in qualifying two, claiming an eighth-place start for Sunday’s wheel-to-wheel action.
Despite avoiding near collisions and climbing through the field and up to seventh in race one, a wheel-to-wheel battle pinned Danial against the wall about halfway through ending his incredible stint.
“It was an incredibly disappointing end to such a great run,” explains Danial. “I love this track; it’s super technical, but fun and I love being close to the walls. Unfortunately, this was a little too close as I was pushed higher than I was expected to be. The good news is that it’s a doubleheader weekend, so we’ve still got one more shot at being the first two-time winner this season.”
With a better-starting position of eighth in race two, Danial was still facing a challenge as the field finally started to master the intense street circuit. After a few yellow flags and a tough 45 laps later, Danial broke into the top-five where he gained 30 championship points, tightly securing fourth place in the championship standings after five rounds.
Danial and the rest of the HMD Motorsports team will continue their season next week at the four-mile natural terrain road course of Road America June 16th through the 18th. Practice sessions will be live on INDYCAR LIVE while qualifying and the race will be available to live stream on Peacock TV.
Please be sure to follow Danial on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. For more information on Danial visit DanialFrost.com.
Photos: RTD Media