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INDY NXT by Firestone returned alongside the NTT INDYCAR SERIES this past weekend for the Detroit Grand Prix for the first time since moving from Belle Isle and back to the streets of downtown Detroit. With a new nine-turn circuit, narrow corners, and bumpy streets, drivers in both series were apprehensive coming into a weekend full of unknowns. As the NTT INDYCAR SERIES prepared for their seventh round of the season, INDY NXT by Firestone had to quickly get up to speed as they took on their first double-header of the year for their fourth and fifth races of the season.

In the INDY NXT program, HMD Motorsports returned with nine drivers including the return of Ernie Francis, Jr. after he missed the Indy GP weekend with a broken wrist, and Toby Sowery who is again filling in for Josh Pierson who was racing in the World Endurance Championship. David Malukas rounded out the HMD Motorsports program in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES with Dale Coyne Racing with HMD.

HMD Motorsports was off to a strong start with their INDY NXT drivers in the only practice session of the weekend as Nolan Siegel topped the charts while four other HMD drivers rounded out the top-ten. For the double-header weekend, qualifying was divided into two eight-minute sessions to set the grid for both races. While HMD missed out on the pole position for both races, Reece Gold, Christian Rasmussen, and Nolan Siegel remained consistent with all three drivers qualifying in the top-five for both races.

Qualifying Results – Race 1:

3          Reece Gold

4          Nolan Siegel

5          Christian Rasmussen

7          Josh Green

9          Kyffin Simpson

14        Ernie Francis, Jr.

17        Danial Frost

18        Christian Bogle

19        Toby Sowery

Qualifying Results – Race 2:

2          Christian Rasmussen

3          Nolan Siegel

4          Reece Gold

6          Ernie Francis, Jr.

8          Danial Frost

13        Toby Sowery

16        Josh Green

17        Christian Bogle

19        Kyffin Simpson

Before all of the drivers were able to take the green flag for race one on Saturday afternoon, a caution came out as the two drivers in the front row collided. As drivers checked up, both Christian Rasmussen and Kyffin Simpson’s cars were damaged, but both drivers were able to continue into pit lane for repairs as the field remained under caution for the first six laps. Reece Gold took over the lead on the restart, followed by Nolan Siegel. By lap ten, the HMD Motorsports drivers began working their way up through the field as Danial Frost moved up into eighth, Ernie Francis, Jr. into ninth, Toby Sowery into 11th, and Christian Bogle up into 15th. As the race neared the halfway point, HMD drivers had gained an additional position. On lap 22, Danial Frost contacted the back of James Roe and was forced into the wall after a sudden move from Roe in the braking zone, which brought out a full-course caution. Restarting on lap 26, Christian Bogle began a strong run as he was able to gain three positions over the next four laps and moved up into eighth. Toby Sowery also moved up into eighth, Christian Rasmussen continued to move up into 12th after a wing change at the start of the race, and Ernie Francis, Jr. took over sixth. On lap 29, after gaining 11 positions since the start of the race, Toby Sowery suffered from an engine issue and was forced to retire. With less than ten laps remaining in the race, Francis had moved up into the top-five while Nolan Siegel began to close in on Reece Gold for the lead after a long, hard-fought battle, and with seven laps remaining Siegel took over the lead. Four laps later, Francis was able to get around Abel for fourth and set his sights on the podium. As the race neared its end, Nolan Siegel fell back from the lead on the final lap with two turns remaining after suffering from a broken driveshaft and rolled across the line to finish eighth. Reece Gold was the first to take the checkered flag and claim his first INDY NXT by Firestone win with Ernie Francis, Jr. finishing on the podium in third after gaining 11 positions. The biggest mover of the race, Christian Bogle gained 12 positions to finish in sixth.

On Sunday, ahead of the NTT INDYCAR SERIES race, INDY NXT by Firestone took to the track for their second race of the weekend. While the first lap of the race was waived off due to drivers being too spaced out, the track went green one lap later and while the two leaders, Louis Foster and Rasmussen, went wide, Nolan Siegel moved up into the lead. Also on the opening lap, Kyffin Simpson and Jamie Chadwick made contact and Simpson was forced to pit to repair damage and was eventually given a 30-second stop-and-hold penalty. As drivers scrambled for position on lap three, Christian Rasmussen was able to work his way around Foster to take over second. On lap 15, a caution was brought out for a driver in the wall. Restarting on lap 20, Rasmussen and Siegel went side-by-side for the lead as Siegel ultimately maintained the point. Just prior to the caution, Francis had to pit to replace his front wing after sustaining damage in the opening lap of the race. After the restart, Francis had already worked his way back up to 12th. Four laps later, Christian Bogle and Rasmus Lindh made contact as the pair fell to the back of the pack but were able to continue. As the race wound down, Simpson encountered contact with the wall ending his race. Restarting with two laps remaining, Nolan Siegel and Christian Rasmussen continued their battle for the win as Ernie Francis Jr. had moved up from the back of the field and back into seventh. Leading the field to the finish line, Nolan Siegel took home the win followed by Christian Rasmussen in second.

Race Results – Race 1:

1          Reece Gold (+2)

3          Ernie Francis, Jr.            (+11)

6          Christian Bogle (+12)

8          Nolan Siegel (-4)

9          Christian Rasmussen (-4)

13        Kyffin Simpson (-4)

15        Josh Green (-8)

17        Toby Sowery (+2)

18        Danial Frost (-1)

Race Results – Race 2:

1          Nolan Siegel (+2)

2          Christian Rasmussen (=)

5          Danial Frost (+3)

7          Ernie Francis, Jr. (-1)

12        Reece Gold (-8)

13        Toby Sowery (=)

15        Christian Bogle (+2)

17        Kyffin Simpson (+2)

18        Josh Green (-2)

Now with five rounds complete in the season, the INDY NXT by Firestone field has seen five different winners this year and has one of the closest championships in years. Maintaining the Championship lead, Christian Rasmussen leads Nolan Siegel by just two points, while HMD Motorsports has claimed four of the first five wins. In the Championship, positions three through 11 are separated by just ten points and with nine rounds remaining, the Championship is still for anyone to win.

INDY NXT by Firestone will return alongside the NTT INDYCAR SERIES in less than two weeks for the Road America race weekend, June 16-18.

Please be sure to follow HMD Motorsports on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram by searching @HMDMotorsports. For more information on HMD Motorsports visit or email

Photos: RTD Media

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