In the midst of a West Coast swing, INDY NXT by Firestone and the NTT INDYCAR SERIES raced in the City of Roses at Portland International Raceway this past weekend. While wins and podiums remain the focus for HMD Motorsports, attention is also shifting as championships are on the line as the season comes to an end.
With two practice sessions on the schedule, drivers had ample opportunity to familiarize themselves with the 12-turn, 1.964-mile road course. Once qualifying rolled around, HMD Motorsports was locked out of the front row, with championship leader Christian Rasmussen qualifying third and followed by Kyffin Simpson and Reece Gold in the top-five. Nolan Siegel and Danial Frost qualified on the fourth row while Christian Bogle, Ernie Francis, Jr., and Josh Pierson slotted into 11th, 14th, and 15th on the grid.
Looking to move HMD Motorsports drivers up through the field, chaos erupted in the first turn of the race as Reece Gold was hit from behind as multiple drivers were involved in the wreck. Included were HMD Motorsports drivers Christian Rasmussen, Reece Gold, Kyffin Simpson, and Josh Pierson. With the championship on the line, Rasmussen was able to continue at the rear of the field, while Simpson and Gold continued two laps down. Josh Pierson was forced to retire from the race with extensive damage. While many drivers’ races were ruined, the remaining HMD drivers were able to capitalize. Nolan Siegel went on to finish second with a last-lap pass on teammate Danial Frost and remain in the fight for both the championship and Rookie of the Year honors. Not on the podium since his win in St. Petersburg at the start of the season, Danial Frost came home in third. Earning his best finish of the season was Christian Bogle in fourth, followed by Christian Rasmussen who finished fifth and extended his championship lead. Ernie Francis, Jr. was the last of the HMD drivers who finished on the lead lap in seventh putting five drivers inside the top-seven.
After missing the setup in qualifying in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES and starting the race from 23rd, David Malukas and the Dale Coyne Racing with HMD #18 crew put their heads down and drove up to eighth, earning the Josten’s Biggest Mover Award after gaining 15 positions.
|Race Results – INDY NXT by Firestone:|
|Championship Update – INDY NXT by Firestone:|
This weekend, HMD will head to WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in Salinas, California. Newly repaved, the 2.238-mile track will host a double-header event to end the 2023 INDY NXT by Firestone season. Heading into the final two races, Christian Rasmussen maintains a 65-point lead in the championship over his closest competitor, Hunter McElrea. Nolan Siegel sits in third as the frontrunner for Rookie of the Year and remains in contention for the championship. Currently in a three-way tie, Danial Frost and Reece Gold continue to battle it out for sixth. Ernie Francis, Jr. and Kyffin Simpson remain in the fight for a top-ten in the championship. Moving up two positions after Portland, Christian Bogle sits in 11th, just five points outside the top-ten.
The NTT INDYCAR SERIES will also complete the 2023 season this weekend at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. With six top-ten finishes this season, two of which came in the past two races, Malukas will look to end his season with another strong finish
HMD Motorsports Entry List, WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca
#6 Christian Rasmussen
#7 Christian Bogle
#10 Reece Gold
#21 Kyffin Simpson
#39 Nolan Siegel
#68 Danial Frost
#99 Ernie Francis, Jr.
#18 David Malukas, Dale Coyne Racing w/ HMD (NTT INDYCAR SERIES)
Saturday, September 9
12:05 PM – 12:35 PM INDY NXT by Firestone Qualifying
1:00 PM – 2:00 PM NTT INDYCAR SERIES Practice 2
3:25 PM -4:35 PM INDY NXT by Firestone Race 1, 35 Laps
5:00 PM – 6:30 PM NTT INDYCAR SERIES Qualifying
Sunday, September 10
12:00 PM – 12:30 PM NTT INDYCAR SERIES Warmup
12:50 PM – 2:00 PM INDY NXT by Firestone Race 2, 35 Laps
2:30 PM – 6:00 PM NTT INDYCAR SERIES Race, 95 Laps
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Photo Credit: RTD Media