Still in the first half of the season, HMD Motorsports has a lot to celebrate heading into the sixth round of the 2023 INDY NXT by Firestone championship this upcoming weekend, June 16-18, at Road America. With five races now complete across four venues, INDY NXT has seen five different winners with HMD Motorsports representing four of those victors. This weekend, HMD will look to again place a driver on the top step of the podium after the INDY NXT by Firestone Grand Prix at Road America.
While the team has had success at Road America, last season proved challenging for the young team. This year, however, with a powerful new driver lineup and an even playing field due to a new compound of Firestone tires, HMD will look to conquer the four-mile, fourteen-turn course as they have throughout the season so far. Continuing with nine drivers, HMD will be a force as the weekend gets underway.
Leading the team into the weekend will be veteran INDY NXT driver Christian Rasmussen who currently leads the championship after earning one win and three additional top-five finishes so far this season. Adding to his dominating run on the season, Rasmussen will also look to duplicate his results from 2022 as the reigning race winner in INDY NXT at Road America.
Closely trailing Rasmussen in the championship by just two points is rookie standout Nolan Siegel. With three podiums so far this season, Siegel finally claimed his first win in INDY NXT two weeks ago on the Streets of Detroit.
After winning the opening round of the season in the Streets of St. Petersburg, Danial Frost hit a bit of a rough patch as far as results go. However, the tides began to change for Frost in Detroit as he claimed a fifth-place finish and held on to fourth in the championship.
Since joining HMD Motorsports two events ago, Reece Gold found his stride with the team and took home his first INDY NXT win in race one of the Detroit Grand Prix. As a rookie, Gold does not have experience at the track in an INDY NXT Dallara IL-15, however, the young driver has been fast in other series and claimed the pole position for race one of the USF Pro 2000 race last season at Road America.
Suffering from a broken wrist during the Grand Prix of Alabama, Ernie Francis, Jr. was forced to miss the Indianapolis Grand Prix while he recovered. While missing a round set him back in the championship, Francis came back strong to earn his career-first podium finish in INDY NXT in his first race back.
Adding to the list of drivers who had their strongest weekend in Detroit, Christian Bogle drove up through the field to gain eleven positions and earn a sixth-place finish in race one – his best finish of the 2023 season.
After starting his rookie season with three top-ten finishes, Josh Green will be looking to rebound from a disappointing weekend in Detroit. In USF Pro 2000 last season, Green took home the pole position in race two and a second-place finish at Road America and brings the potential to compete up front.
Kyffin Simpson rounds out the list of six HMD Motorsports drivers who have finished on the podium so far this season. After a third-place finish in Indianapolis last month, Simpson is eager to return to the podium. As a three-time winner at Road America in FR Americas competition, Simpson would like nothing more but to earn his first INDY NXT victory in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.
Competing in a partial season this year, Josh Pierson is the ninth driver to join the team this weekend. With two races under his belt so far, Pierson has his focus on gaining track experience as he continues to add to his motorsports resumé. Fresh off a return from France where he competed with the United Autosports outfit at the 24 Hours of LeMans, Simpson is ready to shift his focus back to INDY NXT.
In the NTT INDYCAR SERIES, David Malukas will also represent HMD Motorsports this weekend at Road America in his #18 Dale Coyne Racing with HMD Motorsports entry.
As the young INDY NXT by Firestone drivers continue to set their sights on the NTT INDYCAR SERIES, the two series will share the track all weekend long. With two practice sessions each, both series will qualify on Saturday afternoon as they set the grids for back-to-back races on Sunday.
Weekend Schedule – Road America *All times ET
Friday, June 16
2:50-3:35pm – INDY NXT by Firestone – Practice 1
4:00-5:15pm – NTT INDYCAR SERIES – Practice 1
Saturday, June 17
9:50-10:35am – INDY NXT by FIrestone – Practice 2
10:55-11:55am – NTT INDYCAR SERIES – Practice 2
1:15-1:35pm – INDY NXT by FIrestone – Qualifying
1:55-3:25pm – NTT INDYCAR SERIES – Qualifying
Sunday, June 18
10:15-10:45am – NTT INDYCAR SERIES – Warmup
11:10am -12:10pm- INDY NXT by Firestone – Race, 20 laps
1:00-4:00pm – NTT INDYCAR SERIES – Race, 55 laps
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Photo: RTD Media