Sunday, July 14, 2024

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Foster dominates within the opening race of the doubleheader weekend

Foster, a 20-year-old Briton, led the No. 27 Andretti Global to the rostrum to victory in a time of 8.2445 s and led all 35 laps of the two.238-mile, 11-turn course on natural terrain. This is Foster's fifth victory in Indy NXT.

“The team gave me a good car,” Foster said. “I could just push, however the degree of deg (tire degradation) was very low. I managed the tires, but to be honest with you, I didn't need much management. I’m very pleased. Let's do it tomorrow.”

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HMD Motorsports newcomer Caio Collet finished right where he began, in second place.

Meanwhile, Jacob Abel finished third within the No. 51 Abel Motorsports.

Abel and Foster now lead the championship with 291 points each.

Yuven Sundaramoorthy, Abel's teammate, was third going into the last corner of the last lap, but contact with Juncos Hollinger Racing's Lindsay Brewer, who finished lap seventeenth, caused serious damage to his right front. Ultimately, he reached the finish line and took fourth place.

Andretti Global's James Roe was fifth, immediately ahead of HMD Motorsports, and Force Indy's Myle Rowe was sixth.

Race

Foster fended off Collet's early try and take the lead, coming from the surface into Turn 2 because the 20-car pack turned in for a clean opening lap.

Abel moved as much as third, ahead of Abel Motorsports teammate Sundaramoorthy who was fourth. Meanwhile, Reece Gold, who began third within the #10 HMD Motorsports, dropped to sixth.

Foster built a 3.2-second lead over Collet through the primary six laps, however it was erased on lap 6 after Gold spun off the track in turn five and drew a caution following a fight with teammate Christian Bogle. Gold was in a position to stay on the lead lap after quick motion by the AMR safety team, and to regain him, he only needed to return to the pit lane for a fast front wing substitute.

Foster escaped easily on the restart on lap 9 as runner-up Collet was immediately attacked by Abel.

Despite Abel's efforts, he did not overtake the 22-year-old Brazilian and remained third.

For the subsequent 13 laps, the perfect fight on the track was to take tenth position. Rookie Christian Brooks, who made his series debut with HMD Motorsports after Arrow McLaren announced earlier this week that Nolan Siegel can be signed to IndyAutomobile, has been thrust into a good battle with Andretti Global's Jamie Chadwick.

Brooks, who began thirteenth, needed to defend his final top-10 finish, while Chadwick took on challenge after challenge on the Corkscrew section of the historic track.

Andretti Global rookie Bryce Aron left the track in Turn 6 on lap 21, but managed to regain his strength and proceed without receiving a warning.

By lap 22, Foster's lead had increased to five.1 seconds over Collet, who was about 7 seconds ahead of third-placed Abel.

With 10 laps left, Foster's lead increased to over 6.4 seconds.

Brooks and Chadwick were still the tightest on the track, but each moved up two spots within the starting order after moments of being thrown off target by rivals within the back half of the highest 10, especially Jack William Miller.

With five laps remaining, Foster held an 8.5-second lead and the leaders remained unchanged.

However, Sundaramoorthy made a robust pass to teammate Abel going right into a spin on the penultimate lap to maneuver into third place.

Foster ran to the win, ahead of Collet. Sundaramoorthy's first podium slipped from his grasp in the ultimate corner of the ultimate lap after contact with Brewer, allowing Abel to climb back to 3rd.

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