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Indy NXT: Five takeaways from the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg

INDY NXT By Firestone Grand Prix of St_ Petersburg - Sunday_ March 5_ 2023_ReferenceImageWithoutWatermark_m74887

Incredible, crazy, spectacular, insane, all of the above. Indy NXT delivered a chaotic first race of the season. Battles up and down the entire field, a lot of cautions, and at the end of the day, Danial Frost took his first win of the season. Here are five takeaways from the Indy NXT Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

1. Chaos reigned supreme

The entire weekend was filled with accidents. Christian Rasmussen and Hunter McElrae crashed in practice. Numerous drivers had to bail out to escape roads, and matters stayed chaotic during the race. In total, the Indy NXT Grand Prix of St. Petersburg saw five cautions. Perhaps drivers need to get used to 19 cars in the field this year. From an entertainment aspect, it was good, but I think team bosses are not happy with the damage after this weekend.

2. Overall racing action

Between the cautions, the first Indy NXT race of the season saw great racing action. Having 19 cars this year will help drivers develop their race craft. Especially on street courses like this where space is limited. Just like in the IndyCar Series, these drivers will have to learn and adapt.

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Credit: Penske Entertainment: Joe Skibinski

3. Louis Foster proves impressive

Danial Frost did a great job to win the race. Staying out of trouble was no easy task, and he capitalized on rival mistakes. However, one man impressed me the most this weekend, Louis Foster. The English rookie started from pole and had good race pace. He lost the lead after Christian Rasmussen made a dove on the inside. This allowed Jacob Abel to go from third to first. Abel opened up a 3-second lead, but during the longest green flag run of the race, Foster closed that gap and was ready to pounce before another caution interrupted matters. His race was ended by a brush off the wall in Turn 3.

4. Christian Rasmussen’s daring moves

The most exciting action during this race was by Christian Rasmussen. The Danish 2nd-year driver made some late dives, and while spectacular, it didn’t bring him results. His moves also caused other drivers to take avoiding action. Perhaps a bit more patience and he could’ve been in victory lane.

5. New qualifying system

Quite frankly, this new qualifying system is awful. Indy NXT qualifying is limited to eight minutes of green flag running in a 15-minute window. Looking at comparable junior series. Formula 2 & 3 qualifying get 30 minutes each. Especially in a series where track time is already limited, this is unacceptable.

INDY NXT By Firestone Grand Prix of St_ Petersburg - Sunday_ March 5_ 2023_ReferenceImageWithoutWatermark_m74849
Credit: Penske Entertainment: James Black

Indy NXT Driver Standings

1. Danial Frost  -(HMD Motorsports) – 51
2. Nolan Siegel (HMD Motorsports) – 41
3. Jacob Abel  (Abel Motorsports)  – 38
4. Christian Rasmussen (HMD Motorsports) – 32
5. Hunter McElrae (Andretti Autosport) – 30

There is quite some time before the next round of the Indy NXT championship. The next Indy NXT race will be on April 30th, the Grand Prix of Alabama.

Featured Image Credit: Penske Entertainment: James Black


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