After a two-race hiatus from the NTT INDYCAR SERIES, INDY NXT by Firestone is returning to the schedule for their second event of the season this weekend at Barber Motorsports Park. While the NTT INDYCAR SERIES has already completed three rounds this season, this will be the first permanent road course of the season for both series. Taking to the flowing turns of the 2.3-mile course, HMD Motorsports is returning to the paddock and bringing a cohort of ten drivers.
In the NTT INDYCAR SERIES, David Malukas has his sights set on podiums after collecting a pair of top-ten results in the past three races. While he has not stood on the podium since last season, Malukas has steadily been racing at the front of the field all season long. With multiple podiums at Barber Motorsports Park – including a win in INDY NXT in 2021 – Malukas is on track for another strong result.
Returning to the INDY NXT lineup, HMD Motorsports will again enter nine drivers with returning drivers Josh Green, Christian Rasmussen, Christian Bogle, Kyffin Simpson, Nolan Siegel, Danial Frost and Ernie Francis Jr. New to the lineup this weekend, Toby Sowery will be filling in for Josh Pierson while Pierson competes in the FIA World Endurance Championship at Spa-Francorchamps. A veteran of the series, Sowery helped lead HMD Motorsports to their first INDY NXT win back in 2019.
With a strong history at Barber, HMD Motorsports has won the past two races at Barber Motorsports Park – with David Malukas winning the second race of a doubleheader weekend in 2021 and Linus Lundqvist taking home the win in 2022. HMD also claimed the three previous pole positions at the track. Last year, Danial Frost was the fastest in both practice sessions but finished just shy of the podium with a fourth-place finish. While they were not racing for HMD Motorsports last season, Kyffin Simpson and Ernie Francis, Jr. both earned top-ten finishes last year with fifth and eighth-place results.
Looking to improve on their 2022 finishes, Christian Rasmussen and Christian Bogle will aim to build off their St. Pete event weekend. With Rasmussen finishing 11th at Barber Motorsports Park in 2022, but currently fourth in the 2023 Drivers Championship, Bogle will look to overcome a final lap incident from St. Pete seven weeks ago in a race that saw him drive from deep in the field into the top-ten before being caught up in another driver’s incident.
Both Josh Green and Nolan Siegel also raced on the 17-turn circuit last season, however, they were in the USF Pro 2000 Championship. Green picked up a pair of sixth-place finishes while Siegel took home a win in the second race of the weekend.
With seven drivers in the top-ten of the championship, HMD Motorsports plans to continue as the team to beat in INDY NXT by Firestone Championship.
As a development series for young drivers, INDY NXT by Firestone will take to the track ahead of the NTT INDYCAR SERIES all weekend long, beginning with practice on Friday, final practice and qualifying on Saturday and both races on Sunday.
Weekend Schedule – Barber Motorsports Park *All times ET
Friday, April 28
2:40 PM – 3:25 PM | Practice 1 | INDY NXT
3:40 PM – 4:55 PM | Practice 1 | NTT INDYCAR SERIES
Saturday, April 29
11:00 AM – 11:45 AM | Practice 2 | INDY NXT
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM | Practice 2 | NTT INDYCAR SERIES
2:20 PM – 2:40 PM | Qualifications | INDY NXT
3:00 PM – 4:15 PM | Qualifications | NTT INDYCAR SERIES
Sunday, April 30
12:00 PM – 12:30 PM | Warmup | NTT INDYCAR SERIES
12:55 PM | Race | INDY NXT
3:00 PM | Race | NTT INDYCAR SERIES
Photo: Penske Entertainment