The 2023 NTT INDYCAR SERIES and INDY NXT by Firestone season is set to begin this weekend, March 3-5, at the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg Presented by RP Funding. After a massive off-season expansion, HMD Motorsports will return to the paddock with ten drivers representing the team between the two series, nine in INDY NXT and David Malukas in the NTT INDYCAR Series with Dale Coyne Racing.
Making up just less than half of the INDY NXT by Firestone field, HMD Motorsports is eager to get the 2023 season underway. With a team lineup consisting of seasoned third-year drivers, developing second-year returnees, and eager rookies, the program is filled with the perfect mix of experience and enthusiasm heading into the Streets of St. Pete this weekend.
Christian Bogle and Danial Frost are both entering their third year in the series and are both coming off their strongest seasons to date. With HMD in 2022, Bogle claimed his best INDY NXT result with a fourth-place finish in the Streets of Detroit while Frost had his first taste of victory at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
No longer rookies, Kyffin Simpson will return for his first full season with HMD while both Christian Rasmussen and Ernie Francis Jr. will race for the team for the first time this coming weekend. After winning back-to-back championships in USF2000 and Indy Pro 2000, Rasmussen ended his first INDY NXT season with two wins and is ready to build on that this season. Up against a competitive field in 2022, Simpson broke into the top-five and will be chasing down his first podium this season, proving his speed in winter testing. In a partnership between HMD Motorsports and Force Indy, Ernie Francis Jr. will reap the benefits of working alongside teammates after a single-car effort last year.
Both Rasmus Lindh and Nolan Siegel have had a taste of INDY NXT, but both drivers are slated to compete for the championship in their first full season this year. Lindh last competed in the series in the final six races of the 2021 season while Siegel began preparing for 2023 early and ran the final two rounds of the 2022 season with HMD Motorsports.
Rounding out the team, Josh Green and Josh Pierson will enter their rookie seasons. Green is continuing to advance up the open-wheel ladder after graduating from the USF Pro 2000 Championship. Pierson spent 2022 competing in LMP2 throughout various series, including the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, the Asian Le Mans Series, and the FIA World Endurance Championship.
While the off-season brought numerous changes to the series, one of the most notable is the transition to Firestone tires and the changes to team data and setups that come with the change. Bringing together a team of nine drivers, nine engineers, three DAGs, over thirty mechanics, and multiple driver coaches, HMD Motorsports hopes to have an advantage over the competition with an extensive amount of data, knowledge, and feedback from a cohesive team environment.
Looking to start the fourteen-race season strong, HMD Motorsports hopes to continue their streak of bringing fast cars to the Streets of St. Petersburg. In the three races over the past two years (2021 was a doubleheader), HMD has brought home one win and five additional podiums.
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.
David Malukas will also be representing HMD Motorsports in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES as he enters his second year in the series with Dale Coyne Racing with HMD Motorsports. After a strong finish to his 2022 campaign, the 21-year-old driver gained knowledge and skill throughout the season and will be looking to start strong this weekend. For more information on David Malukas and Dale Coyne Racing, visit DaleCoyneRacing.com.
Weekend Schedule – Streets of St. Petersburg *All times ET
Friday, March 3
1:50 PM – 2:40 PM | Practice 1 | INDY NXT
3:00 PM – 4:15 PM | Practice 1 | NTT INDYCAR SERIES
Saturday, March 4
8:55 AM – 9:45 AM | Practice 2 | INDY NXT
10:00 AM – 11:00 AM | Practice 2 | NTT INDYCAR SERIES
1:35 PM – 1:55 PM | Qualifications | INDY NXT
2:15 PM – 3:30 PM | Qualifications | NTT INDYCAR SERIES
Sunday, March 5
9:00 AM – 9:30 AM | Warmup | NTT INDYCAR SERIES
9:50 AM | Race | INDY NXT
12:00 PM | Race | NTT INDYCAR SERIES
Photo: RTD Media