Nolan Siegel Wins 2024 INDY NXT by Firestone Season Opener for HMD Motorsports

The INDY NXT by Firestone 2024 season started off strong on the streets of Downtown St. Petersburg this past weekend. In an uncharacteristic start of the season that saw a long run of green flag action to kick off the campaign, it was 2023’s Rookie of the Year and HMD Motorsports driver Nolan Siegel, who turned his first INDY NXT by Firestone career pole position into a race winning celebration on the top step of the podium.

Participating in two practice sessions before qualifying, HMD drivers Caio Collet, Nolan Siegel, Josh Pierson, Myles Rowe, and Reece Gold broke out top-ten speeds heading into the single qualifying session Saturday afternoon. With a new system in place, the first qualifying session of the year featured the grid split into two 12-minute groups, after which the order would be determined based on fastest lap time with the fastest group securing the inside lane for the start of race one with the slower of the two groups forced to the outside. In group one, Nolan Siegel topped the charts with a new INDY NXT by Firestone track record, securing his place in history with a 104.57 second lap. After group two times were recorded, the charts showed rookie Myles Rowe second quickest in his group while Gold was third quick as they would like up third and sixth respectively on the grid. INDY NXT rookie Caio Collet would start seventh, Josh Pierson ninth, and Jonathan Browne rounding out the top-ten in the tenth position. Christian Bogle would roll off the grid in P12 ahead of Nolan Allaer in 17th, Callum Hedge who had a massive qualifying crash and was forced to start well down the running order in 18th, and Niels Koolen in P19.

After a nail-biting 45-lap race with only two short cautions, Siegel turned his pole position into his first win of the season and his third career INDY NXT by Firestone victory leading flag-to-flag. Reece Gold scored the fastest lap of the race as he was forced to overcome an early race penalty and drove from outside the top-ten to finish fifth. Jonathan Browne kept his nose clean in his first career INDY NXT start after only two test days with the team to put three HMD Motorsports drivers in the top-six in sixth while Caio Collet recovered from a mid-race spin that saw him drop down the order before driving back forward to finish seventh.

2023 USF Pro 2000 Champion and INDY NXT rookie Myles Rowe was the best of the rookies in qualifying and battled hard at the front of the field, holding several much more experienced drivers behind him, before falling to eighth when the checkered flag flew. Christian Bogle managed to claim his first top-ten of the season, battling up two spots from his 12th place starting position while Callum Hedge won the Josten’s Biggest Mover award powering his completely rebuilt machine from 18th to 11th after the HMD Motorsports crew put in nearly ten hours of work on his #17 entry. Hometown favorite and rookie Nolan Allaer had a strong performance moving from 17th to 14th while improving his pace throughout the weekend and running top-ten times in the race while an unfortunate mechanical issue ended Niels Koolen’s debut on the on the 12th lap, much earlier than he would have liked.

“HMD Motorsports did a fantastic job today; the car was perfect. I couldn’t have asked for a better start to the season,” explained Nolan Siegel post-race. “Thank you to everyone who helped make this happen.”

“The goal was to continue where we left off 2023, and we did just that,” added Team President Mike Maurini. “A victory, the points lead, six drivers in the top-ten, the fastest lap of the race, and our 15th race with at least one driver on the podium. It is going to be a hard-fought season and one race does not define our championship so we will all keep pushing hard.”

Maurini continued, “It was a long off season for us with expansion, growth, and a new shop, and a win in the first race is great for the team morale. From each mechanic to every engineer to the HMD Motorsports ownership, a huge thank you for all of the hard work to continue our winning ways.”

You can catch HMD Motorsports at their next race on the 2024 INDY NXT by Firestone schedule in Leeds, Alabama at the famous Barber Motorsports Park April 26-28.

Photo Credit: RTD Media