Note: This is part of a series of INDY NXT by Firestone team previews for the 2023 season.
Starting Lineup: Josh Green (No. 3 Zimperium Dallara – w/ Dale Coyne Racing), Christian Rasmussen (No. 6 Valeo/Archer Law Firm Dallara – w/Dale Coyne Racing), Christian Bogle (No. 7 Pelican Energy Dallara – w/ Dale Coyne Racing), Rasmus Lindh (No. 10 Garage XYZ – w/ Dale Coyne Racing), Josh Pierson (No. 14 Open Context Dallara – w/ Ed Carpenter Racing), Kyffin Simpson (No. 21 Ridgeline/American Legion Dallara – w/ Chip Ganassi Racing), Nolan Siegel (No. 39 Menlo Ventures Dallara – w/ Dale Coyne Racing), Danial Frost (No. 68 DenJet Dallara – w/ Dale Coyne Racing), Ernie Francis Jr (No. 99 James Schnabel Dallara – w/ Force Indy).
2022 in Review: Collectively, the organization won seven of 14 races en route to claiming the team championship. It proved to be a magical season for Linus Lundqvist, who, in his second season, claimed a five victories, nine podiums and six poles to capture the INDY NXT by Firestone championship. The run to the title started early for Lundqvist, with a third-place finish on the season-opening Streets of St. Petersburg. Then the Swede catapulted to the top step of the podium and won four of the next five races, including a sweep of the doubleheader in Detroit. Although Lundqvist went on to only win once in the final eight races, consistency was key as he finished in the top four – including four podiums – in seven of those events. In fact, he only finished outside the top five once all season, a sixth-place result in the penultimate race at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. It was also a strong year for Benjamin Pedersen and Frost, who both claimed wins to finish fifth and seventh, respectively, in the overall standings.
New for ’23: There quite a few additions to the HMD Motorsports over the offseason, with Rasmussen, Green, Lindh and Pierson joining the squad. Pierson, 16, spent last year in the FIA World Endurance Championship, where he became the youngest-ever race winner after finding glory in the 1000 Miles of Sebring. Simpson is back after running the final six events with the team last year; he ran the first eight races with TJ Speed Motorsports. Siegel ran the last round at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca last year as part of his INDY NXT inauguration. Now, the 18-year-old Californian is scheduled to run the full schedule in 2023. Rasmussen joins the squad after spending last year at Andretti Autosport, where he finished sixth in the standings with two victories. The team also took on a partnership with Force Indy, which has already seen improvements as Francis showed more speed in offseason testing, notably the Chris Griffis Memorial Test last fall on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course. Bogle and Frost are also back for another year with the team.
Keep an Eye on This: With a massive nine entries and several drivers expected to be championship favorites, it’ll be interesting to see how the intensity builds within the team with the possibility of points being taken away from one another. Additionally, the amount of data sharing and engineering debriefs could create unique runs of momentum from one driver to another. Frost, who is entering his third season in INDY NXT, is one of only three returning race winners (Rasmussen, Hunter McElrea). However, the Singaporean’s win also stood as his only podium last year. In turn, though, fighting for the title isn’t out of the question if the projected development meets talent, and consistency follows.
Little-Known Fact: HMD Motorsports have won the past two team championships, which comes after debuting in INDY NXT in 2019 (Note: The 2020 season was canceled due to COVID-19).
Christian Bogle Ernie Francis Jr. Danial Frost
Josh Green Rasmus Lindh Josh Pierson
Christian Rasmussen Nolan Siegel Kyffin Simpson