Kyffin Simpson

Kyffin Simpson and many other INDY NXT by Firestone drivers put Oliver Askew’s series track record on notice in Saturday morning’s practice at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

Simpson turned a field-leading lap of 1 minute, 11.0198 seconds in preparation for today’s qualifying session in the INDY NXT by Firestone Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio. Askew’s lap time in the second race of the 2019 season was 1:10.8079.

Simpson sounded like there is still much time to be gained.

“It felt all right, (but) I wouldn’t say it felt magic or anything like that,” he said of the lap in the No. 21 HMD Motorsports with Chip Ganassi Racing. “I was just able to put together a pretty clean lap overall. I had to back off to create a gap a lot of times, so I only had that last lap and was just guessing where the grip was. I guess I guessed well because we were pretty quick out there.”

SEE: Practice Results

Several other drivers turned laps in the neighborhood of Askew’s mark. Reece Gold, driving the No. 10 HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing entry, was second on the time chart at 1:11.0286 and Andretti Autosport’s Hunter McElrea ran the No. 27 Smart Motors entry at 1:11.2719.

Jacob Abel, who led Friday’s practice at 1:11.3899 in the No. 51 Abel Motorsports car, finished this session in the fifth position.

Christian Rasmussen, who is second in series points behind Nolan Siegel, had the session’s most significant off, bouncing into the gravel trap in Turn 8. His No. 6 HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing car had to be retrieved from the hazard, drawing a red flag. He finished the 45-minute practice in the sixth spot.

Jagger Jones had a similar ride as Rasmussen in the same location of the track in the No. 98 Lead Sled car of Cape Motorsports. He was third on the time sheet at that point and ended the session 13th.

Simpson will shoot for his second consecutive series pole in qualifying today at 2:05 p.m. ET (INDYCAR LIVE, INDYCAR Radio Network). Sunday’s 35-lap race is set for Sunday at 11:40 a.m. ET on Peacock, INDYCAR LIVE and the INDYCAR Radio Network.