Event: INDY NXT by Firestone OUTFRONT Showdown, 75 laps
Track Specs: 1.25-mile oval, with 11 degrees of banking in Turns 1 & 2 and 9 degrees in Turns 3 and 4
Tune In (all times Eastern): Race – 3:25 p.m. ET, Saturday, Aug. 26 (Peacock, INDYCAR Radio Network); Qualifying – 12:45 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 26 (INDYCAR LIVE, INDYCAR Radio Network); Practice – 9:55 a.m., Saturday, Aug. 26 (INDYCAR LIVE, INDYCAR Radio Network)
Last Year’s Winner: Matthew Brabham (Andretti Autosport)
Last Year’s Pole Sitter: Linus Lundqvist (HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing)
Spotlight: The championship battle is heating up with only four races remaining in the 2023 season.
Christian Rasmussen has a 33-point lead over Hunter McElrea (362-329) heading into World Wide Technology Raceway.
The only other oval on the schedule, Iowa Speedway, was dominated by the No. 6 HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing entry driven by Rasmussen, who led 74 of 75 laps en route to victory. Rasmussen carries a season-high three wins entering Round 11.
Consistency carried McElrea until finally getting a breakthrough first victory of the year at the previous round on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course as part of the kickoff to Brickyard Weekend. The win also provided relief for Andretti Autosport, which endured a dry spell until the win. The strong weekend for Andretti was burnished by a career-best runner-up finish for Irishman James Roe. With the victory, McElrea has eight top-five finishes through the opening 10 rounds, including six top-four results.
Nolan Siegel (HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing) and Jacob Abel (Abel Motorsports) are a distant third and fourth, respectively, in the title race at 307 and 305 points.
Andretti Autosport’s Louis Foster’s rank of fifth in the championship with 269 points is under heavy threat, with Reece Gold (HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing) and Roe behind with 260 and 259 points.
Notes & Nuggets: There have been 12 previous races at World Wide Technology Raceway, with David Malukas the only repeat winner after sweeping the doubleheader in 2021. Defending race winner Brabham is the only driver in the field with an opportunity to join Malukas, with Brabham returning to drive the No. 75 entry for Juncos Hollinger Racing – the same team with which he drove to a fourth-place finish at Iowa Speedway last month.
The pole sitter has won four times. The furthest back a winner has started is 11th, in 1998 by Shigeaki Hattori.
There was an open test earlier this summer at the 1.25-mile oval located in Madison, Illinois, in the shadow of the Gateway Arch in nearby St. Louis, Missouri. McElrea led the day’s running, followed by Rasmussen and Abel.
This is the second consecutive one-day event for INDY NXT by Firestone teams, putting a premium on efficiency and pre-race setup.
In team and driver news, Chip Ganassi Racing development driver Kyffin Simpson is not racing this weekend for HMD Motorsports, as he is instead driving in a European Le Mans Series round at MotorLand Aragon in Spain. Cape Motorsports also is not competing at this event with its two-car team.