Today’s question: Who impressed you as a future NTT INDYCAR SERIES driver last Friday during the Chris Griffis Memorial Test?
Curt Cavin: To me, it starts with Louis Foster, a driver who looks ready to win next year’s INDY NXT by Firestone championship. Yes, he should get strong challenges from Nolan Siegel, Jacob Abel and Myles Rowe, but he’s already proven to be as fast as they come – his qualifying performances in the recently completed were on par, or even better than, series champion Christian Rasmussen – and he easily could have won more than two races. I like Abel’s chances of being in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES, and Siegel and Rowe will surely get there, too. Deeper in the field, keep an eye on Michael d’Orlando, the 2022 USF 2000 champion who won four races this year in USF Pro 2000. Only Rowe, with five wins, won more races in the series this year. Finally, don’t forget that Ed Carpenter Racing tabbed United Autosports sports car driver Josh Pierson, now 17, for its driver development program. His experience far exceeds his age.
Paul Kelly: My list starts with Myles Rowe. He was third overall on the time sheets, yet he’s never turned a lap in competition in INDY NXT by Firestone. It would be no surprise if 2023 USF Pro 2000 champion Rowe contends for the INDY NXT by Firestone title next season, and he appears to be on a deserved fast track to the NTT INDYCAR SERIES for his speed, winning pedigree and his engaging, interesting personality out of the car. I also try to keep up on promising talent in other junior series around the world, but frankly I had never heard of FIA Formula 3 driver Caio Collet before last Friday. Yet, he finished fifth on the time sheets and could be the latest of a long line of Brazilian talents to line up on the INDYCAR SERIES grid. As for returnees, Louis Foster seems to be as close to a lock to end up in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES as any driver in INDY NXT by Firestone in 2024. He’s fast, a proven race winner and polished out of the car. Andretti Global officials must see this, and they should keep him in their fold for the future.