Increased car count in INDY NXT by Firestone.

Note: The Penske Entertainment editorial staff is looking back at the five biggest moments of 2023 in INDY NXT by Firestone in this year-end series, with one installment appearing on the site per day in countdown fashion from Dec. 27-31.

INDY NXT by Firestone saw increased numbers across the board in 2023. The rise of car counts was the most eye-opening.

The series averaged 17.9 starters per event, the highest total since 2009, a span of 14 seasons.

There were seven different race winners and six different pole winners. Fourteen different drivers finished on the podium. That’s double the amount of the later from a season ago when there were just seven.

Also, 17 different drivers scored a top-five finish after just 10 did so in 2022.

The race winners were series champion Christian Rasmussen, runner-up Hunter McElrea, Danial Frost, Matteo Nannini, Reece Gold, Nolan Siegel and Louis Foster.

With more drivers mixing it up near the front, the number of on-track passes increased. That was an 113 percent increase 2022 with 1,226 of them occurring throughout the 14-race season. That’s 651 more than fans witnessed a year ago.

The number of lead changes per event increased 25 percent, from nine to 12.

Finally, the average margin of victory was tighter in 2023 by just over a half-second (3.13 seconds vs. 2.59 seconds).