Michael d'Orlando

Andretti Cape INDY NXT has announced the second of two INDY NXT by Firestone drivers for the 2024 season, signing Michael d’Orlando to contest his rookie season in the series alongside teammate Salvador de Alba Jr.

D’Orlando, 22, a native of Hartsdale, New York, returns to a familiar team in an unfamiliar setting, having driven for the Cape brothers through three seasons in the USF2000 series – and captured the team’s historic 14th championship title.

“I’m extremely excited to be racing in the INDY NXT by Firestone series in St. Petersburg this weekend with Andretti Cape INDY NXT,” said d’Orlando, a junior at the University of North Carolina. “Although there is still a lot of uncertainty around the remainder of the 2024 season, I’m very thankful for all the work that Rising Star Racing, Priority Technology Holdings and the Andretti Cape team have put in to make this event happen for me.

“I know that everyone involved will continue to work together collectively to generate enough support to enable me to run the full season. Being able to work with Cape Motorsports, now with the additional support through their Andretti Global alliance, will be very helpful in our efforts to be competitive.”

Starting his karting career at 6, d’Orlando scored numerous championship titles. Transitioning to cars in 2018, d’Orlando competed in four USF2000 race weekends that year and four F4 US Championship Powered by Honda events in 2019.

D’Orlando had a breakthrough USF2000 season with Cape Motorsports in 2020, earning a dominant victory at Mid-Ohio along with four additional podiums to claim fourth in the championship. In 2022, d’Orlando came from behind to capture the USF2000 championship title in the final race of the season, finishing the year with four wins, three poles and eight podiums in 17 races. He finished fourth in USF Pro 2000 last year with four wins, three poles and six podiums in 18 races.

“We're all excited to have Michael back on our team for the season opener in St. Pete,” team co-owners Nicholas and Dominic Cape said. “Michael spent three years with us in USF2000, culminating in a championship in 2022, so we know what he is looking for. I think our guys will all work really well together, and we are all very motivated this year.”

Live coverage of the season-opening Grand Prix of St. Petersburg starts at 10 a.m. ET Sunday on Peacock and the INDYCAR Radio Network.