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Race report
Indy NXT Mid-Ohio

Indy NXT Mid-Ohio: Collet captures commanding first win

HMD Motorsports rookie Caio Collet delivered a flag-to-flag performance to claim his first career Indy NXT victory at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

Caio Collet

Caio Collet

Photo by: Penske Entertainment

The 22-year-old Brazilian was untouchable in leading all 35 laps en route to taking a 6.8091s margin of victory over championship leader Louis Foster at the 2.258-mile, 13-turn natural terrain road course.

“It is my first win,” Collet said. “I couldn’t have asked for a better weekend. We led every session, pole position, fastest lap; I think the car was great. Since Friday, on the first lap, I already felt really good and managed to put it together. I’m very happy. Thanks for all the HMD crew, they did a great job with everything.”

When asked if this win will help propel him into the championship conversation, Collet remained reserved.

“I’ll answer that question next Sunday this time; let’s see how my first oval race goes,” he said, noting the next round at Iowa Speedway. 

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Joining Collet and Foster on the podium was Jacob Abel in third. 

HMD Motorsports claimed spots fourth through ninth, led by Callum Hedge and Christian Brooks in fourth and fifth, respectively.

Reece Gold, Jonathan Browne, Nolan Allaer, and Josh Pierson followed in the remaining spots, with Andretti Global’s Jamie Chadwick claiming the final spot in top 10. 

Foster leaves Mid-Ohio with 386 points as Abel sits second in the championship standings with 345 (-41) and Collet in third with 315 (-71). 

The Race

It only took seconds after the start for the yellow flag to come out after a multi-car incident in the middle of the pack following contact between Andretti Global team-mates Jamie Chadwick and Bryce Aron, along with Abel Motorsports rookie Jordan Missig, who ended up stranded in the gravel trap in Turn 4.

Collet led a single-file field to the green flag restart on lap 5, with a clean jump from Foster. 

The No. 99 HMD Motorsports with Force Indy entry of Myles Rowe was off the pace moments later, eventually landing on pit lane to inspect a potential mechanical issue. 

The battle for 11th came to blows as Yuven Sundaramoorthy went to the outside of Salvador de Alba Jr. into Turn 4 on lap 8, which led to a broken front wing for the latter that required a pit stop. Meanwhile, Sundaramoorthy was handed a drive-thru penalty for avoidable contact as a result of the incident. 

Collet continued to lead over Foster, holding a 0.9265s lead by lap 10. 

The mechanical issue appeared resolved for Rowe as he returned six laps down on lap 12. 

The lead for Collett shrunk temporarily on lap 13 after he came up on the limping car of James Roe, who endured a broken front wing earlier and was getting up to speed. Roe let the leaders by before Foster could pressure for a pass, with Collet stretching his advantage back to 0.9s.

Collet’s lead was 1.1983s by lap 18, with the field spreading out into a rhythm. 

Rowe returned to pit lane after a throttle position sensor error by lap 20. At the same time, Collet widened his gap on Foster to 1.7633s. 

With 10 laps to go, Collet held a 3.1890s advantage on Foster, with Abel roughly 5.7s back in third. 

Abel began calling over the radio “my tire is falling apart” with seven laps to go, leaving him nursing No. 51 Abel Motorsports entry home instead of pressuring title rival Foster.  

In the end, Collet remained steady and brought home his maiden win in the series.

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