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Indy NXT Portland

Indy NXT Portland: Foster wins, title contenders crash at Turn 1

Polesitter Louis Foster went flag-to-flag with a dominating drive to victory in the Indy NXT race at Portland International Raceway.

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Last year’s USF Pro 2000 champion Foster (Andretti Autosport) rolled to a 7.8583s victory over Nolan Siegel (HMD Motorsports).

The race started with calamity as a three-wide fight for the lead entering Turn 1 ended with Foster getting through, but a massive pile-up involving seven cars was triggered behind when Victor Franzoni (Juncos Hollinger Racing) got into the back of Reece Gold (HMD Motorsports), who was sent into championship leader Christian Rasmussen (HMD Motorsports), collecting second-place point man Hunter McElrea (Andretti Autosport), among others.

Although Rasmussen continued on, the damage was severe enough to put McElrea three laps down following a replaced font wing and service from his pit crew. Jacob Abel (Abel Motorsports), who came into the weekend third in the championship standings, was also caught up in the melee and the damage was severe enough he wasn’t able to continue.

Josh Pierson (HMD Motorsports) was also collected in the crash and was left with an early retirement. Franzoni was assessed a stop and hold penalty by Race Control for avoidable contact.

In the wake of the chaos, Danial Frost (HMD Motorsports) jumped from eighth to second, with teammate and championship contender Nolan Siegel rising from seventh to third.

The restart came on Lap 6 of 35, with Foster getting a clean getaway from Frost and Siegel. Rasmussen, who restarted ninth, was on an immediate charge and moved up to sixth by the following lap.

By Lap 10, the field had spread out and Foster stretched the gap to 2.5s over Frost.

Foster widened his lead to 5.2s over Frost with 15 laps to go, with Siegel remaining in third, followed by Cape Motorsports rookie Jagger Jones in fourth and HMD’s Christian Bogle in fifth. Rasmussen continued to slot in sixth, ahead of Andretti Autosport’s Jamie Chadwick and Ernie Francis Jr. (HMD Motorsports with Force Indy) in seventh and eighth, respectively.

The battle for fourth began to heat up with nine laps to go, with Bogle closing in on the back of Jones. Bogle stalked Jones closely, remaining in his tire tracks throughout every inch of the 1.964-mile, 12-turn natural terrain road course.

On Lap 30, Bogle attempted a pass, with the pressure enough to force Jones into a mistake, going off course in Turn 10 and spinning out before returning to pit lane. There was apparent contact between the two, as Bogle took the fourth position but had the left side of his front wing dragging on the asphalt.

Jones dropped down the running order and received a drive-thru penalty for avoidable contact by Race Control.

Siegel started to fill the rear-view mirrors of Frost with three laps to go. On the final lap, Siegel made a diving move on his team-mate going into Turn 1, going wheel-to-wheel through the chicane before securing the runner-up spot.

The victory is Foster’s second of the season, followed by Siegel and Frost on the podium. Bogle finished fourth and Rasmussen’s drive for damage control ended with a fifth-place finish.

Chadwick crossed the finish line a career-best sixth, ahead of Francis in seventh and Jame Roe (Andretti Autosport) in eighth. Matthew Brabham (Juncos Hollinger Racing) and Yuven Sundaramoorthy (Abel Motorsports) in 10th.

Rasmussen leaves Portland with a 65-point lead over McElrea, with Siegel behind 70 points in third.

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