Sports & Culture Media

Foster Takes Firm Title Leadwith Laguna Seca Sweep


MONTEREY, Calif. (Sunday, June 23, 2024) – Louis Foster is the runaway train of INDY NXT by Firestone, as he earned his fourth victory in the last five races and took the championship lead with a triumph in the second race of the Grand Prix of Monterey doubleheader Sunday at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.

Foster earned the doubleheader sweep at the picturesque Northern California circuit by driving his No. 26 Copart/Novara Technologies car of Andretti Global to a 4.3962-second victory over the No. 18 HMD Motorsports car of rookie Caio Collet. Foster beat Collet to the checkered flag by 8.2445 seconds in Race 1 Saturday.

SEE:Race Results

“Like I said yesterday, Andretti has given us an amazing car,” Foster said. “I’m just out there doing my thing. It’s been a great weekend. Sunny skies in California. You can’t ask for anything more. So, super, super happy with that.”

British driver Foster earned his fourth victory of the season and his sixth career victory in the INDYCAR development series. He leads Jacob Abel in the standings by 35 points, 345-310, as the two drivers were tied at 291 points entering this race.

This could be a turning point for the season with six races to go. Abel finished 11th in the No. 51 Abel Construction car fielded by Abel Motorsports, his worst result of the season. Abel was assessed with a drive-through penalty late in the 35-lap race for avoidable contact after an incident in the famous “Corkscrew” turn complex while battling for third with Reece Gold in No. 10 HMD Motorsports car.

Andretti Global also extended its winning streak to five races this season in INDY NXT. Foster won the second race of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course doubleheader on May 11, on the streets of Detroit on June 2 and both races this weekend, while Jamie Chadwick won June 9 at Road America.

Foster’s dominance was complete on this 11-turn, 2.238-mile road course, pulling off a “grand slam” sweep of every performance category. He led both practice sessions, won the pole for both races, led all 70 combined laps and turned the fastest lap of both races.

Rookie Bryce Aron earned his first career INDY NXT by Firestone podium result by finishing third in the No. 27 Jaguar Land Rover Chesterfield car fielded by Andretti Global. His previous best finish was eighth at Barber Motorsports Park and Road America.

First-year INDY NXT drivers took four of the top five finishing positions. Rookie Yuven Sundaramoorthy finished a career best-tying fourth in the No. 22 S Team Motorsports/Abel Motorsports car, with rookie Salvador de Alba Jr. rounding out the top five with a career-best fifth in the No. 2 Grupo Indi car of Andretti Cape INDY NXT.

Foster controlled the race from the start. The only suspense came during a restart on Lap 17 after the only caution period, but Foster eased away from Collet at the green flag and never was threatened to the checkered flag.

A potentially critical flashpoint in the championship chase came on Lap 28 when Gold and Abel went side by side through the “Corkscrew” in a fierce tussle for third place. The two drivers made contact, forcing Gold’s car into the air and off track. The suspension of Gold’s car broke when he landed on the asphalt, ending his race.

During that joust, Aron squeezed past both cars to take third and kept that position for the rest of the race.

Race officials then assessed Abel with a drive-through penalty on Lap 29, which dropped him from fourth to 13th place. Abel rallied to pass two cars over the closing six laps.

The next race is the Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio on Sunday, July 7 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

Tyler Butler