ABEL Motorsports duo takes INDY NXT momentum to the Motor City

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ABEL Motorsports duo takes INDY NXT momentum to the Motor City

Indianapolis, IN - during the INDYCAR Sonsio Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. (Photo by Joe Skibinski | IMS Photo)

– With podium finishes in each of the first four races, Jacob Abel looks to grow his points lead

– Yuven Sundaramoorthy will return to Michigan in two weeks for the Formula SAE Electric final at Michigan International Speedway

SPEEDWAY, Ind. (28 May 2024) – On the heels of a victory and a second-place finish in the INDY NXT by Firestone doubleheader at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway two weeks ago, ABEL Motorsports takes a 25-point championship lead to the Motor City this weekend.

Yuven Sundaramoorthy (Oconomowoc, WI.) will race in Detroit for the first time, while Jacob Abel (Louisville, Ky.) raced on the new nine-turn, 1.7-mile downtown circuit last year, finishing fourth in the first of two races.

“The new circuit around the Renaissance Center feels raw, almost unfinished, in comparison to other street circuits we go to,” said Abel. “Tracks like St. Pete and Toronto are very polished, they almost have a road course look to them – the track is fairly smooth, and we know those tracks so well. Here, it feels as though you’re driving through the streets of Detroit, which makes for very interesting racing. Plus, on a new street circuit, things can change drastically year to year – we need to watch for repaving, or bumps that were there last year and are gone now. It’s a tough track, very bumpy, and it’s difficult to get into a draft.”

As the points leader, Abel knows the balance between going for the win and the need to score maximum points each race. But he also knows that the balance of risk and reward requires a little bit different calculation on a circuit as unforgiving as Detroit.

“It’s all very circumstantial,” said Abel. “It’s important to maximize every race weekend, and it’s still early in the championship so I’m not looking at the big picture quite yet. We’re just looking to go out there and win races and succeed as best we can. The best way to extend a championship lead is to win – and I think I’m the kind of driver who doesn’t take unnecessary risks as it is, so I’ll just keep that attitude going forward.”

Sundaramoorthy enjoys street course racing and hopes to add the Detroit circuit to his favorites list. The 21-year-old University of Wisconsin graduate also looks forward to returning to Michigan in two weeks, for a very special competition.

Sundaramoorthy will drive the Formula SAE electric vehicle he helped build while studying computer science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The student team will compete for the electric vehicle championship title at Michigan International Speedway, against as many as 119 university-based teams from all over the world. Wisconsin recently brought home third place in the combustion engine competition’s design category, though Sundaramoorthy had to miss the weekend as he was racing at Indianapolis.

“It’s so cool – you learn so much at those competitions,” said Sundaramoorthy. “You see everyone else’s cars, and everyone enjoys explaining what they did. Saturday will be the endurance race so hopefully we can do well!”

As the ABEL Motorsports team heads to Detroit with the points lead, it might be easy to think that a team leading the championship would change its practices or mindset. Team manager John Brunner would be quick to refute that idea.

“The job is the same every single weekend,” said Brunner, “We haven’t changed anything in our processes this year, but we have a confident driver – we’ve always thought that when Jacob wins a race, he’s going to be tough to beat, and I think that we’re living that right now. Detroit is a little bit different of a challenge in that it’s maybe a little bit tighter than Toronto or St. Pete in that and it’s definitely got its quirks, but the mindset is the same: if we have a car capable of winning, we expect to win. But the goal is clearly to get all the points that the car is willing to give us that day.”

Additional media notes:

-> Sundaramoorthy graduated last year with a BS in computer science from University of Wisconsin-Madison

-> Abel is one of only two INDY NXT drivers (with James Roe) to have raced on both the old Belle Isle circuit and the new downtown track.

-> Abel has scored podiums in all four INDY NXT races this season, with victories at Barber Motorsports and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway

ABEL Motorsports thanks partners ABEL Construction Company, Advance Ready Mix, Boyd Cat®, S Team Motorsports and OMP for their continued support.

The INDY NXT by Firestone Detroit Grand Prix takes the green flag Sunday, June 2 at 10:20 a.m. ET. The race will be streamed live in the U.S. on Peacock, while international viewers can watch via INDYCARLIVE, with INDYCAR Radio available at indycar.com and on Sirius XM.