ABEL Motorsports scores INDY NXT podium at Indy to increase points lead

The Heart of Racing Team finishes eleventh at Spa-Francorchamps
May 11, 2024
Top Ten Finish for Meyer Shank Racing After Big Comeback in the Sonsio Grand Prix
May 11, 2024
Show all

ABEL Motorsports scores INDY NXT podium at Indy to increase points lead

·       Jacob Abel becomes the only driver to score podiums in all four races to start the 2024 season

·       Missig powers to a 13th place finish as Sundaramoorthy gets caught up in lap one incidents

SPEEDWAY, Ind. (11 May 2024) – Jacob Abel and ABEL Motorsports captured their fourth INDY NXT by Firestone podium of the season Saturday, increasing their series points lead to 25 after the doubleheader at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Jordan Missig scored a solid finish, showing good pace in only his second series race. Yuven Sundaramoorthy found himself caught up in two lap one incidents, neither of his own making, to put him 21st at the checkered flag.

After taking his second victory of the season in race one, Abel was ready for a repeat in the 35-lap event on Indy’s tricky 2.439-mile, 14-turn road course – while both Sundaramoorthy and Missig were looking for more following rough rides on Friday. After a morning of junior formula races and NTT INDYCAR SERIES warm up, the INDY NXT field took the green just ahead of the Sonsio Grand Prix Abel again started on pole, with Missig 16th and Sundaramoorthy 17th.

Abel also looked for a repeat of Saturday’s start, when a solid jump at the green kept him out ahead of the front straight draft. But Caio Collet, starting alongside, had been a student of that start and stayed close, sliding past on the inside through Turn 1.

Unfortunately, Sundaramoorthy’s weekend woes continued, as he was clipped in Turn 5 and sent spinning. He kept the car running and rejoined, albeit at the back of the field. Missig was able to take advantage of the first turn chaos and moved up the P12.

As the race settled in, Abel focused not only on Collet ahead, but also Louis Foster, third in points, just behind. Foster was able to make the move in Turn 7, putting Abel back to third. Missig continued to run strong in P13 while Sundaramoorthy laid down consistent lap times as he looked to move up.

On lap 15, team engineers advised Abel to play the waiting game, as Foster and Collet battled hard ahead, burning up tires and push-to-passes uses. With 11 to go, Foster passed Collet for the lead and in Turn 1, Abel made the move around to take second, just 1.5 seconds back.

At the checkered flag, Abel had scored his fourth podium in four races, coming home second behind Foster. Missig earned a 13th place finish, with Sundaramoorthy 21st.

Abel believes the team’s performance to start the season only validates the talent behind him – including his two teammates.

“We have some really smart and talented people on this team and I’m so proud to show the paddock what we can do,” said Abel. “It’s also great to have two teammates, who are getting better and better, that I can work with. These doubleheader weekends are really important so to come away with two strong results is huge for the championship. Louis was able to get by today, but I don’t want that to overshadow the job the team did this weekend. We knew Louis and Caio would battle and use up their tires, while we kept the gap close and managed tires and push-to-pass. The plan worked out exactly the way we wanted it to, though Louis just had a bit more. So now, we’ll take some time to enjoy the Indy 500 and be back at it at Detroit.”

“We had a good start and a hole opened up, and I had the ability to choose my own destiny from there,” said Missig. “Through the entire race, I just focused on getting a gap and putting the car where someone wasn’t in the corners. Solid day, and a great way to finish my first weekend in the series – I can’t thank the ABEL crew enough for putting together such a great car. I learned a great deal this weekend and have plenty I can work on going forward, whether it be Detroit or Road America.”

“That was a tough day,” said Sundaramoorthy. “It was a really fast start, which wasn’t the way anyone thought it would go, so everyone ahead just checked up, damaging my front wing. And then I got hit in Turn 5, which put me even further back. From there, just struggling with pace. I know there’s much more in there, in me and in the car, so we’ll work on it and come out fighting at Detroit.”

Team owner Bill Abel echoed his son’s words about the caliber of the team, and the level of performance at Indy.

“The team did an outstanding job turning this car around,” said Abel. “What a weekend. This has not been our best track historically so to go out and do what we did was outstanding – it feels like a double win to us. Super proud of Jacob and the entire team.”

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

Next up for ABEL Motorsports and the INDY NXT by Firestone series will be the Detroit Grand Prix, May 31 – June 2. 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.