ABEL Motorsports heads back to familiar territory at Mid-Ohio

Texan Jak Crawford Relishing Winning Feeling ahead of Austrian outing
June 27, 2024
Crawford overcomes challenges with double-points weekend in Austria
July 1, 2024
Show all

ABEL Motorsports heads back to familiar territory at Mid-Ohio

Abel, Sundaramoorthy and Missig have 61 junior formula races between them at the central Ohio circuit

Abel also spent a season as an instructor at The Mid-Ohio School

SPEEDWAY, Ind. (July 1, 2024) – The ABEL Motorsports’ trio of Jacob Abel, Yuven Sundaramoorthy and Jordan Missig head to the INDY NXT by Firestone Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio this weekend as three of the field’s most experienced drivers on the central Ohio circuit.

All three drivers consider Mid-Ohio one of their “home” tracks, having raced there in each  of their junior formula series seasons. Sundaramoorthy (Oconomowoc, Wis.) has 27 races at the central Ohio circuit, with a victory in F1600 in 2017, a win in USF2000 in 2021, seven podiums, and 16 top 10 finishes. Abel (Louisville, Ky.) scored 13 top 10s and two podiums in 23 races, while Missig (Joliet, Ill.) earned a podium and five top 10s in 11 races.

But Abel, currently second in the INDY NXT point standings, has more than just racing miles at Mid-Ohio. Not only has he “driven there in just about everything in my career,” in 2017 a 16-year-old Abel spent a season as an instructor at the The Mid-Ohio School. As a student at the school, he came under the tutelage of former INDYCAR driver Scott Harrington, and the next season, joined the cadre of instructors.

“I got to spend a lot of time at the track, teaching a wide range of people, when I was still quite young,” said Abel. “It was a very cool experience, one that makes Mid-Ohio one of my self-proclaimed home tracks. The instructors teach everything: Defensive Driving (including the teen driving course) and High Performance, which includes racing schools. We taught them how to drive on the racetrack, how to be around other cars and all of that.

“Learning the intricacies of the track and at a very base level like that kind of kept me honest in a way. It made me aware of even the smallest little things that you don’t always think of as a professional race car driver. Like the USF Juniors coaching I do (with VRD Racing, which includes championship points leader Sebastian Wheldon) – the drivers are fast but still have things to learn, so it brings me back to the basics a little bit.”

Sundaramoorthy has also raced at Mid-Ohio in every single racing series in which he has competed. While the recent re-pave reduces the knowledge base slightly, he feels as though familiarity with how to set a pass is key.

“It’s a little more of an even playing field this year, but at Mid-Ohio, it’s all about knowing where to make passes and how to set them up,” said Sundaramoorthy. “That’s the hardest part at Mid-Ohio, just setting yourself up to make a move. There are no hard braking areas, but passes are makeable if you know how to put your car in the right spot. And it’s a relatively short track, so you have opportunities to really work on each corner. And for me now, over the last couple of races, we’ve been able to show our pace. There’s more work to do but it gives me confidence going forward – it’s good to have those results (two fourth place finishes at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca two weeks ago) out of the way.”

Missig tested the ABEL INDY NXT car for the first time at Mid-Ohio back in May, and he found that the repaved surface has significantly upped the grip quotient. He also appreciates that Mid-Ohio figures prominently in most of the “firsts” of his career.

“They say that all roads lead to Indy but in our cases, we have to make our stop at Mid-Ohio first!” said Missig. “I got my start in just about everything there: first open wheel race in FR Americas, first USF Pro race, first INDY NXT test. It would be great to get my first series win here! This weekend will be sort of a reset for this track, since it’s completely repaved now. Times could drop as much as three seconds a lap. Several turns have gained tremendously in terms of grip, and that was one of the things I found valuable at the test, that you can roll much more speed into, say, Turn 4 and the car is able to stick. I think that will create a little bit more passing opportunities and a little bit more side by side racing.”

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

The INDY NXT by Firestone Grand Prix at Mid-Ohio takes the green flag Sunday, July 7 at 11:15 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.