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Jacob Abel Paces Opening Indy NXT Practice at St. Petersburg

Jacob Abel on the streets of St. Petersburg.
Jacob Abel on the streets of St. Petersburg.
Jacob Abel on the streets of St. Petersburg. Photo courtesy of Chris Owens/Penske Entertainment.

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ST. PETERSBURG, FL — A hectic opening practice session for the 2023 Indy NXT by Firestone series ended with Jacob Abel topping the time sheet around the 1.8 mile street circuit.

The Louisville, Kentucky native navigated the 14-turn circuit in 1 minute, 6.3288 seconds to average 97.695 mph in his No. 51 Abel Motorsports entry.

The session had multiple red flags for contact in the practice session. Christian Rasmussen led the session early before hitting a tire barrier, his session over after two flying laps.

“I just kind of lost the rear into Turn 4 and don’t really have a good answer for what happened yet,” Rasmussen said on IndyCar Radio. “We’ll get the car back out there and hopefully we’ll get more laps in.”

Shortly after the session resumed, Hunter McElrea sustained some oversteer in Turn 3 and his correction directed him into the wall outside the corner.

Both Rasmussen and McElrea were checked and released from the IndyCar medical unit. The next Indy NXT practice session is Saturday at 9:00 a.m. ET with qualifying following at 1:35 p.m. ET. The race is Sunday morning at 10:00 that will last either 45 laps or 55 minutes.

Session results:

  1. Jacob Abel
  2. Nolan Siegel
  3. Rasmus Lindh
  4. Danial Frost
  5. Kyffin Simpson
  6. Josh Green
  7. Ernie Francis Jr.
  8. Enaam Ahmed
  9. Louis Foster
  10. Christian Bogle
  11. Matteo Nannini
  12. Reece Gold
  13. Colin Kaminsky
  14. Josh Pierson
  15. James Roe
  16. Christian Rasmussen
  17. Jamie Chadwick
  18. Jagger Jones
  19. Hunter McElrea
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