Andretti Autosport's Louis Foster delivered a pole position and stormed to a crushing victory in the Indy NXT race at Portland, with the season finale at Laguna Seca up next.
Foster was fourth and first in the first two practices of the weekend, and then delivered a storming late lap to earn his fourth pole of the season, the most of any driver earnt through on track qualifying in Indy NXT this year. In addition, Foster’s laptime of 1:02:6302 set a new track record breaking the previous record of 1:02:8074 set in 2018 by Arrow McLaren’s Indycar driver Pato O’Ward.
In the race itself, Foster took the perfect line into Turn 1 to avoid the chaos that ensued behind, where a number of competitors were wiped out.
Foster still had plenty to do at a track with an obvious overtaking zone at Turn 1, but he extended his gap to over six seconds and managed it sensibly from there to deliver a perfect weekend.
“That feels so good, thanks so much to everyone on the #26 Copart/USF Pro Championships car,” said Foster, who is backed by Copart, a global leader in online auto auctions.
“From the first practice, we felt like the potential to have a good weekend was there for the taking, and the pole lap put us in the best position to avoid all of the trouble at Turn 1.
“In the race, we managed to build a good gap and I was just focused on keeping the tyres in a good window in case there was a late-race restart, but luckily it stayed clear to the end.
“I’m really happy we could show what the #26 car can do, thanks to the whole Andretti team - they gave me an amazing car - and everyone who supports me for their continued help.”
For the third weekend in a row, Foster will race again this weekend coming at the famous Laguna Seca track, where he is still in championship contention, fourth overall.
It’s a double-header, so there are 108 points available over the two races which end the Indy NXT season.
“I’m looking forward to racing at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca for the first time, it’s obviously a famous track around the world and the corkscrew is unique corner that is such a big part of the attraction of the place,” added Foster.
“It’s a big opportunity with two races at the same venue. If we can hit the ground running like I know our Andretti Autosport team is capable of then we have a good chance to score good points.
“It’s also an unknown, even for the returning drivers, because the track has been resurfaced, so hopefully our lack of experience won’t matter as much there.
“We’ll take the momentum from today’s result and do our best to take maximum points.”
Laguna Seca schedule – Eastern Time (BST -5) Friday, September 8 Practice 1 1615-1705 (2115-2205) Saturday, September 9 Qualifying 1205-1235 (1705-1735) Race 1 1525-1635 (2025-2135) Sunday, September 10 Race 2 1250-1400 (1750-1900) Indy NXT is available to watch on Peacock TV in the USA and on Sky Sports for certain sessions. The races will be shown on Sky Sports F1 Channel, on Saturday at 2025 and the race on Sunday will be shown at 1750. In addition, all Indy NXT sessions are available live, through the IndyCar Live streaming service.