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Foster storms to second at Gateway oval and looks ahead to Portland

Andretti Autosport’s Louis Foster pulled off a spectacular comeback drive to go from eighth to second in a frenetic race at Gateway, and is still in contention to be the Indy NXT Series’ top rookie in 2023.

Saturday’s action was curtailed with qualifying cancelled due to earlier rain, so the grid was formed in Championship order with Foster starting in P5, and with just one practice before the evening’s delayed race. Immediately #26 Copart/USF Pro Championship car driver Foster fell back at the start as he looked to protect his car with some aggressive moves by others, but it was a move that proved rewarding as he remained in the race and started to work his way back up. He made his way into the top four with some excellent passing moves before the halfway point of the race, and a late caution bunched up the pack giving Foster a chance to attack the cars ahead. He made two further brilliant passes after the restart to finish second and the top rookie in the race.

“Obviously it wasn’t ideal dropping positions at the start, but it meant we avoided any drama and I could save tyres and pick people off when it was possible for most of the race,” said Foster, who is backed by Copart, a global leader in online auto auctions.
“Saving the tyres put us in a good position at the restart at the end. I had to work hard to make the final moves and second is a good reward.
“Of course, the win would have been better but coming back from eighth, I think second is a nice recovery on what has been a very condensed weekend.
“We don’t have the oval experience of others in the series so being able to manage the race as we did was pretty rewarding.”

Foster picked up 40 points for his second place and is 26 points behind the series’ top rookie with three races to go. There’s no time to mull over Gateway too much as the series switches back to road courses immediately, with Portland this week and then a double-header finale at Laguna Seca the following weekend.

“Portland is the place where I wrapped up the Indy Pro 2000 championship, so it will be really nice to take the #26 USF Pro Championships car back to the place where we won last year," added Foster.
"I’m sure it’s going to be a special weekend because of that.
“However, we can’t be sentimental when there is plenty of work to be done as it’s not the last race of the season this year and we have to have one eye on Laguna Seca the following weekend to maximise our championship position.
“I know that the Andretti team’s preparation has been great all year and I know that if anyone can give me a strong car and deliver on three gruelling weekends in a row, it’s them.”

Portland schedule - Pacific Time (BST -7) Friday, September 1 Practice 1 1355-1440 (2155-2240) Saturday, September 2 Practice 2 1120-1205 (1920-2005) Qualifying 1625-1645 (0025-0145) Sunday, September 3 Race 1020-1115 (1820-1915) Indy NXT is available to watch on Peacock TV in the USA and on Sky Sports for certain sessions. The race on Sunday will be shown on Sky Sports Sports F1 channel at 1810. In addition, all Indy NXT sessions are available through the IndyCar Live streaming service.

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