Patient Foster Earns First Victory of Season at IMS

Patience paid off with a victory for Louis Foster on Saturday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Foster sat behind leader Caio Collet for numerous laps in the second race of the Indianapolis Grand Prix doubleheader before passing him with 11 laps to go and earning his first INDY NXT by Firestone victory of the season in the No. 26 Copart/Novara Technologies car fielded by Andretti Global.

SEE: Race Results

English driver Foster, who started fourth, powered to a 2.3688-second victory over series leader Jacob Abel in the No. 51 Abel Construction entry fielded by Abel Motorsports. Rookie Collet hung on to finish third in the No. 18 HMD Motorsports car.

“Managed our tires, managed our Push to Pass,” Foster said. “It was quite tricky for me because I had to burn a lot (of Push to Pass) to get past Abel, and then I had to pressure Caio enough to burn off his. But I think we managed it well. All around, a really good job by the Andretti crew. Super happy.”

Abel, who won the first race of this doubleheader from the pole Friday, has finished first or second in all four races this season and leads the standings in the INDYCAR development series by 25 points over Nolan Siegel.

James Roe finished fourth in the No. 29 Topcon car fielded by Andretti Global, with Siegel rounding out the top five in the No. 39 HMD Motorsports entry.

Collet powered from his second starting position past pole sitter Abel in Turn 1 of the opening lap to take the lead, building a gap of around one second for the next 10 laps of the 35-lap race. Meanwhile, Foster passed Abel for second on Lap 11 and set his sights on Brazilian rookie Collet.

By Lap 14, Foster pulled to within one-half of a second of Collet and then pulled side by side with him on the front straightaway two laps later. But Collet parried the move in Turn 1, and Foster decided to stay close to Collet’s gearbox but conserve his Firestone Firehawk tires and Push to Pass over the next eight laps.

Foster made another attempt to pass Collet with an over-under move in Turn 1 on Lap 24, but Collet also repulsed that. Meanwhile, Abel – who also conserved his tires and Push to Pass after falling to third – stood on the gas and pulled to within seven-tenths of a second of the dueling Collet and Foster on Lap 25.

On that same lap, Foster made the decisive pass with a bold move under Collet in Turn 11.

“I put my nose there, and he got a penalty for blocking me yesterday,” Foster said. “So, I knew that if I put my nose there, he wasn’t going risk it, and he didn’t.”

Abel had more Push to Pass for the remaining nine laps and passed Collet for second on Lap 26, and it appeared a showdown with Foster for the win might loom over the closing laps.

But Foster’s pace was too quick, and he eased away for his third career INDY NXT by Firestone victory.

“I was expecting them to fall off a lot,” Abel said of Foster and Collet. “They were battling really hard. I was just sitting back, saving my Push to Pass and letting them do what they were doing. Collet fell off a ton. I was expecting Louis to kind of do the same. Louis was just super on it today. Congrats to them.”

The next race is the INDY NXT by Firestone Detroit Grand Prix on Sunday, June 2 on the streets of downtown Detroit.

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