Foster Stays Hot, Drives into Title Tie with Laguna Seca Win

Louis Foster took a piece of the INDY NXT by Firestone championship lead after a dominant victory Saturday in the first race of the Grand Prix of Monterey doubleheader at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.

Foster earned his third victory in the last four races in the No. 26 Copart/Novara Technologies car fielded by Andretti Global, pulling even with Jacob Abel in the standings with 291 points.

SEE: Race Results

“The team gave me a good car,” Foster said. “I was able to just keep pushing. I was managing tires, but they didn’t need much management, to be honest with you. Super happy.”

British driver Foster will try to build a championship lead Sunday in Race 2 of the final doubleheader of the season for the INDYCAR development series, with live coverage starting at 3:55 p.m. ET on Peacock and the INDYCAR Radio Network. He has outscored Abel by 30 points overall in the last five races.

Pole sitter Foster beat rookie Caio Collet’s No. 18 HMD Motorsports car to the finish by 8.2445 seconds, easily the largest margin of victory through seven races this season. Collet, who started second, tied his career-best finish set earlier this month on the streets of Detroit.

“I think Louis, he’s on his own world today,” Collet said. “Hopefully we can improve a bit for tomorrow. I think we have some work to do to catch him up. Big congrats to him. There was nothing any of us could do today. We’ll keep pushing for tomorrow.”

Jacob Abel salvaged championship points by finishing third in the No. 51 Abel Construction machine fielded by Abel Motorsports. Yuven Sundaramoorthy earned a career-best fourth place in the No. 22 S Team/Abel Motorsports car, just missing his first career podium due to an incident in the final corner of the race.

James Roe rounded out the top five in the No. 29 Topcon car of Andretti Global.

Foster toyed with the 20-car field after starting from the pole. He built a lead of two seconds before the only caution flag of the race flew on Lap 6 when Reece Gold made contact with the barrier in Turn 5 in the No. 10 HMD Motorsports car.

It took little time for Foster to rocket from the field on the restart on Lap 8. He boosted his lead to 3.7 seconds by Lap 16 and 5.6 seconds by Lap 25 despite rarely touching the Push to Pass button on his steering wheel during the entire 35-lap race.

There still was drama over the closing laps despite Foster’s dominance.

Sundaramoorthy dove under teammate Abel with a muscular move in the famous “Corkscrew” turn complex to take third place on Lap 34. But in the final corner of the last lap, Sundaramoorthy and the No. 76 Juncos Hollinger Racing car of Lindsay Brewer made contact as Sundaramoothy was attempting to lap his fellow series rookie, forcing Sundaramoorthy to limp across the finish in fourth with a damaged right front wheel.

Abel snuck past the incident between Sundaramoorthy and Brewer to secure his sixth podium finish in seven starts this season.

“Yuven made a good move on me,” Abel said. “It was very aggressive – a little bit more aggressive than I probably thought he was going to be to me. It was a clean move, nonetheless. I feel a little bit bad for him. He just made a mistake in the last corner there. We’ll take it, anyways, and move forward to tomorrow.”

IndyCar PR