Podium Finish for ABEL Motorsports at Mid-Ohio

ABEL Motorsports and Jacob Abel continued the fight for the INDY NXT by Firestone championship title, taking home a podium finish in the Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio to keep the points battle close.

Abel, driving the No. 51 ABEL Construction Dallara, dealt with a late-race vibration to bring the car home in third position for his seventh series podium of the season, keeping him in second position in the title chase. But for Abel’s teammates – Yuven Sundaramoorthy, in the No. 22 S Team Motorsports Dallara and Jordan Missig in the No. 21 ABEL Motorsports entry – early contact kept them from a solid result, though both showed race pace among the leaders.

The INDY NXT Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio took the green flag just after NTT INDYCAR SERIES warm up, with Abel starting third, Sundaramoorthy 15th and Missig 16th. Starting the race at the alternate start line on the turn three straight, the field made it safely through just one corner before an incident just ahead sent Missig off track.

Unable to turn the car once he hit the grass, Missig landed in the gravel, bringing out a full course caution. Restarted by the AMR INDYCAR safety Team, Missig rejoined the field, albeit two laps down. Sundaramoorthy took advantage of the chaos to push his way forward, settling into 12th position.

Taking the green once again on lap four, Abel balanced the effort to make a move on Louis Foster ahead, while keeping Callum Hedge behind him. Behind him, Sundaramoorthy was in the thick of a three-car battle for 10th, making a big move on the outside to score two spots, but the progress stalled out as Sundaramoorthy slid wide to avoid, making slight contact with Salvador de Alba outside – garnering a drive-through penalty for avoidable contact. He rejoined in 14th and by lap 26, was second only to the leader in terms of lap speed.

Abel continued to show pace as well, with the top three posting nearly identical lap times as Abel looked for an opportunity. Meanwhile, Missig focused on his race, continuing the learning curve in only his fifth race in the series.

With 8 laps to go, Abel began experiencing a vibration in the left front tire that proved to cost him both pace and performance. Holding his breath and nursing his car through the corners, Abel was able to manage the issue and make it to the checkered flag in third, his seventh podium in nine races. Sundaramoorthy came home 14th and Missig 17th.

“We actually had a lot of pace in the middle of the race, and I think we were catching Louis,” said Abel. “I was feeling pretty good about it, the balance was kind of coming to me. Unfortunately, I had the vibration in the left front tire so we had to take what we could get after that – knowing we had the pace but having to stop pushing to bring it home. Obviously not a super great championship day because we’ve lost to the leader a little bit more, but it could have been worse.”

“I was able to make some good moves and get by all that stuff on the start,” said Sundaramoorthy. “Bogle checked up a little bit there and I thought I had room to maneuver right, but Salvador was there, unfortunately. I feel bad for the team, the pace was there.”

“Starting in the back is its own penalty,” said Missig. “There was chaos just in front of me and I could have turned in, but I would have hit Jamie (Chadwick). The only other option was just to go straight but as soon as I got in the grass car wouldn’t turn and eventually, the gravel just kind of caught up to it. After that, it was just a matter of making the best of it. We showed pace, keeping pace with the leaders, and I gained more experience, so we’ll see what comes next. I’d love to do one or two of the ovals, to get more experience for next year.”

ABEL Motorsports thanks partners ABEL Construction Company, Advance Ready Mix, Boyd Cat®, S Team Motorsports, Quest Global and OMP for their continued support.

Next up for ABEL Motorsports and the INDY NXT by Firestone will be the Iowa 100, Saturday, July 13 at 2:05 p.m. Eastern. The race will be streamed live in the U.S. on Peacock, while international viewers can watch via INDYCARLIVE.com with INDYCAR Radio available at indycar.com/radio and on Sirius XM

Abel Motorsports PR