Returning to HMD Motorsports for the second year, Christian Bogle began his third INDY NXT by Firestone season this past weekend at the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in Florida. While not new to the series, many changes took place over the winter break as the series underwent a complete overhaul. Along with a new name, the series switched over to Firestone tires, and the field of drivers expanded by over thirty percent.
Returning to the team in the #7 entry, Bogle was also joined by eight other teammates after the team doubled in size over the offseason. Remaining consistent, Bogle also returned with his engineer from last season, Kevin Eichler. Now working together for over a year, the duo has a solid foundation to build off this season.
Starting off the weekend, Bogle ended the first practice session in the tenth position. In qualifying, Bogle started at the back of the field. In an improvement from last year, Bogle closed the gap to the lead by nearly half a second despite the field nearly doubling in size and the level of competition raised from the 2022 season.
Over the course of the forty-five-lap race, the field saw five different caution periods as drivers continued to make contact with the walls, tire barriers, and each other. Bogle, however, kept his focus on driving a clean race and staying out of trouble. By lap thirty-five, Bogle had gained eleven positions and was in the eighth position. After making slight contact with the tire barrier with less than two minutes remaining in the race, Bogle was able to restart to finish the first wheel-to-wheel action of the season on the lead lap in twelfth, gaining a total of seven positions by the time the checkered flag flew.
The INDY NXT by Firestone field will now have nearly two months off before the next round at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama.
Stay tuned to the Christian Bogle Racing social media pages for news, information, photos, and results from the 2023 season.
Photo: RTD Media