In an action-packed weekend featuring the NTT INDYCAR SERIES and an incredible all-star concert lineup, INDY NXT by Firestone returned to the Iowa Speedway for the first of two oval races of the season on the INDY NXT schedule. The 0.875-mile short oval track provided the perfect stage for the INDY NXT drivers, who engaged in two-days of exciting on-track action with practice and qualifying taking place on Friday ahead of Saturday morning’s scheduled 75-lap race.
Last season on the tri-oval, Bogle finished the Iowa Speedway race in tenth and was eager to improve his weekend results this year. Starting the weekend strong, Bogle finished the one and only weekend practice session in ninth. Later that day in qualifying, Bogle set the pace for the field as qualifying got underway. With a two-lap average of 159.862 miles per hour, he qualified seventh for Saturday’s race, matching his best qualifying record to date.
With clear skies all around on Saturday morning and the INDY NXT by Firestone race set to take place, a brief and unexpected rainfall derailed the day’s schedule. Working between scheduled concert and television broadcast windows, weather forced a delayed start to the NTT INDYCAR SERIES qualifying, resulting in the INDY NXT by Firestone race being rescheduled for later that afternoon.
As the sun began to set in Iowa, Bogle lined up on the inside of the fourth row as the field of 16 drivers took the green flag. Rolling through the opening lap of the race, Bogle worked his way up into sixth as the field began to settle into position. As the field began to reach lapped traffic on lap 20, Bogle worked his way through and continued to hold sixth. On lap 42, Bogle then fell back to eighth after briefly losing momentum. About 20 laps later, a caution came out and a procedure new to the INDY NXT field caught everyone off guard.
“In the last 15 laps of the race, lapped cars need to fall to the tail of the field,” explained Bogle. “Race control communicated this to all the teams, and I was supposed to drive through the pitlane with others but missed the note. Following the race, we debriefed and realized that both the spotter and engineer were speaking on the radio at the same time which resulted in no transmission of the message. For that, even though it was unintentional, I was deemed to not follow race control officials and forced to serve a penalty under green flag conditions.”
The miscommunication of race control procedure resulted in Bogle being served with two drive-through penalties, setting him back two laps and into 13th for the remainder of the race.
While the results do not show it, Bogle was on track for his strongest oval race to date and will look to continue his improved driving when the series takes on their second oval of the season later in August. In the meantime, INDY NXT by Firestone will next race through the Streets of Nashville in less than two weeks as part of the Music City Grand Prix, August 4-6.
Stay tuned to the Christian Bogle Racing social media pages for news, information, photos, and results from the 2023 season.