Monday, April 8, 2024

INDYCAR: Thermal club Rear View Mirror

As the weekend wasn’t an entire Dud…


Yeah, I know we’ve All since long moved on from that Whose Your Daddy $1 Million Challenge Sweepstakes race at the Thermal club, along with what could be done to make it better. Especially since we’ll be salivating over the IndyCar Open Test at Mother speedway this week…


Yet lost in All of the Thermal club Drama, was the debut of Nolan “flock ‘O Seagulls” Siegel’s debut in what my Awntie’ Harriet called the Big boyz’, nee IndyCar debut. Although now I’m cornfuzed over how the IndyCar revisionist record books will record said debut? Since after all, it was a (NC) Non Championship Points race, so does that constitute being a Full fledged IndyCar race, Oh Never Mind!


Whilst I’ll also try refraining from any more Stu Seagull Jokes about Nolan, whom Harriet called Steven Seagal, but I digress…


The 19yr old Palo Alto, California native will run a total of four races this season for Dale Coyne Racing (DCR) including the Thermal Club event. Along with the upcoming Long Beach, Indianapolis 500 and Toronto races. Running just a maximum of four IndyCar races in order to preserve His rookie IndyCar status for next year.


As Siegel will share the No. 18 entry with Jack Harvey, who’ll run the remainder of the 14 points paying IndyCar events.


Arse-sumedly Nolan began His racing career like most contemporary drivers by competing in Karting, before making His single seater debut in the 2019 U.S. f2000 National Championship driving for Newman Wachs Racing, finishing 15th overall.


The following year, Siegel switched to Jay Howard Driver Development for His sophomore U.S. F2000 campaign, finishing P13 overall.


Then for His third and final U.S. F2000 season, Nolan switched to DEForce Racing, finishing eighth overall while claiming His maiden victory at New Jersey Motorsports Park.


Having made His Indy Pro 2000 series debut in 2021 at Gateway, Siegel graduated to the Indy Pro 2000 championship for a full season drive with DEForce Racing. Nolan won first time out at St Pete, before dominating the next round at Barber Motorsports Park. Yet that would be the last of Siegel’s victories, ultimately finishing fourth overall in the title fight.


Siegel also contested the final Indy Lights race at Laguna Seca driving for HMD Motorsports before joining Indy NXT fulltime in 2023, remaining with HMD Motorsports.


Siegel impressed as a rookie by winning two races and finishing third overall, also claiming Indy NXT’s rookie Of the Year (ROY) Honours. And is currently leading the 2024 Indy NXT Championship after leading wire-to-wire from Pole at St Pete’s season opener.


Siegel will contest the entire Indy NXT championship once again for HMD Motorsports, which presumably due to it’s affiliation with DCR, made Nolan an easy choice to run at Sebring in one of Dale Coyne’s Indy Cars during Pre-season testing. And being suitably impressed with the youngster, Nolan’s now in the midst of His four race IndyCar campaign…


As Siegel started P12 in the 14-car Group-1 Heat Qualifier and finished an impressive seventh. One place behind Colton Herta in sixth, the final transfer slot for Sunday’s main event.


As Nolan claims He learned a ton by following Herta and observing where Colton kept Him from passing to transfer to the main event. And it’ll be interesting to see how Nolan fairs in the upcoming Long Beach Full tilt boogie IndyCar weekend, when racing against 26 other cars at once over a longer race distance…