top of page
  • Writer's pictureVIVIEN STREBELOW

Top-15 for Lindsay Brewer on Indy NXT debut at St. Pete

The 2024 Indy NXT season was off to a solid start for Lindsay Brewer, who secured her first top-15 on debut, thanks to a clean race in the tricky St. Petersburg street circuit.

Lindsay Brewer, Juncos Hollinger racing, Indy NXT 2024 St Petersburg
Photo by Penske Entertainment / James Black

Indy NXT is back for the 2024 season and features a packed grid that promises an exciting new season as support of the NTT IndyCar series. The new year sees 20 drivers - the highest number since the series was founded in 1977 - including two female racers, as Jamie Chadwick returns for her sophomore campaign as well as Lindsay Brewer, who joins the top Indycar's feeder series after contesting the third-tier USF Pro 2000.

The calendar also features some new rounds, such as the return of Milwaukee Mile and Nashville Superspeedway - which last hosted a race in 2015 and 2008 respectively.

Lindsay Brewer started testing with Juncos Hollinger Racing after her second USF 2000 campaign and became the second female racer to join the field after the signing of Jamie Chadwick. Brewer will be the first American woman to race in Indy NXT since 2007, when Leilani Münter contested one round at Kentucky Speedway for Sam Schmidt Motorsports.

The Colorado-native competed full time in USF Pro 2000 last year under the banner of Exclusive Autosport, collecting two eleventh place finishes as her best results, following a partial campaign in 2022. Having taken her first steps in the Indy NXT Dallara at Indianapolis, she continued the learning process at Barber Motorsports Park in November, before collective testing in 2024 ahead of her first season in Indy NXT - a significant step up in machinery and with a highly competitive field.

Amidst changes to the format, the venue of the season opener remained unchanged: the tricky street circuit of Saint Petersburg, Florida, which often presents a big challenge for rookies and veterans alike.

Brewer had previous experience of the track from her USF Pro 2000 season - and had secured a P13 by running smartly and having avoided the skirmishes ahead.

"I’m so excited and incredibly grateful for this opportunity", Brewer wrote, expressing her gratitude to her sponsors. "Thank you to C4 Energy and Gtechniq North America for the support! I’m excited to see what I can do."

The first practice session was already typically action-packed, with two red flags interrupting the session as the 21 drivers, most of them rookies, tried to adapt to the narrow street circuit in Florida. The first one already came in the opening minutes, when Nolan Siegel (HMD Motorsports) made contact with the barriers after he had taken the top of the timing board in the first runs. But he wasn't the only one to hit trouble, as rookie Niels Koolen (HMD Motorsports) also stopped on track.

The second red flag was caused by Jamie Chadwick, who showed impressive pace during the practice but found the wall at turn 4 after locking up.

Louis Foster (Andretti Global) was fastest, ahead of Michael d’Orlando (Andretti Cape) and Caio Collet (HMD Motorsports).

Lindsay Brewer was 19th fastest after she spent most of the time during the second half of the session in the pits due to a technical issue.

"Practice one was cut short due to a mechanical issue but I love this track and I’m excited to get back out there tomorrow!" - Brewer commented. The stoppage, though, hampered her progression, as the series rookie lost valuable track time.

Practice 2 was also a busy one, with plenty of traffic and late red flags that interrupted the session. With under ten minutes to go, Christian Bogle (HMD Motorsports) and Jack Williams Miller (Miller Vinatieri Racing) went side by side - with Bogle running straight into the barriers. The session went green with around three minutes to go and drivers headed out before the session was red flagged again when Nolan Allaer (HMD Motorsports) hit the wall with just nearly zero seconds left on the clock.

Foster was again on top, ahead of Collet and Jacob Abel (Abel Motorsports).

It was a better session for Lindsay Brewer: with more track time, she improved her laps and further reduced the gap to the rest of the field, with a realistic goal of more progress over the weekend.

Lindsay Brewer, Juncos Hollinger racing, Indy NXT 2024 St Petersburg
Photo by Penske Entertainment: Joe Skibinski

The new IndyNXT qualifying format this year splits the field into two groups which would then shape one line of the grid each.

Siegel was fastest in group one - which meant that his group would be starting ahead of group two. P1 of group 1 was the polesetter, while the fastest from group 2 will be lining up alongside on the front row. That meant that Siegel claimed pole position, ahead of Abel (fastest in group 2) and Myles Rowe (second fastest in group 1).

Lindsay Brewer would tackle the race from the 21st position, having further improved from practice. She was just two tenths behind Josh Mason, and 2.7 from the top of the group, in a significant improvement that highlights how she found time with more confidence in the car.

Siegel, who started from pole, was never really challenged in the race on the streets of St. Petersburg, leading from lights to flag with Abel trying to stay close behind; the latter, though, soon saw Siegel pulling away in the lead.

In the first part of the race, Lindsay Brewer had good pace and, most importantly, was really consistent with laps around the low 1m 7s. She found her rhythm and set her personal best in 1:07.1781 on lap 15. As the race progressed, her pace remained consistent until around lap 20, when she started to struggle for pace and was being caught by the leaders. She pitted on lap 21, but managed to rejoin, holding P18.

A caution slowed Siegel down in front as he had already opened a gap of nearly 8 seconds when Bryce Aron slid into the barrier. But Siegel stayed calm and managed a good restart to easily keep the lead from his team mate Abel.

As the saying goes, yellows rarely come alone; the race was neutralized once again as Miller made contact with the wall. The race resumed with seven to go, but Siegel made clear that today no one would have a chance against him and disappeared into the distance.

Siegel won ahead of Abel and Foster, in a dominant showing on the streets of St Pete.

Despite the challenges of a very physical car and in such a tricky circuit, Brewer kept it clean and, when drivers made mistakes and hit the wall, she always ran cleanly and trouble-free - which had been her trademark driving style in the previous years as well.

In doing so, Brewer gained two more positions and, on lap 39, she had grabbed 15th place.

She took a deserving P15 across the line, completing her first ever IndyNXT outing in the top-15.

"My first race in the season, so I´m a rookie here and I expected it to be difficult to jump in", Brewer explained after the race. "Indy NXT is a lot faster, bigger of a car, more downforce and obviously there are a lot of walls here", she summed up. "I struggled a bit with pace in this race, but we kept it clean, we stayed on track and continued to learn with each lap and got quicker and quicker. I´m looking forward to the rest of the season!" -

Just like in her USF Pro 2000 campaigns, Brewer's relatively limited experience in single seaters compared to her colleague will take a few rounds of adaptability - but the young American racer once again proved that, with clean drives, she will be able to seize opportunities.

The next race will take place on the 28th April at Barber Motorsports Park. 



bottom of page