Jacob Abel (Al Steinberg photo)

Abel Does It Again In Indy NXT Run

NDIANAPOLIS — All it takes is one.

Jacob Abel spoke to how much confidence his maiden Indy NXT by Firestone victory April 28 at Barber Motorsports Park did for his psyche. Friday, Abel scored win No. 2.

Abel held off second-place finisher Nolan Siegel in a three-lap shootout on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course to score his second consecutive victory in the No. 51 Abel Construction entry.

“This is awesome,” Abel said after leading all 35 laps in this race. “Unfortunately, we don’t get to celebrate for too long here. We’re getting another chance tomorrow. That was a really great race, though.”

Siegel came in tied with Abel for the points lead and charged from a fifth-place starting position to bring his No. 39 HMD Motorsports entry home second, .5470 of a second in arrears. He trails Abel by 14 points entering Saturday’s second race of the Indianapolis Grand Prix doubleheader.

Friday’s result was the third time in as many races this season the duo finished 1-2, as Siegel won the season opener in March in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Andretti Global’s Jamie Chadwick scored the best finish for a female driver in Indy NXT by Firestone since Pippa Mann’s 2010 win at Kentucky Speedway on Sept. 4, 2010, when she brought her No. 28 VEXT entry home third. Chadwick’s previous best finish was sixth last September at Portland International Raceway.

Rookie Callum Hedge finished fourth in the No. 17 HMD Motorsports entry, with fellow rookie Myles Rowe rounding out the top five in the No. 99 HMD Motorsports with Force Indy car.

Abel initially had the win on cruise control before a pair of late-race cautions caused by both Abel Motorsports teammates erased his advantage. He leaped to nearly a five-season lead over Siegel before the first caution flew for Yuven Sundaramoorthy stopping off course in his No. 22 S Team Motorsports/Abel Motorsports entry in turn four on lap 21.

On the lap-26 restart, Abel led Siegel to the green on the 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. Two laps later, his advantage grew to .9704 of a second.

On lap 30, Jordan Missig (No. 21 Abel Motorsports) went off course after contact with the wall in turn seven, sparking the second full-course caution.

Siegel had a second chance to pass Abel for the win. Even with a great launch on the lap-32 restart, Abel prevailed.

“Nolan and I had a great battle,” Abel said. “I had it under control the whole time. I had a big lead there, and unfortunately a lot of yellows really made me work for it at the end. I was just saving tires early on, so I was ready for that.

“Massive thanks to all the Abel Motorsports crew. They delivered an amazing car. We didn’t roll off 100 percent here, but we everyone figured it out in that one practice session that we had, and that’s almost more gratifying than last weekend, when we just rolled off perfect.”