Foster Capitalizing on U.S. Opportunity in INDY NXT

  • Racing News
Louis Foster

Most aspiring race car drivers overseas grow up dreaming of a Formula One opportunity. INDY NXT by Firestone’s Louis Foster had a different vision.

The native of Odiham, England forged a path to the United States bypassing the F1 ladder system. He did do because of the advancement opportunities creating a route to the NTT INDYCAR SERIES.

“Nowhere else in the world has that really, at all,” Foster said. “And when they do, there's nowhere near the sum of money that presents here in America. If I didn't come to America, I probably wouldn't be racing.”

Good thing he did. Foster has won 27.2 percent of his INDY NXT by Firestone starts with six wins in 22 tries. Two of those victories came in a doubleheader sweep last weekend at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.

Foster completed a perfect weekend in the No. 26 Novara Technologies car of Andretti Global by being fastest in both Friday INDY NXT by Firestone practice sessions, earning the pole for both races and leading all 70 laps between the pair of races. It was a statement-making weekend.

As a result, Foster turned a 19-point deficit to Jacob Abel in the standings to a 35-point advantage by outscoring him. Since last month’s doubleheader weekend on the road course at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Foster has outscored Abel 280-215 with four wins and a runner-up result in the six-race span.

“I think the consistency is there,” Foster said after scoring his sixth top-three finish of 2024, equal to the number he had in 14 races in 2023. “We were able to win races last year but wasn't able to be consistently up in the top three, where we should be. I think just the experience of a year, the confidence of an extra year.

“I wanted to try and move up, and in the last year I felt like I had the pace to, but I think it was the right decision to stay (in the series) for another year. This is why I feel like I'm much more competent and just an able driver to be able to go out there and win races and (handle) the pressure of leading this series.

“We're only halfway, and there's a lot of ovals to come.”

Four of the six remaining INDY NXT by Firestone races are on ovals with Iowa Speedway (July 13), World Wide Technology Raceway (Aug. 17), Milwaukee Mile (Aug. 31) and Nashville Superspeedway (Sept. 15). The other two races are Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course (July 7) and Portland International Raceway (Aug. 25), Foster won at both of the latter venues last season.

“We've been strong on ovals,” he said. “I'm super comfortable going into the ovals. We made a big step this year in our pace on ovals. Hopefully we can continue this pace.”

Foster led the INDY NXT by Firestone test at the Milwaukee Mile on June 12. An Iowa Speedway test looms later this week which Foster said will tell him more about how far his dominant run will go. Foster finished seventh at Iowa Speedway last season and was runner-up on the World Wide Technology Raceway oval last August.

Andretti Global has produced better race cars this season, too, with five consecutive victories and seven wins in the last 10 races dating back to the final three events of 2023.

“I think mainly hitting our marks more,” Foster said of Andretti Global’s dominating run. “From my side of things, four of those last five wins were me and one was Jamie (Chadwick) at Road America. From my side of things, it was just not having any issues during the weekends, not make any mistakes.

“I said this a million times: As soon as I got the start of the season gremlins out of the way, we were able to bring in the race wins.

“The team is really gelling together. We work really close together, especially with the Cape cars with Salvador de Alba Jr. and Michael d'Orlando. So just being super open with information and really pushing each other to go faster.”

Following two consecutive INDY NXT by Firestone championships by HMD Motorsports, Foster has Andretti Global well positioned for its sixth series title overall and the first since a three-year reign between 2018-2021. The 2020 season was canceled due to COVID-19 pandemic.