Birmingham, Ala. (Sunday, April 30, 2023)– The eight weeks since the opening round of the Indy NXT by Firestone championship in St. Petersburg was worth the wait for James Roe as he showed his poise and overtaking ability at Barber Motorsports Park in the INDY NXT by Firestone Grand Prix of Alabama. Having started 10th with the No. 29 Topcon Andretti Autosport Dallara, the Irish star avoided trouble and made some beautiful passes on a tough Barber track to notch a fifth place finish.
The top Andretti Autosport finisher, Roe earned 30 championship points for his team and for his partners in Topcon Positioning Systems, CES Power, Strong Roots, Ring Power Corporation, and The Ireland Funds.
“It was a good race with a good recovery for the No. 29 Topcon Dallara,” Roe said. “Going from 10th to 5th is obviously good on a track that isn’t known to be easy to pass on. We just stayed out of trouble, stayed clean and had a lot of pace at the beginning of the race. I think we fell off a little more than some other cars out there, especially on the starts and restarts, but I think it was the best of what we could’ve done.”
There were numerous incidents which caused two full course cautions, one of which turned into a red flag. Roe was seventh for most of the race, but avoided a collision on the final lap between Danial Frost and Josh Green to move into the top five.
“Staying clean paid off for us today and we know what we need to work on, so I’m excited to get to IMS in a few weeks,” Roe said.
Throughout the weekend, Craig Breen was on the mind and the car of Roe. Breen passed away on April 13 in an accident during a WRC Croatia Rally testing session.
“Craig was a gent who represented Ireland well at the top level of global motorsport,” Roe said. “I’m glad I was able to have my best result of the season so far. That one’s for Craig.”
ABOUT JAMES ROE
Hometown: Naas, Co. Kildare, Ireland
2023 Car: No. 29 Topcon Andretti Autosport Dallara