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HARTSDALE, NY (May 6, 2024) – It was another last-minute opportunity for Michael d’Orlando to get back in the seat in the INDY NXT by Firestone Grand Prix of Alabama with Andretti Cape INDY NXT, and it was another job well done.  Returning behind the wheel of the No. 3 Priority Technology Holdings/Rising Star Racing machine, d’Orlando brought home another solid performance with a seventh-place finish in a stout field of 21 drivers, and maintains a fourth place position in the series’ Drivers’ Championships.  

This was d’Orlando’s first time back at Barber Motorsports Park since 2022 when he was in the Cooper Tires USF2000 series but he got up to speed like a seasoned veteran.   He gradually improved with each lap in the two practice sessions on Friday afternoon and Saturday morning, and then jumped up to third in his qualifying group in the official Qualifying session Saturday afternoon, placing him on the outside of row three in sixth place for the main event on Sunday morning.

“I’m really proud of what the Andretti Cape INDY NXT team and I accomplished at Barber Motorsports Park." says d'Orlando. "Barber is a really tough track, especially for being the second race of the season, and finishing in 7th place is a result I’m happy with. We’re currently tied for 4th place in the championship and building momentum.  If we can continue the season, we believe we can contest for podiums and wins and move up the standings. A big thank you to Priority, RSR, Andretti Cape INDY NXT and Andretti Global for another opportunity to drive the No. 3 machine. Hopefully we can get back on track at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the GMR Grand Prix.”

In the opening laps of the main event, the INDY NXT rookie, who missed the official series test at Barber last fall where the majority of the field was able to test in high down force car set up, was confident yet cautious throughout the 35-lap duration.  Although he slipped down to 9th place early on in the race, he kept focused on the goal to garner championship points for himself and the team.  Maintaining that position, on a circuit known for its difficulty for passing, he put some more pressure on in the closing laps.  With just a few laps remaining, his patience and persistence paid off as he was able to advance forward two more spots for an official seventh place result.  A commendable performance by the rookie who’s currently competing on a race-by-race basis, as he tries to build the remaining budget required for more, and is actively looking for additional partners and sponsors.

Tthe INDY NXT by Firestone series returns this weekend, May 10-11, 2024 for the Sonsio Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. d'Orlando is expected to return to the grid for one more as a result of the efforts of his partners at Rising Star Racing and Priority Technology Holdings. Follow all the live timing and on-track action on the website or the INDYCAR app, with all main events broadcast live NBC's streaming app, Peacock.

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