Nolan Siegel on not making the Indy 500: “We did everything we possibly could”

Photo credits: Penske Entertainment | Karl Zemlin
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The Californian rookie driver will have to wait another year in order to compete in the biggest event in motorsport. Nolan Siegel didn’t make the cut to be part of the 33 cars field for the 108th running of the 500 but he still wasn’t left unsatisfied with his Sunday at the office.

The part time Dale Coyne Racing driver’s troubles had begun on Fast Friday, when an early session crash prevented him from getting the track time he very much needed as an Indianapolis  debutante.

In spite of showing constant improvement over the span of the next few days, improving his average speed from 228.5 to almost 230mph, his last attempt, which could have saved him bumping Graham Rahal instead, saw Siegel pretend too much from his car no. 18 and crash out.

The young driver, who is also competing in his second INDYNXT season holding P2 in the standings, admitted his sadness in failing to make the biggest race of the season, discussing how it happened in the post qualifying press conference:

“Yeah, super disappointed, obviously. I feel like today we did the best we could do. As a team we I think had the best car that we’ve had since we started this whole event. Those were the best four laps I think I’ve done.

 “It felt pretty maximized, and ultimately it wasn’t fast. Took a swing at it to try and find a half mile an hour to get to where Graham was at, and we were already on the limit of the trim.

Photo credits: Penske Entertainment | Karl Zemlin

“I was going to go home because I went flat and did everything I could do. I wasn’t going to go home because I lifted, so here I am,” he added a strong proof of character.

Siegel also talked about the goals he had had ahead of the weekend, and how they were shattered as they were confronted with the many difficulties encountered while preparing the oval event:

I wish we could have shown that we deserve to be in the 500, but no, we’ve had a difficult — really the whole event has been difficult, but we’ve had a difficult couple of days, and we pulled through it as a team.”

“We did everything we possibly could. I feel like we maximized the runs today. Yeah, I mean, that’s all you can do. I guess I hope that everyone saw that we as a team did everything that we could possibly do.”

Asked if the fact that his decisiveness and perseverance shown throughout the weekend have left a lasting impression on his colleagues will help to soften the blow, Siegel denied:

“Honestly, no, not really, but I certainly appreciate everything that the team has done. We were in this together.”

“They wanted it too. It’s not like I was the only one in this. They wanted it as well, and they worked really, really, really hard for a long time to make this happen.”

He preferred to bring the spotlight on the team which allowed him to make his official IndyCar race debut at Long Beach:

“Big thank you to them. We were all in it together. They’re not thanking me for doing a good job. Everyone did a good job. I know that ultimately the result doesn’t reflect that, but they worked really hard, so super appreciative of the effort that they put in.”

“You know, we were in it together for months. It’s like a family,” the DCR driver concluded, highlighting the strength of the bond developed with his coworkers.