Home Featured Lundqvist dominates Indy Lights at the Music City GP

Lundqvist dominates Indy Lights at the Music City GP

by Bethonie Waring

Photo: Penske Entertainment / James Black

Linus Lundqvist dominated Indy Lights’ first ever race on the streets of Nashville to take his fifth victory of the season.

The HMD Motorsports driver started from pole due to the grid being set by the points order after qualifying was cancelled, and he handled the pressure from Hunter McElrea early in the race.

A mistake and a lock-up for McElrea almost sent him into the back of Lundqvist’s car, and the resulting flat spot meant he lost pace to the leading driver.

As McElrea fell back into a battle with Andretti Autosport team-mate Sting Ray Robb, Lundqvist put in flying laps to finish more than seven seconds ahead of the rest of the field.

There was drama behind him as the two Andretti drivers battled for position. Robb reported a problem with his push-to-pass, but that didn’t stop him attempting moves on McElrea.

In the closing stages of the race the two came together as Robb made a move up the inside of McElrea. The small contact allowed Robb to come through to take second, and he stretched out a gap of three seconds before the chequered flag.

Matthew Brabham held off the battling Christian Rasmussen and Benjamin Pedersen to take fourth.

Contact between Pedersen and Rasmussen as the latter tried to find a way around the outside resulted in both drivers briefly stopping on track. Pedersen locked up and couldn’t make the corner, and Rasmussen didn’t have the room to go around him.

Both drivers would lose out to Danial Frost and Jacob Abel, but contact between those two drivers then allowed Pedersen and Rasmussen to come back through on the penultimate lap.

Frost and Abel had been locked in an equally tight battle when they made contact. Abel was sent spinning and Frost suffered front-right suspension damage. Frost was able to get going again, albeit not before Rasmussen and Pedersen came through, but Abel was left stranded at the side of the track.

The incident took place on the penultimate lap, and there chequered flag fell before a caution period was thrown.

Christian Bogle and Kyffin Simpson also found their way past the stranded Abel and finished seventh and eighth.

Ernie Francis Jr and James Roe Jr both had trips into the pits during the race. Francis made contact with the wall early on but managed to finish, while Roe had an apparent mechanical issue and retired in pitlane.

Race result (35 laps)
Pos Driver Team Gap
1 Linus Lundqvist HMD Motorsports 48m09.4677s
2 Sting Ray Robb Andretti Autosport +7.2221s
3 Hunter McElrea Andretti Autosport +10.3944s
4 Matthew Brabham Andretti Autosport +16.3765s
5 Christian Rasmussen Andretti Autosport +25.6394s
6 Benjamin Pedersen Global Racing Group w/ HMD +41.4944s
7 Christian Bogle HMD Motorsports +41.9224s
8 Kyffin Simpson HMD Motorsports +42.5055s
9 Jacob Abel Abel Motorsports +1m12.8024s
10 Danial Frost HMD Motorsports +2 laps
11 Ernie Francis Jr Force Indy +4 laps
Ret James Roe Jr TJ Speed
Fastest lap: Robb, 1m20.9801s

Championship standings
Lundqvist 436   2 McElrea 341   3 Robb 333   4 Brabham 321   5 Rasmussen 302   6 Pedersen 296   7 Frost 278   8 Abel 235   9 Simpson 234   10 Serravalle 204