Lundqvist conquers combined situations to win Indy Lights Race 2 at IMS

Linus Lundqvist leaned down and kissed the facet of his automotive, expressing gratitude and jubilation after conquering a greater than six-hour day on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway street course Saturday.

The Swedish driver discovered redemption after a mistake price him a possible victory Friday by mastering the 14-turn, 2.439-mile observe in dry and moist situations to say his second Indy Lights Introduced by Cooper Tires win of the yr, his second profession win at IMS and fifth total victory.

“An enormous thanks to the group, they’ve carried out such a very good job,” Lundqvist mentioned. “It’s been such an extended day and hard day for all of us, beginning off the day within the dry after which having to attend after the IndyCar race and getting the rain situations. Firstly, a large thanks to them for getting the automotive prepped. Clearly, it was on hearth.”

On the finish of the 35-lap weekend finale, Lundqvist’s No. 26 HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing automotive held a 3.5993-second lead over second-place Christian Rasmussen within the No. 28 Andretti Autosport automotive. His Andretti teammate Sting Ray Robb, within the No. 2 Andretti Autosport automotive, completed third – his third straight third-place end this yr.

The day was break up in two for the 14-car subject. After the primary 12 laps round a dry observe floor, lightning struck within the space, inflicting a pink flag, and rain adopted. That compelled the race to be delayed till after the top of the GMR Grand Prix NTT InddyCar race.

Greater than 5 and a half hours later, after extra rain and all the IndyCar program, drivers returned to their vehicles to face a moist floor for the remaining laps.

Earlier than the rain fell, Lundqvist had a 2.7s lead over Matthew Brabham, who went from fourth to second with a four-wide go into Flip 1 on the preliminary begin within the No. 83 Andretti Autosport entry. When the race resumed hours later, Lundqvist once more mastered the beginning, pulling forward by two automotive lengths whereas Brabham, Rasmussen, Danial Frost and Benjamin Pedersen once more went four-wide down the entrance stretch, taking part in rooster to see who would brake final earlier than Flip 1. Rasmussen gained the battle this time, taking second.

Brabham’s shot of holding on to a podium vanished seconds later when he ran off target, giving up a number of positions to Frost, Hunter McElrea and Pedersen. And whereas they argued over who would safe the ultimate podium spot, Robb spoiled their battle within the closing laps. As one of many quickest vehicles on observe, he labored his approach from thirteenth to 3rd by the checkered flag.

“I’m so excited, going from thirteenth to 3rd,” Robb mentioned. “It’s superior.”

Lundqvist was flawless within the last 20 laps, gaining two automotive lengths on each restart and by no means lacking his mark. Nevertheless, Rasmussen tried to present him a scare. With eight laps to go, Rasmussen was laying down laps a half-second faster than Lundqvist, who was 5 seconds forward.

Math says Rasmussen might have caught Lundqvist. However Rasmussen misplaced that likelihood with a slip in Flip 12 that allowed Lundqvist to drag forward by one other two seconds.

“I used to be pushing it to the sting and over the sting,” Rasmussen mentioned. “I made a mistake in Flip 12. I’m a little bit disillusioned in myself. I believe it ought to have been one place higher.”

With 10 races remaining this yr for the Indy Lights, Lundqvist exits the Indy doubleheader weekend with an prolonged level lead for his championship quest.

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