Archives for 2022 Indy Lights Coverage

HMD Motorsports veteran and championship leader Linus Lundqvist leads Indy Lights practice at the Iowa Speedway

Linus Lundqvist gets instructions from a crew member during an Indy Lights test at Iowa Speedway (Photo Courtesy of Penske Entertainment)

By Steve Wittich

It’s easy to forget just how short and quickly the drivers get around the 0.894-mile Iowa Speedway oval, taking under ten minutes for the 13 pilots to complete 200 laps.

The first yellow flag of the 50-minute session came out after 13 minutes of practice. Reports from a recent test indicated there were quite a few cut tires, which TSO Ladder expected was the case again.

When the track went quiet, Veteran Matthew Brabham was the quickest of the drivers, turning a lap 157.419mph. He was followed by his Andretti Autosport teammates Hunter McElrea, Sting Ray Robb, and Christian Rasmussen, with Global Racing Group driver Benjamin Pedersen the fifth quickest driver.

All 13 drivers are making their first start at Iowa Speedway, with Hunter McElrea, Christian Rasmussen, Jacob Abel, Ernie Francis, Jr., Kyffin Simpson, and James Roe, Jr. all experiencing their first oval race in Indy Lights. However, the entire field did take part in a test earlier this year.

Brabham held the top spot until five minutes left in the session when drivers went out on fresh Cooper Tires. The first driver to go quicker on the new tires was championship leader Linus Lundqvist, who lowered the quickest time to 158.229mph. The Dane, driving for HMD Motorsports, was quickly followed by Jacob Abel in the No. 51 Abel Speedwagon.

The rest of the field also improved, with Brabham, McElrea, Rasmussen, and Jacob Abel, rounding out the top five.

The 13 drivers completed 799 laps, with Andretti Autosport’s Brabham matching his car number and completing 83 laps.

Of note: Rookie Kyffin Simpson, who started the season’s first eight races with TJ Speed Motorsports, has moved to HMD Motorsports for the final six races.

Indy Lights At Iowa Speedway practice results

1 26 Linus Lundqvist HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing 158.229 68
2 83 Matthew Brabham Andretti Autosport 157.978 83
3 27 Hunter McElrea Andretti Autosport 157.762 48
4 28 Christian Rasmussen Andretti Autosport 157.661 58
5 51 Jacob Abel Abel Motorsports 157.619 69
6 2 Sting Ray Robb Andretti Autosport 157.040 60
7 68 Danial Frost HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing 157.014 51
8 24 Benjamin Pedersen Global Racing Group with HMD 156.938 51
9 7 Christian Bogle HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing 156.217 66
10 21 Kyffin Simpson HMD Motorsports 155.516 69
11 99 Ernie Francis Jr. Force Indy 154.914 66
12 11 Antonio Serravalle HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing 152.959 49
13 12 James Roe TJ Speed Motorsports 152.285 61

The Indy Lights teams and drivers will be back on track for qualifying at 8:30 am tomorrow, and the 75-lap race is set to get the green flag at 11:15 am, completing a busy 24 hours of track activity for the top rung of the Road To Indy Presented by Cooper Tires.

McElrea Wins His 1st Indy Lights Race at Mid-Ohio

By Patrick Stephan

Hunter McElrea en route to his first Indy Lights win at Mid-Ohio.  Penske Entertainment: Travis Hinkle

With the track temp rapidly approaching 100F and the air at 78, the Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires field came down to take the green on the front stretch under the control of Hunter McElrea with Linus Lundqvist alongside. Like the NTT INDYCAR Series, the Lights cars take the green on the run down from Turn 3 to Turn 4 – not at the start/finish line.

McElrea was able to keep the lead, with Lundqvist slotting in, but Brabham went from 4th to 3rd and Sting Ray Robb got by Rasmussen for 5th. Brabham would get second on the next lap and Pederson would also try to get around Lundqvist down in Turn 4-5, but couldn’t quite get it done – even dropping a couple tires off at the exit of 4.

Lap 3 and Danial Frost is slow on the track, but still moving, and would eventually make it to pit lane.

Lap 5 and McElrea leads Brabham by 2.1 with Lundqvist another 3.1 back. Pedersen in 4th is 1.1 back of that, and then it’s packed up with 0.5 second gaps from 4th to 10th.

Lap 6, complete order is McElrea by 2.8, Brabham, Lundqvist, Pedersen, Robb, Rasmussen, Abel, Bogle, Serravalle, Simpson, Francis, Jr., Roe and Frost – out with an engine issue.

Lundqvist had a big slide at the exit of Turn 1 on Lap 6, dropping him closer to Pedersen in 4th though that gap is still 1.4.

On the TV broadcast (NBC Sports – Peacock) Kevin Lee reminded everyone of a couple new teams for 2023 in Indy Lights as Cape Motorsports and Legacy Autosport will move to the Lights series.

And yes, I know our Steve Wittich already mentioned some of these announcements, but I believe the Cape Motorsports part was new – at least to me 😉

That bodes well for 2023 Indy Lights car counts, particularly when coupled with some other rumors that should see car counts closer to 18 than 13 – at least from what we’re hearing – Steve will have more details on that in the near future.

Back here at Mid-Ohio, Hunter McElrea continues to lead, now by 3.9 seconds over Brabham, Lundqivst, Pedersen and Robb.

Lap 16 and we can’t say McElrea hasn’t put a wheel wrong because he did drop the left sides off at I believe it was Turn 8. That hasn’t slowed him down though as officially at the end of Lap 17 his lead is up to 5.3 seconds over Brabham who has an 8 second gap to Lundqvist.

The closest battle on the track is Christian Rasmussen trying to get around Sting Ray Robb for 5th.  He’s able to make that happen on Lap 18 and now Rasmussen needs to close a 1.4 second gap to Pedersen for 4th.

One way to do that is to turn a fast lap and Rasmussen turns his fastest of the race on Lap 19, cutting that gap to 0.96.

Lap 20 of 35 and that gap is 0.7 from 4th to 5th. Lap 21 though the gap stays the same and Robb closes back to 1.0.

Out front, Lap 22 shows McElrea leading Brabham by 6.9.

Lap 23 and James Roe spins and finds the gravel trap at Turn 1 to bring out a full course yellow and erase McElrea’s nearly 7 second lead, exactly the opposite of what the driver from Los Angeles needs to convert his strong qualifying runs to his first race victory of the season (and in the series).

The AMR INDYCAR Safety team pulled Roe out of the gravel trap, restarts him and he will rejoin the field 2 laps down.

The race will restart at the normal start/finish line at the end of Lap 25, and McElrea gets away clean, creating a sold gap to Brabham through Turn 1 and Turn 2.

Further back we see Ernie Francis, Jr trying to get by Kyffin Simpson down through Turn 4, and he gets that spot officially on Lap 26.

Rasumssen goes on the outside of Pedersen in Turn 4, which put him on the inside for Turn 5 and he makes that pass work to move to 4th position.

McElrea leads Brabham by .0894 at the end of Lap 27, with Lundqvist 3rd 1.1 back. Rasmussen is trying to keep closing an 0.8 second gap there for a podium spot.  5th is Pedersen, then Robb, Abel, Bogle, Serravalle, Simpson, Francis, Jr. Roe (-2 laps) and Frost is out.

Lap 30 completed has McElrea leading by 1.3 over Brabham, Lundqvist, Rasmussen, Pedersen, Robb is 6th with Abel close in 7th.

Lap 31, McElrea leads by 1.7.

Race control instructs James Roe – 2 laps down – let Ernie Francis, Jr., get around – which he does.

Lap 32, McElrea leads by 1.8 as Pedersen and Robb battle for 5th. Sting Ray Robb thinks he’s getting blocked and the team says they will have race control take a look.

Lap 33, McElrea slightly increases his lead to 1.9.  The battle between Robb and Pedersen continues with Pedersen taking the inside line entering Turn 4 and Robb doesn’t dive for the outside this time.

Lap 34, McElrea still leads by 1.9 and Robb is on the overtake down the hill from Turn 2 to Turn 4 and they go side by side in Turn 4 with Pedersen locking his tires, but Robb can’t make the outside move work.

Hunter McElrea wins by 2.0 over Brabham, with Lundqvist 3rd and Rasmussen 4th.. Sting Ray Robb takes 5th with a bold move on the inside of Pedersen entering Turn 13.  Seeing them side by side in front of him, Jacob Abel spins in to Turn 13 grass as the field takes the checkered.

This makes Hunter McElrea the 11th driver to win at all three levels of the Road to Indy, USF2000, Indy Pro 2000, and Indy Lights.


Pos Car # Driver Laps Diff Start Team
1 27 Hunter McElrea 35 LAP 35 1 Andretti Autosport
2 83 Matthew Brabham 35 2.6826 4 Andretti Autosport
3 26 Linus Lundqvist 35 7.1228 2 HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing
4 28 Christian Rasmussen 35 8.5555 5 Andretti Autosport
5 2 Sting Ray Robb 35 14.0837 6 Andretti Autosport
6 24 Benjamin Pedersen 35 14.7419 3 Global Racing Group with HMD
7 7 Christian Bogle 35 14.9304 10 HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing
11 51 Jacob Abel 35 27.5768 7 Abel Motorsports
9 21 Kyffin Simpson 35 16.8589 12 TJ Speed Motorsports
10 99 Ernie Francis Jr. 35 24.5104 11 Force Indy
11 51 Jacob Abel 35 27.5768 7 Abel Motorsports
12 12 James Roe 33 2 LAPS 13 TJ Speed Motorsports
13 68 Danial Frost 3 Mechanical 9 HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing

Hunter McElrea Wins Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires Pole at Mid-Ohio

By Patrick Stephan (@TSO_Patrick)

Hunter McElrea celebrates his pole position at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course – TSO Photo by Patrick

The Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires qualifying session got under for 12 of the 13 cars with the air temp a comfortable 78F (though it’s still a little on the sticky side), and the track at 123.6F. That track temp is higher than I would have expected, but we have lots of bright sunshine so the lower ambient isn’t keeping the track itself from getting fairly warm.

And yes, I did say qualifying started for 12 of the 13.  Ernie Francis, Jr., picked up a five minute penalty this morning for remaining on the track after the checkered flag. He did join the session once the penalty was lifted.

At the halfway point of the session, Matthew Brabham took the lead, but was then surpassed by Hunter McElrea with a 1:13.0894.

Currently 7th in series points, McElrea led both yesterday’s and this morning’s practices.

With 5 minutes to go, he was still leading with a 1:12.4083, just 0.0376 ahead of Benjamin Pedersen, followed by point leader Linus Lundqvist and 5th is Matthew Brabham – who picked up a drive through penalty for a pit lane speed violation in the final minutes.

As we watch the  final minute Linus Lundqvist jumped to P2, just 0.0135 behind McElrea – who then went even quicker than before and will take the pole with a lap of 1:12.1925 – that’s a 0.2292 gap.

Pedersen will start third, with Brabham fourth, then Rasmussen and Sting Ray Robb – #2 in the point standings who will have lots of work to do tomorrow to try and catch Lundqvist and narrow that sizable 82 point gap.

This is McElrea’s fourth front row start of the year and 2nd pole (St. Pete #1).  He hasn’t capitalized on those qualifying efforts yet, going 14th, 12th, 2nd (Indy GP #1) and 6th.

After qualifying a happy McElrea told “Awesome! Start to finish this weekend this car has been on rails and I really feel like this is our weekend to lose. I can’t believe we got the pole by 2 tenths.”

He thought he might have thrown it away with a mistake, but then “I had to get on it on that last lap which was probably more pressure than it should have been.”

In thinking of how to get a final result to match his qualifying speed McElrea said, “I came in to the weekend with a different head space. I think I was forcing it too much, and now I’m going back to just having fun.”

Unofficial Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires Mid-Ohio Qualifying Results:

Pos Car # Driver Best Time Diff Best Lap Total Laps Team
1 27 Hunter McElrea 1:12.1926 1:12.1926 11 11 Andretti Autosport
2 26 Linus Lundqvist 1:12.4218 0.2292 14 14 HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing
3 24 Benjamin Pedersen 1:12.4459 0.2533 13 9 Global Racing Group with HMD
4 83 Matthew Brabham 1:12.4911 0.2985 8 5 Andretti Autosport
5 28 Christian Rasmussen 1:12.5129 0.3203 11 11 Andretti Autosport
6 2 Sting Ray Robb 1:12.6617 0.4691 10 6 Andretti Autosport
7 51 Jacob Abel 1:12.6683 0.4757 12 9 Abel Motorsports
8 11 Antonio Serravalle 1:12.7104 0.5178 11 10 HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing
9 68 Danial Frost 1:12.7685 0.5759 13 12 HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing
10 7 Christian Bogle 1:13.0939 0.9013 12 10 HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing
11 99 Ernie Francis Jr. 1:13.1110 0.9184 10 7 Force Indy
12 21 Kyffin Simpson 1:13.2365 1.0439 14 10 TJ Speed Motorsports
13 12 James Roe 1:13.8306 1.638 13 11 TJ Speed Motorsports

McElrea Leads Indy Lights Practice Number 2 at Mid-Ohio

By Patrick Stephan

Some of the fans were up nice and early for today’s Indy Lights session at Mid-Ohio.

Welcome to a slightly cooler Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for today’s first Road to Indy activity – Practice #2 for the Indy Lights Series presented by Cooper Tires.

The session got started at 8:35am following a Porsche Sprint Challenge qualifying session with the air temp a nice 71F, and the track at 83.7. We saw track temps as high as 126F yesterday so this is a nice change, though not sure how representative that will make the track Sunday’s 10:35am Lights race.

The forecast for today calls much cooler temperatures – and decreasing humidity after a cold front blew through last night – bringing some overnight rain. That high of 82 is WAY better than yesterday’s 92F.  Here is the forecast from our friend Indycar Weatherman on twitter @Indycar_Wxman

On the track, we had Christian Rasmussen leading the session early with a lap of 1:16.2056 as things go off to a fairly slow start.

The first red flag of the 40 minute session came at about the 10 minute mark when James Roe spun over at Turn 11. His car was pulled back on the track by the AMR INDYCAR Safety team.

The session picked up pace and speed and at about 19 minutes remaining mark, we had  Benajamin Pedersen leading with a best lap of 1:13.1687, followed by Linus Lundqvist, Rasmussen, Jacob Abel, and Danial Frost – who won the pole here for last year’s second race.

The second red flag of the session came courtesy of Sting Ray Robb who found the tire barrier outside Turn 9 with 18 minutes remaining in the session. Looked like that incident actually started in Turn 8 as he was a little wide of the insider curbing on that right hand bend causing him to push wide and slide off the track and in to the tires outside the hard right Turn 9 corner.

He climbed out under his own power, but the car had to be brought back on the hook.

Back to green with 11 minutes to go and we’re seeing lots of improving lap times, though Pedersen still leads the session. Among those going quicker were Matthew Brabham who took the top spot a lap later at 1:12.5394

At the 5 minute to go mark, Rasmussen spun in Turn 13, did a quick 180 and was able to continue. Meanwhile Hunter McElrea had gone P1 with a lap of 1:12.3471.

Not a minute after Rasmussen moved out of the way, Brabham spun in the same final corner. He wasn’t quite able to make the car turn around, had to grab reverse and then got pointed the right direction – but not before impeding the lap of McElrea.

Back to green all around the track for the final four minutes and we got to the end cleanly with McElrea leading Brabham, Rasmussen, Lundqvist and Abel. As I look at the timesheet though I’m hearing Timing and Scoring is still deleting some laps for folks that ran though local yellows, so I had to wait a bit for the official time sheet – which is now below along with today’s full schedule:

Pos Car # DRIVER
Best Time
Diff Best Lap Total Laps
1 27 Hunter McElrea
–.—- 15 16
2 83 Matthew Brabham
0.3904 12 17
3 28 Christian Rasmussen
0.4403 16 18
4 26 Linus Lundqvist
0.5234 16 17
5 51 Jacob Abel
0.5987 14 15
6 24 Benjamin Pedersen
0.6602 17 18
7 68 Danial Frost
0.7689 18 18
8 7 Christian Bogle
1.1121 19 19
9 21 Kyffin Simpson
1.1951 20 20
10 11 Antonio Serravalle
1.2503 20 20
11 99 Ernie Francis Jr.
1.4947 13 17
12 2 Sting Ray Robb
2.036 7 7
13 12 James Roe
6.2121 3 3



Saturday Schedule:

8:00 AM – 8:20 AM Porsche Sprint Challenge Qualifying
8:35 AM – 9:15 AM Indy Lights Practice 2
9:30 AM – 10:30 AM NTT INDYCAR SERIES Practice 2
10:45 AM – 11:25 AM USF 2000 Race 2
11:40 AM – 12:30 PM Indy Pro 2000 Race 1
12:45 PM – 1:30 PM Porsche Sprint Challenge Race 1
1:45 PM – 2:05 PM Indy Lights Qualifying
2:45 PM – 4:00 PM NTT INDYCAR SERIES Qualifying
4:15 PM – 4:45 PM Stadium Super Trucks Race 1
5:00 PM – 5:40 PM USF2000 Race 3
5:55 PM – 6:40 PM Indy Pro 2000 Race 2
After Dusk Fireworks

McElrea Leads Indy Lights Practice at Mid-Ohio

By Patrick Stephan

Hunter McElrea – Indy Lights autograph session at Mid-Ohio – By: Matt Fraver (Penske Entertainment)

Today’s lone Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires session got started the track still baking under lots of direction sunshine at 126.1 degrees and the air temp at 91F.

It’s supposed to cool off a little bit the rest of the weekend with Saturday’s high at 83 and Sunday’s at 85.

20 minutes in to the 50 minute session, Sting Ray Robb was leading at 1:14.1668, followed Christian Rasmussen 0.0089 seconds back in P2.  Next were Hunter McElrea, Matthew Brabham and Benjamin Pedersen.

In the early part of the session we had an off by James Roe in Turn 6, causing a brief local yellow but he was able to bring the car back to the pit area.

Track activity dropped off through the middle of the session as everyone conserved tires. Brabham and Frost (P7) had turned a dozen laps each, with most of the field running 10 or 11 laps at the halfway point. Exceptions were Ernie Francis, Jr., at just 4 laps and Jacob Abel at 7.

With his 13th lap, Hunter McElrea moves to P1 at 1:14.0639.  Venturing outside briefly to check things out from pit lane, the wind seems to have come up quite a bit – which is nice, and we’re starting to get some haze and more building cloud cover which should drop track temps a bit pretty soon.

Heading to the 17 minutes remaining mark, track activity has picked up again and we’ve got a Top 5 of McElrea, Rasmussen, Abel, Robb and Pedersen.

With about 14 minutes left, Brabham moves to 4th as McElrea has dropped the top time to 1:13.6126.

RED FLAG for Jacob Abel who went off the track and nose first in to the tire barrier at the exit of Turn 1. He exited the track driver’s right of the left hand corner, bounced through the gravel trap and then went in to the tires.  The car held up quite well and was pulled out by the AMR INDYCAR Safety team.

Abel climbed out of the car, and walked to the medical car.  Damage to his Dallara appeared to be focused on the right front corner and the front wing.

This incident brought out not only the red flag, but also the checkered. Kyffin Simpson had jumped in to the 3rd spot a little before the session came to an end to give us a Top 5 of McElrea, Rasmussen, Simpson, Abel and Brabham.

Pos Car # Driver Best Time Diff Total Laps Best Lap Team
1 27 Hunter McElrea 1:13.6126 1:13.6126 22 14 Andretti Autosport
2 28 Christian Rasmussen 1:13.9189 0.3063 22 15 Andretti Autosport
3 21 Kyffin Simpson 1:13.9679 0.3553 23 22 TJ Speed Motorsports
4 51 Jacob Abel 1:13.9751 0.3625 18 11 Abel Motorsports
5 83 Matthew Brabham 1:14.1474 0.5348 23 16 Andretti Autosport
6 2 Sting Ray Robb 1:14.1597 0.5471 23 16 Andretti Autosport
7 24 Benjamin Pedersen 1:14.2226 0.61 24 17 Global Racing Group with HMD
8 26 Linus Lundqvist 1:14.2309 0.6183 24 18 HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing
9 68 Danial Frost 1:14.3728 0.7602 25 19 HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing
10 12 James Roe 1:14.5360 0.9234 25 22 TJ Speed Motorsports
11 7 Christian Bogle 1:14.9116 1.299 23 6 HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing
12 99 Ernie Francis Jr. 1:15.0473 1.4347 14 12 Force Indy
13 11 Antonio Serravalle 1:15.1988 1.5862 21 8 HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing

Indy Lights heads to Mid-Ohio after mid-season break – preview and season review

The 2021 Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires field gets the green flag at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course Photo credit: Gavin Baker Photography/Road to Indy

By Steve Wittich

The second half of the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires season gets underway at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course this weekend. The top rung of the Road To Indy Presented by Cooper Tires visits the 2.258-Mile, 13-Turn Mid-Ohio Road Course for their 35th race in 24 seasons.

Steve Millen, driving for track owner Truesports, won the series first visit to Mid-Ohio in 1986

Drivers representing Andretti Autosport have won eight of the ten races since 2017, and the Indianapolis, Ind.-based team’s ten trips to the top step of the podium lead all teams. Andretti Autosport, with ten poles, 27 podiums, and 338 laps led, also topped those categories.

Previous Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires race winners at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course

2022 Race #4 Linus Lundqvist HMD Motorsports/Global Racing Group
2022 Race #3 Kyle Kirkwood Andretti Autosport
2021 Race #2 Kyle Kirkwood Andretti Autosport
2021 Race #1 Kyle Kirkwood Andretti Autosport
2019 Race #2 Oliver Askew Andretti Autosport
2019 Race #1 Oliver Askew Andretti Autosport
2018 Race #2 Patricio O’Ward Andretti Autosport
2018 Race #1 Patricio O’Ward Andretti Autosport
2017 Race #2 Nico Jamin Andretti Autosport
2017 Race #1 Santi Urrutia Belardi Auto Racing
2016 Race #2 Santi Urrutia Schmidt Peterson Motorsports
2016 Race #1 Santi Urrutia Schmidt Peterson Motorsports
2015 Race #2 Sean Rayhall 8Star Motorsports
2015 Race #1 RC Enerson Schmidt Peterson Motorsports
2014 Race #1 Jack Harvey Schmidt Peterson Motorsports
2014 Race #2 Jack Harvey Schmidt Peterson Motorsports
2013 Gabby Chaves Schmidt Peterson Motorsports
2010 Martin Plowman Andretti Autosport
2009 James Davison Vision Racing
2008 Race #2 James Davison Schmidt Peterson Motorsports
2008 Race #1 Rafa Matos Andretti Autosport
2007 Richard Antinucci Cheever Racing
2001 Townsend Bell Dorricott Racing
2000 Townsend Bell Dorricott Racing
1994 Andre Ribeiro Tasman Motorsports
1993 Bryan Herta Tasman Motorsports
1992 Robbie Groff Groff Motorsports
1991 Brian Till Cole Performance
1990 Paul Tracy Landford Racing
1989 P.J. Jones PIG Enterprise Racing
1988 Jon Beekhuis PIG Enterprise Racing
1987 Juan Manuel Fangio II TeamKar International
1986 Steve Millen Truesports

HMD Motorsports veteran Linus Lundqvist, the only driver with multiple wins this season with four, holds an 82 points advantage over Andretti Autosport sophomore Sting Ray Robb. The Swedish driver leads the way with four wins and five poles. Lundqvist’s average finish is an impressive 2.3; he’s one of three drivers to complete every lap so far and has led 55.7% of the laps contested.

“Halfway through the season, and it’s difficult to say anything other than it’s been good,” exclaimed the 23-year-old Lundqvist. “I think it’s been better than what both the team and I could have expected. We knew that we would be fast, but to have a start to the season like this feels very, very good. Obviously, we still have a ways to go and a lot can happen, but I think we will continue to build on the momentum that we built up.

“We know we are going to be fast at these tracks, so we’re going to try to get a couple more wins, keep an eye on the on the championship and obviously play it a little bit safe to try to win this thing, but very happy and proud of the work that the team has done. I think both for myself and the team that the step that we took from last year feels awesome. I’m pumped and the team is as well, so it’s going to be a fun second half of the year!”

Both drivers have five podiums, but Robb, who has seven Indy Pro 2000 victories, is still looking for his first Indy Lights win.

“The goal right now is to win,” said Robb when asked how he could close down the championship gap to Lundqvist. “We’ve been so close so many times now. I’m glad that we’re back on the podium again (at Road America). We’re strong, getting better every weekend, and qualified on pole.

“I’m gonna keep working hard, and I’m not really focused on Linus. I’m just focused on getting myself better. I know the wins will come, and maybe the championship will come with that.

“At this point, Linus has a good lead. He did well in the first half of the season, and I expect to do well in the second half. So, I guess we’ll see how things shake out. Motorsports is an interesting sport to be in, as we all know. Anything can happen! I’m just giving all the glory to God and focusing forward.”

With Andretti Autosport’s dominance at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course over the past five seasons and Lundqvist’s ‘struggles’ in the first three of four Indy Lights races at Mid-Ohio last year, the door might be open a little for Robb to put some more pressure on Lundqvist. The Swede won the final race of the 2021 Indy Lights season in challenging conditions in the rain but finished off the podium in the three previous races the series contested at Mid-Ohio. In 2020, the 23-year-old won two Formula Regional Americas Championship races from the pole.

Robb has a pair of Indy Pro 2000 wins, including the first in his career, and nine top-five finishes at the sixty-year-old road course in Lexington, Ohio.

While Robb is looking forward, he’ll need to watch the rearview mirror closely. Only 35 points separate the following five drivers.

Benjamin Pedersen, who sits third in points, 97 points behind Lundqvist and only 15 points behind Robb, is in his second year of Indy Lights with Global Racing Group w/HMD Motorsports. Like Robb, the Dane is still looking for his first Indy Lights win. The driver who just completed his first NTT INDYCAR SERIES test has stood on the Indy Lights podium nine times, the most of any Indy Lights driver that does not have a victory.

Danial Frost (HMD Motorsports) will have circled the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on his calendar since the beginning of the year. The Singaporean finished on the Indy Lights podium twice at Mid-Ohio last year and has two poles and seven top-five in American open-wheel junior formula action at the road course.

Veteran Andretti Autosport driver Matthew Brabham enters the weekend only one point behind Frost and three points behind Pedersen. The American-born Australian has a pair of Indy Pro 2000 wins at Mid-Ohio and was busy at the 2.258-Mile, 13-Turn Mid-Ohio Road Course last weekend, winning a 45-lap Trans Am Series Race.

“I think we’re pretty confident that we’ll be good at Mid-Ohio because we’ve always had really fast cars there. That was part of the strategy in not testing there; we thought we don’t need to test because the cars are so good there. You never know, but I think there’s some confidence there that the team is going to do well. It’s just a matter of the drivers getting up to speed because we only have two short practice sessions, then qualifying and the one race. There’s only four sessions for the whole weekend and we’re going to have to be up to speed pretty quick to figure out if the cars do need some adjustments. We were super fast at Road America right, and that was a road course too so I don’t see why we won’t carry that momentum as a team.

“It’s just about having confidence that we’re good and we’re not going to have to throw the kitchen sink at it, it’s just everyone is really close. It always comes down to those final adjustments and focussing on driving rather than developing an entire set-up. We’ve always had the cars working and in the window which is a confidence thing.”

The latest series winner Christian Rasmussen (Andretti Autosport) had a disappointing start to the season, but with an average quickest lap of the race of 2.7, the best of all of the drivers has had the pace all year. He has a long way to go to win the championship but should have confidence headed to Mid-Ohio. The Danish driver has nine wins across his 15 F4 United States Championship, USF2000, and Indy Pro 2000 starts at the Lexington, Ohio track.

Hunter McElrea, who is tied for the third most podiums this season, is seventh on the points table but is only 35 points behind his teammate Robb for the second position. The 22-year-old’s qualifying average is 2.9, the second-best among the drivers. However, three finishes outside the top ten leave the Andretti Autosport rookie with much ground to make up.

The 22-year-old has plenty of past success at Mid-Ohio to use to his advantage. In 11 starts, the Kiwi’s average finish is 4.0, with four poles, two wins, five podiums, and zero finishes outside of the top ten.

Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires points standings after seven of 14 races

1 Linus Lundqvist HMD Motorsports 315
2 Sting Ray Robb Andretti Autosport 233 -82
3 Benjamin Pedersen Global Racing Group w/HMD 218 -97
4 Danial Frost HMD Motorsports 215 -100
5 Matthew Brabham Andretti Autosport 214 -101
6 Christian Rasmussen – R Andretti Autosport 200 -115
7 Hunter McElrea – R Andretti Autosport 198 -117
8 Kyffin Simpson – R TJ Speed Motorsports 169 -146
9 Jacob Abel Abel Motorsports 166 -149
10 Antonio Serravalle Abel Motorsports/HMD Motorsports 162 -153
11 Ernie Francis, Jr. – R Force Indy 154 -161
12 Christian Bogle HMD Motorsports 146 -169
13 James Roe, Jr. – R TJ Speed Motorsports 142 -173
14 Ryan Phinny Abel Motorsports 77 -238
15 Manuel Sulaiman HMD Motorsports 48 -267

Veteran Indy Lights teams, HMD Motorsports/Global Racing Group, and Andretti Autosport have been the dominant teams this season, starting on pole seven times, celebrating in victory lane seven times, and placing drivers on all 21 steps of the podium so far.

Will this be the weekend that rookie teams, Abel Motorsports, TJ Speed Motorsports, or Force Indy, breakthrough and stand on the podium? It could be.

With the backing of the Abel Motorsports squad led by team manager John Brunner and engineer Kent Boyer, Jacob Abel has been making gains.

The Butler University student is coming off his best finish of the year, a fifth place at Road America, and he has had some success at ‘Mid-O’ in the past. The 21-year-old won a Formula Regional Americas Championship Powered By Honda race at this circuit last year and has four podiums in American open-wheel junior formula action at the iconic road course.

TJ Speed Motorsports owner and engineer Tim Neff had plenty of success at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, engineering Santi Urrutia and Jack Harvey to multiple wins. In addition, one of Neff’s Formula Regional Americas Championship drivers, Raoul Hyman, won the three races at Mid-Ohio last weekend.

Kyffin Simpson, the reigning Formula Regional Americas Champion, is due for a breakout. If the Barbados-born driver can find a few tenths of a second, he has an excellent chance to add to his three previous American open-wheel junior formula podiums at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

The pilot of the Topcon Positioning Systems sponsored No. 12, James Roe, has been finding more pace every time he gets in his IL-15. The Irishman, who had made the USA his home, has three straight top-ten finishes and is coming off his best finish of the season (seventh) at Road America. In addition, Roe has good memories from his last visit to the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, winning the final Indy Pro 2000 race of the 2021 season under challenging conditions in the rain.

Don’t overlook Force Indy and Ernie Francis, Jr.; what they’ve accomplished as a one-car rookie team, with a driver that just transitioned to open-wheel last year, is impressive. Francis, Jr. has been making pace gains and has completed 220 of 221 laps, which is essential to his development.

While a win would come as a surprise, a move into the mid-pack at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course wouldn’t be a surprise. It’s a track that the 24-year-old pilot of the No. 99 has just a modicum of success at Mid-Ohio. Francis Jr. got his first American open-wheel junior formula win in the Formula Regional Americas Championship at Mid-Ohio last year. If our math is correct, he’s won ten times with a roof over his head.

Francis, Jr., won in the TCB, TCA, and TC classes of the Pirelli World Challenge between 2013 and 2015 and won seven straight Trans-Am Series races at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course between 2014 and 2020.

HMD Motorsports’ Christian Bogle will have to rebound from his scary wreck in Turn 5 at Road America. The driver from Louisiana had made up three spots when the accident happened and was having his best weekend as an Indy Lights driver, leading a practice session and qualifying with eight-tenths of a second of his championship-leading teammate Lundqvist. Bogle continues to work hard and is poised to make a move up the grid.

“So far we have made some pretty good progress through the season,” said Bogle. “We have had ups and downs but we are trending in the right direction, just need to put it all together. Now it’s head down for the second half of the season to keep the progression going. Looking to take that next step by the end of the season.”

This weekend’s Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires schedule

Friday – 12:30pm – 1pm Indy Lights Autograph Session (Fan Village)
Friday – 2:20pm – 3:10pm Indy Lights Practice #1 INDYCAR Live! / INDYCAR Radio
Saturday – 8:35am – 9:15am Indy Lights Practice #2 INDYCAR Live! / INDYCAR Radio
Saturday – 1:45pm – 2:05pm Indy Lights Qualifying INDYCAR Live! / INDYCAR Radio
Sunday – 10:35am – 11:35am Indy Lights Race (35 laps or 55 minutes) Peacock Premium / INDYCAR Radio

Indy Lights moves to Firestone tires for 2023 Season

By Steve Wittich

After a nine-year hiatus, Firestone and INDYCAR have announced that the Akron, Ohio manufacturer will return to become the sole tire for the Indy Lights series in 2023. The announcement came at the grand opening of Firestone’s Advanced Tire Production Cente as part of an expanded partnership with INDYCAR.

“We look forward to expanding our partnership with INDYCAR to supply tires for Indy Lights starting in 2023,” said Lisa Boggs, Director of Motorsports, Bridgestone Americas. “We know the importance this series has for technology advancement and driver development and are proud to be a part of the journey.”

Bridgestone brands Firestone and Dayton supplied tires for the top rung of the Road To Indy for 23 seasons between 1991 and 2013. Goodyear was the tire supplier for the first five seasons, while Cooper joined the series in 2014 and is in their ninth season with Indy Lights.

One of the many previous Firestone Indy Lights logos

“We want to thank Cooper Tires, who has been a partner with Indy Lights since 2014,” said Indy Lights Director Levi Jones. “Their assistance while INDYCAR assumed operational control was crucial to our success. With Firestone, we cannot wait to begin this new era, which will align the entire INDYCAR paddock and help our rising stars reach their goal of competing in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES.”

The Indy Lights teams and drivers have had closer integration with INDYCAR in 2022, including paddocking with NTT INDYCAR SERIES and receiving marketing support from Penske Entertainment. Partnering with Firestone adds to that integration.

“Firestone continues to be a phenomenal partner,” said INDYCAR President Jay Frye. “We are proud to see that our relationship is expanding into supplying tires for both of our series. Their attention to detail, safety and performance is unmatched. Supplying their world-class product to the NTT INDYCAR SERIES and Indy Lights reflects Firestone’s commitment to INDYCAR’s present and future.”

The premier American junior open-wheel series began life in 1986 as the American Racing Series and has produced 34 Indy car race winners.

Those 34 American Racing Series/Indy Lights graduates have won 267 Indy car races since Paul Tracy became the first graduate to win a race in 1993. Six-time NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion Scott Dixon is the most successful of the Indy Lights alumni. The 2000 series champion has won an astounding 51 Indy car races and trails only A.J. Foyt and Mario Andretti on the all-time list.

Recent Indy Lights graduates that have won an NTT INDYCAR SERIES race include Colton Herta, Felix Rosenqvist, Rinus van Kalmthout (VeeKay), and Pato O’Ward.

HMD Motorsports veteran Linus Lundqvist currently leads the points as Indy Lights heads to the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. You can the eighth race of the season at 10:35 am (Eastern) on Peacock Premium or the INDYCAR Radio Network at or the INDYCAR App powered by NTT DATA.

Rasmussen joins list of winners in all 3 Road to Indy series; leads Andretti Indy Lights podium sweep at Road America

Christian Rasmussen celebrates maiden Indy Lights win at Road America. Penske Entertainment: Travis Hinkle

By Tony DiZinno

The Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires hit the halfway point of its season Sunday at Road America with a race in two parts, for somehow, the second time in the last month. 

But the race ended with a 10th different driver to win on all three rungs of the Road to Indy ladder, in the form of Dane Christian Rasmussen. The driver of the No. 28 Road to Indy/Stellrecht Dallara IL-15 for Andretti Autosport banked his first Indy Lights win in the restarted event.  Bob Stellrecht, a longtime supporter of Andretti Autosport and the Road to Indy, joined Rasmussen and the Andretti team in victory lane at the 4.014-mile road course in Elkhart Lake, Wis. as the team swept the podium. 

Six of the previous nine drivers with wins in all three Road to Indy ladder series have made at least one NTT INDYCAR Series start, so the odds bode well for Rasmussen going forward.

2022 Christian Rasmussen
2021 Kyle Kirkwood
2019 Oliver Askew
2019 Rinus van Kalmthout (VeeKay)
2018 Victor Franzoni
2017 Aaron Telitz
2016 Nico Jamin
2015 Spencer Pigot
2014 Matthew Brabham
2013 Sage Karam

The first nine laps ran with three full course cautions, capped off by the Christian Bogle incident at Turn 5 that brought out a red flag and necessitated fence repairs. This also pushed the race back to after the NTT INDYCAR Series Sonsio Grand Prix. You can view that full report here. 

A warmer track greeted competitors for the final 11 laps. The remaining 11 cars did a single lap under caution and got the green at the end of Lap 10.

There were a couple changes to the running order, though. With the cars placed in impound rather than back in the tents, a couple cars incurred penalties for making changes. 

Kyffin Simpson’s TJ Speed Motorsports group changed its left front tire and the front wing. Benjamin Pedersen’s Global Racing Group with HMD Motorsports team changed the left rear wishbone after his eventful first half of the race. 

Meanwhile Matthew Brabham was sent to the rear of the field for blocking Pedersen in the first half. That incident had been under review by Race Control prior to the red flag.

Rasmussen made the bold move that ultimately made the difference right on the restart on Lap 10. He darted to the outside of leader, polesitter and Andretti Autosport teammate Sting Ray Robb going into Turn 1 to try to make his pass stick, and he did. 

Danial Frost went off course into the gravel past Turn 3, but he made it out on the other side.

Rasmussen leads his three Andretti Autosport teammates. Penske Entertainment: James Black

At the end of Lap 11, Rasmussen led Robb, Hunter McElrea, Linus Lundqvist, and Jacob Abel. Brabham recovered to sixth ahead of James Roe, Frost, and Simpson.

On Lap 12, Rasmussen held just a 0.4712 of a second lead over Robb, while Abel was working to hold back Brabham for fifth.

The best battle on the track became McElrea versus Lundqvist for third. They got close into Turn 5 on Lap 16 and then a lap later, Lundqvist had a big run into Turn 1 to try on the outside, but it didn’t work.

Up front, Rasmussen extended the gap over Robb while McElrea kept Lundqvist at bay by way of a push-to-pass time advantage. 

About the only thing Rasmussen had go wrong today was on his cooldown lap when he lost the back end exiting Turn 5. He spun back around and resumed, and headed back all good into victory lane.  

The win is the 20th in Rasmussen’s Road to Indy career across all three series.

Rasmussen started third. All 15 Indy Lights races at Road America have featured a winner that started in the top four positions. But of those 15, only three times has the polesitter won. Robb, who finished second, acknowledged that post-race. 

Lundqvist, whose winning streak of three straight races came to an end, finished fourth in a steady drive that kept his championship lead well intact.

Unofficially, Lundqvist holds an 82-point lead over Robb (315-233) with Pedersen third, 97 back, and the only other driver within 100 points. Frost in fourth (100 back) and Brabham in fifth (101 back) are triple-digits in arrears. Rasmussen’s win moved him past McElrea for sixth.

Some testing comes next for the series before its next race, July 3 at 11:30 a.m. EDT, at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

Indy Lights GP at Road America – Unofficial Race Results

P No Name Team Laps Diff
1 28 Christian Rasmussen Andretti Autosport 20 LAP 20
2 2 Sting Ray Robb Andretti Autosport 20 2.3573
3 27 Hunter McElrea Andretti Autosport 20 6.1310
4 26 Linus Lundqvist HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing 20 6.8120
5 51 Jacob Abel Abel Motorsports 20 10.7062
6 83 Matthew Brabham Andretti Autosport 20 12.6208
7 12 James Roe TJ Speed Motorsports 20 18.8083
8 68 Danial Frost HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing 20 19.6014
9 21 Kyffin Simpson TJ Speed Motorsports 20 34.6822
10 99 Ernie Francis Jr. Force Indy 19 1 LAPS
11 24 Benjamin Pedersen Global Racing Group with HMD 19 1 LAPS
12 7 Christian Bogle HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing 8 Contact
13 11 Antonio Serravalle HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing 5 Mechanical

Indy Lights Race Paused til 2:15 p.m. for Fence Repairs at Road America; Robb Leads With 9 Laps Complete

By Tony DiZinno

The seventh round of the 2022 Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires season at Road America will mirror the fourth round at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course: it’s got a mid-race pause following a red flag.

The difference on this occasion is that the IMS road course delay was weather-enforced due to lightning in the area. This one was due to an incident at Turn 5, with Christian Bogle’s car hitting the entrance curbing in the center, launching nose first into the catch fencing and proceeding to tear down a section of the fence.

Bogle got out of his No. 7 Pelican Energy Dallara IL-15 for HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing OK, but work began immediately to diagnose and repair the fence section. Bogle was seen and released from the infield medical center following the incident. 

Christian Bogle’s incident at Turn 5 caused a red flag. Penske Entertainment: Travis Hinkle

With a time-certain window of 12:30 p.m. EDT / 11:30 a.m. CDT and local time for today’s Sonsio Grand Prix At Road America race for the NTT INDYCAR Series, prioritization was made to ensure repairs took place in the run-up to the race. 

Indy Lights Race Control reported at 10:20 a.m. CDT local time: “The race will not resume in its current window. Cars will be brought back to the fuel area near INDYCAR Tech Inspection for impound. Resumption info will be published soon.” 

This was an immediate change from an initial communication where teams were to return to their tents. By changing from their tents to impound, this will allow the teams to tear down their tents.

At 10:48 p.m. CDT, IndyCar and Indy Lights confirmed a restart time of 2:15 p.m. for this race. Radical Cup and Vintage Indy Registry action shift to 3:05 and 4:05 p.m., respectively. 

Race Recap Through 9 Laps 

Before the red flag, it was a pretty eventful first nine laps. 

The Andretti Autosport quartet of Sting Ray Robb, Hunter McElrea, Christian Rasmussen and Matthew Brabham started up front ahead of three of the five HMD with DCR cars: Danial Frost, Linus Lundqvist and Benjamin Pedersen.

The opening lap featured Rasmussen darting to the inside of Robb into Turn 1, moving into the lead and appearing to push Robb off the road on corner exit. Brabham moved up to third, with McElrea fourth. Behind them Pedersen was working to get around the outside of Frost for fifth at Turn 6, having already passed Lundqvist. Brabham’s lap then featured an off-road excursion at Turn 7, and fell in behind Jacob Abel. Ernie Francis Jr. attempted to advance but went into the back of Frost. He caromed off the course and into the gravel through Turn 8. 

Pedersen, meanwhile, went around Abel on the outside through the Kink. That was the last move complete before Race Control called a full-course caution to retrieve Francis.

So after the eventful Lap 1, the order was Rasmussen, Robb, McElrea, Brabham, Pedersen, Abel, Frost, Lundqvist, Bogle, Serravalle, Roe and Simpson with Francis Jr. into pits for a new front wing and two new front Cooper Tires.

The restart occurred at the start of Lap 4 with more action.

McElrea overshot the apex of Turn 1, with Brabham moving by on the inside into Turn 3. Pedersen locked up to avoid contact. McElrea late tried on the outside of Brabham into Turn 5 and was unable to complete the pass, and three corners later ran wide at Turn 8. That moved Pedersen up to fourth. After the fracas, McElrea radioed in to ask if he had damage to his front wing, but it appeared all good.

At Lap 5, Rasmussen led Robb by 0.647 of a second with Brabham, Pedersen and McElrea still in the top five ahead of Abel,  Frost and Lundqvist.

Serravalle pulled off course driver’s left at Turn 6 with a heavy plume of smoke coming out the rear of his No. 11 HMD with DCR entry, and a large amount of oil coating the track. HMD team manager A.J. Smith told the Peacock broadcast there was a fire he needed to tend to, but Serravalle was able to get out of his car fine. 

The race resumed at the end of Lap 8 and start of Lap 9 with more action on the run to Turn 5.

In a three-wide battle among the Andretti teammates, Brabham was outside, Rasmussen in the middle and Robb on the inside into Turn 1. They somehow all made it through the corner with Robb ahead of Rasmussen, Brabham having to back out from the outside, with Robb forceful in his maneuvering to the front. Pedersen’s eventful race continued as he had to dart to the inside entering Turn 3, hit signs on the grass, and resumed.

The full-course caution flew then for Bogle’s car stopped on course with front end damage driver’s right at Turn 5. But the replay showed it had been a more significant bit of contact than otherwise expected.

Bogle, seeking to avoid running into the back of teammate Lundqvist as the field concertinaed into Turn 5, hit the curb driver’s right and launched into the catch fencing. The fence caught car, sheered away sections, and brought it back down to earth. 

This brought out the third full course caution of the race, and then the red flag.

Fortunately, there was a lighter note that followed. 

New leader Robb spoke to Peacock reporter Georgia Henneberry and made a callback to another red flag that affected James Hinchcliffe in the past, at Barber in 2018.

“The starts here are absolutely insane with your three teammates,” he explained. “I have a good car underneath me. I drank too many fluids… I’m trying to not pull a James Hinchcliffe in the rain at Barber.”

That reference was when Hinchcliffe did an interview with Kevin Lee in the rain there, noting he had to answer nature’s call mere moments before INDYCAR officials called drivers out of their cars.

Hinchcliffe was filling in for Charlie Kimball in the Peacock booth this week with Lee, and laughed noting “Speaking from experience, he should do what he needs to do.” 

Once officials called the drivers out of their car, Robb’s pace continued as he was able to dart swiftly to a nearby restroom but still had to wait. Some fun banter ensued on the broadcast. 

Here is the order at the red flag:

Indy Lights GP at Road America – Race – Order Through 9/20 Laps

P No Name Team Laps Diff
1 2 Sting Ray Robb Andretti Autosport 9 LAP 9
2 28 Christian Rasmussen Andretti Autosport 9 In Pit
3 83 Matthew Brabham Andretti Autosport 9 In Pit
4 27 Hunter McElrea Andretti Autosport 9 In Pit
5 68 Danial Frost HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing 9 In Pit
6 51 Jacob Abel Abel Motorsports 9 In Pit
7 24 Benjamin Pedersen Global Racing Group with HMD 9 In Pit
8 26 Linus Lundqvist HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing 9 In Pit
9 21 Kyffin Simpson TJ Speed Motorsports 9 In Pit
10 12 James Roe TJ Speed Motorsports 9 In Pit
11 7 Christian Bogle HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing 8 Contact
12 99 Ernie Francis Jr. Force Indy 8 In Pit
13 11 Antonio Serravalle HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing 5 Mechanical

Indy Lights GP at Road America – Push-to-Pass Time Remaining (Out of 150 Seconds)

P No Name Team PTP Left
1 2 Sting Ray Robb Andretti Autosport 143
2 28 Christian Rasmussen Andretti Autosport 143
3 83 Matthew Brabham Andretti Autosport 118
4 27 Hunter McElrea Andretti Autosport 123
5 68 Danial Frost HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing 133
6 51 Jacob Abel Abel Motorsports 115
7 24 Benjamin Pedersen Global Racing Group with HMD 126
8 26 Linus Lundqvist HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing 148
9 21 Kyffin Simpson TJ Speed Motorsports 144
10 12 James Roe TJ Speed Motorsports 140
11 7 Christian Bogle HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing 133
12 99 Ernie Francis Jr. Force Indy 144
13 11 Antonio Serravalle HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing 135

Sting Ray Robb lead Andretti 1-2-3-4 in Indy Lights qualifying at Road America

Sting Ray Robb has his first Indy Lights pole. Penske Entertainment: Joe Skibinski

By Tony DiZinno

This weekend for Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires has been a series of sweeps, and it flipped again in third session of the weekend at Road America.

HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing was 1-2-3 in practice one, and 1-2 in practice two this morning. 

Yet by qualifying for tomorrow’s race, scheduled for 9:40 a.m. CDT and local time, Andretti Autosport had secured a 1-2-3-4 qualifying sweep led by a first-time polesitter in Road to Indy’s most experienced current driver, Sting Ray Robb (87 career RTI starts; 61 in Indy Pro 2000 2017-’20, 26 in Indy Lights ’21-’22 prior to Saturday).

The 25-minute session opened with overcast skies and temperatures of 69 ambient and 73 track. With some sprinkles reported on pit lane, the sense of urgency to get a fast lap in was heightened. 

Shortly after the session started, Kyffin Simpson went off course T1 and resumed.

The opening laps saw HMD’s Linus Lundqvist on top ahead of Andretti’s Christian Rasmussen, back on track after his truncated morning practice, with Hunter McElrea third, Benjamin Pedersen fourth and Simpson fifth. Early morning practice pacesetters Christian Bogle and Antonio Serravalle were sixth and seventh on their first runs. James Roe went off course at Turn 3 but continued. 

Times dropped significantly on the second timed laps, with Lundqvist down to a 1:54.6060 ahead of McElrea, Frost, Robb and Rasmussen. 

Halfway through the session and the order was Lundqvist, McElrea, Frost, Rasmussen, Robb, Brabham, Pedersen, Abel, Bogle, Simpson, Serravalle, Francis Jr. and Roe.

Drivers headed into the pits before the final 10 minutes and their next runs on fresh sets of sticker Cooper Tires.

And that’s unsurprisingly when the times dropped.

Lundqvist had the top spot before getting surpassed by Frost, McElrea, and then Robb, creating an upset order compared to how it was halfway through the session. Robb was the only driver to break into the 1:53 bracket in his No. 2 Sekady Dallara IL-15 for Andretti Autosport. 

Robb secured his first Indy Lights pole in his 27th start, eighth in his RTI career, and second straight front row start after rolling off second for Detroit race two. It’s Andretti’s fifth Indy Lights pole at this track. 

McElrea, Rasmussen and Brabham all advanced up the order with the best HMD car Frost in fifth.

Indy Lights GP at Road America – Qualifying Unofficial Results

P No Name Team FTime Diff Laps
1 2 Sting Ray Robb Andretti Autosport 1:53.9743 1:53.9743 9
2 27 Hunter McElrea Andretti Autosport 1:54.1981 0.2238 9
3 28 Christian Rasmussen Andretti Autosport 1:54.2714 0.2971 9
4 83 Matthew Brabham Andretti Autosport 1:54.3889 0.4146 9
5 68 Danial Frost HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing 1:54.4251 0.4508 7
6 26 Linus Lundqvist HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing 1:54.6060 0.6317 6
7 24 Benjamin Pedersen Global Racing Group with HMD 1:54.7035 0.7292 8
8 21 Kyffin Simpson TJ Speed Motorsports 1:55.0848 1.1105 9
9 51 Jacob Abel Abel Motorsports 1:55.1272 1.1529 7
10 99 Ernie Francis Jr. Force Indy 1:55.1423 1.1680 8
11 7 Christian Bogle HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing 1:55.3795 1.4052 8
12 11 Antonio Serravalle HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing 1:55.6811 1.7068 7
13 12 James Roe TJ Speed Motorsports 1:55.6838 1.7095 10
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