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