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Race report
Indy NXT Nashville

Nashville Indy Lights: Lundqvist leads from start to finish

Linus Lundqvist dominated the Nashville round of the Indy Lights championship to score his fifth win of the year and move almost 100 points clear of his nearest championship rival.

Linus Lundqvist

The grid was lined up in championship order due to lightning causing cancelation of qualifying. Linus Lundqvist of HMD Motorsport easily held onto his advantage at the start, but Hunter McElrea wouldn’t let him go, and his teammates Sting Ray Robb and Matt Brabham stuck with him in the opening laps. Benjamin Pedersen was gradually dropped back in the Global Racing Group/HMD car in fifth.

Another Andretti car, that of Christian Rasmussen had lost out at the start, dropping two places to seventh, but he and Danial Frost of HMD clawed past Jacob Abel on Lap 3.

It took until Lap 11 for Lundqvist to pull a one-second margin over McElrea, perhaps having conserved his Cooper Tires in the opening laps on this rough surface and when McElrea closed that down with his fastest lap, next time by Lundqvist responded on Lap 13. Brabham suffered a nasty slide under braking at Turn 9 and had fallen 1.4sec off the back of Robb, but was a similar margin ahead of Pedersen, who was starting to feel pressure from Rasmussen.

Lundqvist had pulled out a three second lead by Lap 16, after McElrea had a lock-up into Turn 9 and just kept it off the wall. Robb couldn’t take advantage because he radioed in that his push-to-pass wasn’t working. He tried to pass McElrea around the outside of Turn 9 but after the pair drifted through side by side, McElrea remained ahead. Their battle left them four seconds off the lead, but they had pulled three seconds clear of Brabham.

With a dozen of the 35 laps left to go, Brabham was at the head of a train of cars comprising Pedersen, Rasmussen, Frost and Abel. The latter moved past Frost down the inside of Turn 9 on Lap 26.

Life got better yet for Abel, when Rasmussen and Pedersen got together. Pedersen locked his rears under braking for Turn 9 as Rasmussen tried to pass him around the outside. The GRG/HMD driver slid straight on, leaving the Andretti driver with nowhere to turn in, and having to spin-turn down the escape road before resuming. Thus Abel and Frost moved into fifth and sixth, and closed up on Brabham.

Finally on Lap 31, Robb outbraked McElrea for second after the latter moved over on him as they crossed the bridge, and he was able to swiftly pull away with fastest lap of the race.

On the penultimate lap, Frost made an overambitious attempt up the inside of Abel at Turn 4, and the pair made contact which spun both cars around and allowed Rasmussen and Pedersen to nip through into fifth and sixth.

P

Name

Laps

FTime

Diff

Led

ST

Team

Points

1

Linus Lundqvist

35

1:20.9997

-

35

1

HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing

436

2

Sting Ray Robb

35

1:20.9801

7.2221

 

3

Andretti Autosport

333

3

Hunter McElrea

35

1:21.2253

10.3944

 

2

Andretti Autosport

341

4

Matthew Brabham

35

1:21.3798

16.3765

 

4

Andretti Autosport

321

5

Christian Rasmussen

35

1:21.1625

25.6394

 

5

Andretti Autosport

302

6

Benjamin Pedersen

35

1:21.3270

41.4944

 

6

Global Racing Group with HMD

296

7

Christian Bogle

35

1:21.6780

41.9224

 

11

HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing

218

8

Kyffin Simpson

35

1:21.6040

42.5055

 

12

HMD Motorsports

234

9

Jacob Abel

35

1:21.3039

72.8024

 

8

Abel Motorsports

235

10

Danial Frost

33

1:21.3796

16.7936

 

7

HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing

278

11

Ernie Francis Jr.

31

1:22.7601

4 LAPS

 

10

Force Indy

217

12

James Roe

21

1:22.1908

In Pit

 

9

HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing

195

 

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