ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (Sunday, June 12, 2022) – After some near-wins and several heartbreaking weekends, Christian Rasmussen is a race winner in Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires, scoring his first career win Sunday in the Indy Lights Grand Prix at Road America.
Danish driver Rasmussen beat his Andretti Autosport teammate Sting Ray Robb to the finish line by 2.3573 seconds in the No. 28 Road to Indy/Stellrecht car.
To secure the win, Rasmussen made a daring move to the outside of Robb’s No. 2 Sekady car in Turn 1 on a Lap 11 restart and never looked back. It was a similar heart-stopping move that he pulled on Robb on Lap 1 of the 20-lap race.
Rasmussen, who won the 2020 USF2000 championship and the 2021 Indy Pro 2000 championship, led 18 of the 20 laps after starting third. The win came after he finished 13th in both races of the doubleheader last weekend at Detroit.
“It feels amazing,” Rasmussen said. “I think Detroit (last weekend) was the worst weekend of my life, so to bounce back with a win like this is definitely an amazing way to show everyone that we’re here and we’re able to compete for wins.”
Rookie Hunter McElrea drove to a strong third-place finish in the No. 27 Andretti Autosport car, holding off hard-charging championship leader Linus Lundqvist in the No. 26 HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing car over the final nine laps. Jacob Abel rounded out the top five in the No. 51 Abel Speedwagon.
The race featured three cautions on the day, the most notable of which came on Lap 9 and resulted in a red flag and nearly four-hour break in the action.
Christian Bogle drove his No. 7 HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing car over the curb outside Turn 5. It lifted the front of the car into the catch fence, damaging the fence and requiring a red flag for extensive repairs. Bogle was unhurt during the incident and finished 12th.
The time needed to fix the catch fence forced the final half of the Indy Lights race to be postponed to after the NTT INDYCAR SERIES race at Road America, won by Josef Newgarden.
While pole sitter Robb couldn’t break his trend of being on the lower steps of the podium – he’s scored five podiums in seven races this season – he did inch ever so closer to points leader Lundqvist, who has had a dominating first half of the season.
After Lundqvist’s fourth-place finish, he’s still the Indy Lights points leader. But Robb jumped from fourth to second in the standings, 82 points back of his Swedish championship challenger.
Rasmussen jumped one position to sixth in the championship, 115 points back of Lundqvist. While Rasmussen has been strong in his rookie Indy Lights season, he’s rarely had the finishes to show for it.
He was on his way to a win in the season-opening race on the Streets of St. Petersburg, but a mechanical issue coming to the white flag prevented him from winning, and he finished 12th. In the second race of the season at Barber Motorsports Park, and just last weekend in the Detroit doubleheader, Rasmussen had a strong car, but contact prevented him from finishing better.
He was 11th at Barber and 13th in both Detroit races last weekend, which made Sunday’s win all the sweeter as he redeemed himself and found Victory Lane on the 14-turn, 4.048-mile road course in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.
“It’s been coming,” Rasmussen said. “It’s been coming for quite a while. I’m just so happy I can give it to these Andretti Autosport boys. I feel like we’ve deserved it a few times now, so finally being able to do it is a great feeling.”
Indy Lights is back in action after a two-week break with the eighth race of the season, at 11:30 a.m. (ET) Sunday, July 3 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, live on Peacock Premium and INDYCAR Radio Network.
About Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires
Celebrating 35 years, Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires develops drivers and teams to compete in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES and the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge. Past champions include INDYCAR SERIES champions Tony Kanaan, Scott Dixon, Josef Newgarden, Paul Tracy and Cristiano da Matta. In 2021, 20 drivers in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES were Indy Lights graduates, including rising stars and race winners Colton Herta, Pato O’Ward and Rinus VeeKay. The 2022 season consists of 14 races in the United States. The NTT INDYCAR SERIES, Indy Lights, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and IMS Productions are owned by Penske Corporation, a global transportation, automotive and motorsports leader. For more information on Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires, please visit www.indylights.com. For more information on INDYCAR and the NTT INDYCAR SERIES, please visit www.indycar.com.
About Cooper Tire
Cooper Tire, a subsidiary of The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company (NASDAQ: GT), specializes in the design, manufacture, marketing and sale of passenger car, light truck, medium truck, motorcycle and racing tires. Cooper is headquartered in Findlay, Ohio, with manufacturing, sales, distribution, technical and design operations located in more than one dozen countries around the world. For more information on Cooper, visit www.coopertire.com, www.facebook.com/coopertire or www.twitter.com/coopertire.
Goodyear is one of the world’s largest tire companies. It employs about 72,000 people and manufactures its products in 55 facilities in 23 countries around the world. Its two Innovation Centers in Akron, Ohio, and Colmar-Berg, Luxembourg, strive to develop state-of-the-art products and services that set the technology and performance standard for the industry. For more information about Goodyear and its products, go to www.goodyear.com/corporate.
Categories: Race Recap, Road to Indy
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