NEWTON, Iowa (Friday, July 22, 2022) – Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires championship leader Linus Lundqvist found himself in a familiar spot after the first practice Friday for the race Saturday at Iowa Speedway – on top.
Lundqvist, from Sweden, led the field of 13 drivers with a fast lap of 20.3402 seconds, 158.229 mph on the .894-mile oval in the No. 26 HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing car. The first oval race of the 2022 Lights season is scheduled for 12:20 p.m. ET Saturday (live on Peacock Premium), with qualifying preceding the race at 9:30 a.m. (live on INDYCAR Live!).
None of the drivers competing in the 75-lap race Saturday has previous racing experience at Iowa in an Indy Lights, Indy Pro 2000 Presented by Cooper Tires or Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship car. Lundqvist leads the championship by 87 points over Sting Ray Robb of Andretti Autosport with six races to go this season.
“We had the official test here a couple of weeks ago, so we came here knowing we had to do a few little tweaks,” Lundqvist said. “Obviously, we’re a little more comfortable running here a second time.
“It’s a big difference from Gateway (World Wide Technology Raceway oval). Even though (Iowa) is a short oval, they have so many different characteristics. The high line is very big around here. You look at some past races here, and you see guys going side by side for four, five, six laps. I’m looking forward to the race. Good practice for us.”
Andretti Autosport drivers took the next three spots on the speed chart. Matthew Brabham was second at 157.978 mph in the No. 83 Andretti Autosport car, followed by Hunter McElrea at 157.762 in the No. 27 Andretti car and Christian Rasmussen at 157.661 in the team’s No. 28 Road to Indy/Stellrecht car.
Jacob Abel rounded out the top five at 157.619 in the No. 51 Abel Speedwagon entry.
The 50-minute session was clean, with one caution for a track inspection. The 13-driver field combined to turn 799 laps, with Brabham leading the individual laps turned list with 83 trips around the “Fastest Short Track on the Planet.”
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.