PORTLAND, Ore. (Saturday, Sept. 3, 2022) – Benjamin Pedersen continued his march toward his first career victory in Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires by winning the pole Saturday for the Indy Lights Grand Prix of Portland.
Pedersen turned a lap of 1 minute, 3.6698 seconds in the No. 24 Global Racing Group with HMD entry for his first pole in the series. He also had the quickest laps in both practice sessions this weekend on the 12-turn, 1.964-mile permanent road course.
Danish driver Pedersen, who grew up in Seattle, will start Sunday’s 35-lap race (1:05 p.m. ET, Peacock Premium and the INDYCAR Radio Network) alongside teammate Danial Frost, who ran 1:03.7830 in the No. 68 HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing car.
“I’m so happy to get this first pole at what feels like home,” Pedersen said. “I grew up in Seattle, so I really appreciate all of the support.
“I’ve been working so hard for this for a long time, so (we have) a lot of momentum right now. Now the next focus is to win the race.”
Pedersen has finished second in three races this season.
“(I want) a good start,” he said of his plan to begin this race. “I don’t want to think quite yet how (the treacherous Turn 1) is going to map out, but I’ll just try to check out and try to do my own race. Yeah, I’m excited.”
The fastest four drivers qualified within two-tenths of a second of one another. Twelve drivers will take the green flag.
Frost will try to score his second series victory. His first came in May on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.
Andretti Autosport’s Christian Rasmussen qualified third in the No. 28 Road to Indy/Stellrecht entry at 1:03.8546.
Series leader Linus Lundqvist (No. 26 HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing) will try to clinch the season championship in Sunday’s race by starting from the fourth position. His qualifying lap was 1:03.8606.
Lundqvist, a winner of five races this season, will have the title secured heading to next week’s season-ending doubleheader at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca if he leaves Portland with at least a 109-point lead. He enters Sunday’s race ahead of Matthew Brabham by 108 points.
Brabham qualified sixth in the No. 83 Andretti Autosport entry at 1:04.2610. He will start alongside teammate Sting Ray Robb in the third row. Robb qualified the No. 2 Sekady car at 1:03.9390 on his 21st birthday.
Hunter McElrea and Brabham each have two race wins this season, Frost and Rasmussen have one each.
Flinn Lazier, the son of 2000 INDYCAR SERIES champion Buddy Lazier, will make his series debut in the No. 15 Abel Motorsports entry from the 12th position.
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 http://www.indylights.com. For more information on INDYCAR and the NTT INDYCAR SERIES, please visit http://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 http://www.coopertire.com, http://www.facebook.com/coopertire or http://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 http://www.goodyear.com/corporate.