until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League


Second chance shows IndyCar’s newest driver left a big impression

by Jack Benyon
3 min read

until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

Linus Lundqvist will get a second opportunity to impress Meyer Shank as he reprises his super-sub role in place of the injured Simon Pagenaud at this weekend’s Indianapolis road course IndyCar race.

Reigning Indy Lights champion Lundqvist qualified 11th on his IndyCar debut for Meyer Shank last weekend before conducting an impressive race where he ran with runaway championship leader Alex Palou for much of the contest and set the fastest lap of the race.

LInus Lundqvist Meyer Shank Racing IndyCar

He then crashed out 12 laps from the end, getting caught out by the tyre degradation marbles on the outside line heading into Turn 11 right-hander.

Lundqvist received a smaller Indy Lights prize pot than the majority of recent champions – with no guaranteed IndyCar race outings – so he missed out on a full-time seat for 2023. He’s still hopeful he can play his way into the 2024 silly season reckoning, though.

This will be the sixth race in a row Pagenaud has missed since his somersaulting crash in Mid-Ohio practice that resulted in a concussion. It’s a blow for Pagenaud as there are only three races left after this weekend’s event.

The Race says

Linus Lundqvist And Kyle Kirkwood Big Machine Music City Grand Prix By Joe Skibinski Large Image Without Watermark M89240 (1)

Lundqvist likely impressed even his most dedicated supporters with the quality he put on show in Nashville.

I wonder if it’s got Meyer Shank thinking…

If The Race’s sources are correct, Tom Blomqvist – who made his debut in Toronto last month – has known since May he would be driving an IndyCar for Meyer Shank next year.

The cynics out there will say that Lundqvist only got the Nashville chance because Blomqvist was unavailable racing in the IMSA SportsCar Championship, and because Lundqvist brought some of his Indy Lights championship-winning fund to pay for the opportunity.

But if that was the case, MSR theoretically could have put Blomqvist back in for Indy this weekend, and given a driver it knows is racing next year more seat time in preparation, as there’s so few test days before the season starts.

I think Meyer Shank liked what it saw of Lundqvist and has decided it needs to evaluate him further.

His Nashville performance no doubt got the door of an opportunity for next year ajar, and now the Swede needs to put his foot through it properly.

LInus Lundqvist Meyer Shank Racing IndyCar

Felix Rosenqvist has been the most common name linked with Meyer Shank alongside Blomqvist in recent weeks, but Lundqvist’s outperforming of his team-mate Helio Castroneves in qualifying and a strong race, until a tiny error, may just provide him some hope.

Certainly, if he can replicate his Nashville qualifying and race running at Indianapolis, it would be a tough decision to pass on the impressive Swede – who shows no sign of his enthusiasm and determination wavering.

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