Laguna Seca Indy Lights: Robb dominates, Lundqvist is champ

David Malsher-Lopez
September 10, 2022

Sting Ray Robb scored the first win of his Indy Lights career with a dominant drive to glory at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca's first of two races, while Linus Lundqvist of HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing clinched the 2022 championship.

Linus Lundqvist
Linus LundqvistPhoto by: James Black / Penske Entertainment

From pole position, Sting Ray Robb held off Andretti Autosport teammate Christian Rasmussen’s bold passing attempt around his outside at the slow Turn 2 and immediately started pulling away.

He was heading a team 1-2-3, as Hunter McElrea moved up from fourth to third, while Jacob Abel drove his Abel Motorsport machine from seventh to fourth, ahead of the HMD Motorsports cars of Benjamin Pedersen, Linus Lundqvist, Danial Frost and Nolan Siegel. Lundqvist only needed to start the race to have his well deserved championship confirmed.

Trying to climb from the back was the fourth Andretti car of Matt Brabham, after he was pinged for his car running underweight in qualifying. He was up from 13th to eighth at Turn 2 on Lap 10.

By Lap 11, Robb’s lead was out to 4.2sec, while Rasmussen was 2.5sec ahead of McElrea, who had a 4.3sec margin over Abel. In fact, Abel was having to keep an eye on his mirrors for Pedersen who got his first Lights win under his belt last weekend at Portland.

Given Laguna Seca’s abrasive surface, drivers were having to take care of their Cooper Tires, and it was no surprise at half distance to see that the top five drivers had all set their best laps within the first six laps. They had to ensure they had enough life left in their rubber in the event of a restart in this 35-lap race.

That didn’t stop Robb from pulling a lead of more than nine seconds by Lap 25, and his margin was over 10 seconds in the closing laps, scoring his first Indy Lights victory after six top threes earlier in the season. He has now moved into second in the championship, ahead of Matt Brabham and Christian Rasmussen.