IndyCar Rookie Linus Lundqvist Is Ready to Shake Things Up at Indianapolis

linus lundqvist indy 500 indianapolis
Linus Lundqvist Ready to Shake Things Up at IndyPenske Entertainment/Chris Owens
  • Linus Lundqvist said he benefits from the experiences of Chip Ganassi Racing teammates Scott Dixon and Alex Palou, but when it’s time to go, it’s his hands on the wheel.

  • Lundqvist is the 2022 Indy NXT champion and has scored one podium in the first three races this season.

  • "It is so much bigger than anything I’ve done before," says Lundqvist about the month of May at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

There’s a new kid on the block who might just be a great sleeper pick to shake things up at the Brickyard this month.

And he’s fast.

Linus Lundqvist, who is in his first full year in the NTT IndyCar Series, raised some eyebrows around the IndyCar Series paddock April 28 at Barber Motorsports Park, finishing a solid third, gaining his first IndyCar podium only three races into the season. Although Lundqvist admitted he’s still figuring out the intricacies of a new series, he made a nearly perfect run at Barber as teams used different race strategies and more than a few drivers ran off course.


Now comes the month of May and Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Lundqvist’s first big test in the gauntlet that is Indy 500 practice, qualifying and racing in the world’s biggest automobile race.

birmingham, al during the indycar children's of alabama indy grand prix at barber motorsports park in birmingham, al photo by joe skibinski ims photo
Linus Lundqvist scored his first career IndyCar Series podium earlier this season at Barber Motorsports Park.Penske Entertainment/Joe Skibinski

First, though, there’s Saturday’s Sonsio Grand Prix on the IMS road course.

“The added podium we had in Barber, confidence grew,” Lundqvist said. “It’s a nice feeling going into the month of May with that. Hopefully, we can kind of keep this momentum going for a good string of results here.”

Lundqvist’s strong race at Barber, a tough and twisty track, naturally boosts expectations for the Chip Ganassi Racing driver, but he’s quick to note that he has a long road to travel.

“I still realize that I have so much to learn,” Lundqvist, the 2022 Indy NXT champion, said. “I have a long way to go before I’m going to be consistent and fighting for podiums week out, week in. It’s a process. It was kind of a receipt that once everything does click, we’ll be able to fight for wins and podiums, which, at the end of the day, is what we’re here to do.

“Right now, even if the car theoretically should be the fastest, I’m not really yet at the comfort level to drive it that way. You lose more out of the driver than you would potentially gain from the car. It’s about finding that sweet spot.”

The month’s schedule at Indy is packed with practice and qualifying leading to the May 26 500, and drivers also will be busy with appearances and media responsibilities. It can be a month of tension even for veteran drivers. Lundqvist said he benefits from the experiences of CGR teammates Scott Dixon and Alex Palou, but when it’s time to go, it’s his hands on the wheel.

“It’s one thing to hear them talk about it and look at other drivers doing it,” he said. “Then when you get out there, you get all the sensations you get from driving at 230 miles an hour. There’s only so much you can learn about listening to others. Sometimes you have to experience it yourself. It’s going to be about me getting comfortable in traffic, making sure you can set up passes. I don’t think you can ever get 100% good at it.

“I’m very privileged to be one of the few people that are going to attempt to qualify for the Indianapolis 500. I think I kind of owe it to myself every time now and again to take a moment and appreciate this journey that we’ve been on, the moment that we’re going to experience it.

"It is so much bigger than anything I’ve done before, but I think as you show up there on race day you’re not going to be thinking about anything other than wanting to be the guy with the milk at the end.”