Sunday, October 1, 2023

Pedersen Rolls to First-Ever Victory to Cap Perfect Indy Lights Weekend at Portland

Benjamin Pedersen won his first race in Indy Lights at Portland
After being fastest in both practice sessions and qualifying, Benjamin Pedersen went on to lead every lap and took his first win at Portland. Image courtesy of Travis Hinkle / Penske Entertainment

Benjamin Pedersen completed a perfect weekend to earn his first-ever victory in Indy Lights at Portland International Raceway.

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The 22-year-old Danish-American started on pole and kept the No. 24 Global Racing Group with HMD Motorsports entry out front for all 35 laps and claimed the checkered flag by 0.9651s over Andretti Autosport’s Matthew Brabham.

Championship leader Linus Lundqvist put in a quiet drive around the 12-turn, 1.964-mile road course to take the third and final spot on the podium.

The No. 51 Abel Motorsports machine of Jacob Abel finished fourth, ahead of Hunter McElrea in the No. 27 Andretti Autosport entry.

Sting Ray Robb ended up sixth, with Christian Rasmussen in seventh.

Ernie Francis, Jr. finished eighth, while Kyffin Simpson was the last driver to complete the race in ninth.

Trouble struck early on Lap 1 after Flinn Lazier, who was making his Indy Lights debut, came together with Christian Bogle in Turn 7. The end result put both drivers out of the race.

The restart on Lap 6 would be short-lived as the caution came out the following lap after Daniel Frost and Christian Rasmussen made contact battling for the runner-up spot, which ended with Frost into the tire barrier at Turn 11. Rasmussen’s No. 28 Andretti Autosport machine was able to take the access road and return to the back of the field. Frost ended up being credited with 10th despite the early retirement.

Those were the only two incidents in the contest.

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