Lundqvist on how “harrassing” CGR for two and a half years led to 2024 opportunity with them

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The winner of the 2022 Indy NXT championship will be joining Ganassi in 2024 on a multi-year deal. But his path to reach one of the most coveted seats in INDYCAR wasn’t linear, with Linus Lundqvist not having a full-time seat this year.

The 24-year-old Swedish driver recounted the series of events in a press conference attended by selected media including Pit Debrief, which led to him securing his first full-time ride in the series after subbing in for three races at Meyers Shank Racing, starting with the displeasure for not being on the grid at the beginning of the year:

“Well, I’ll tell you. I’ve been harassing this team for about two and a half years’ about getting me a deal. It started a very long time ago, and I think obviously during last winter, like you said, a bit disappointed with not only Coyne but any team. I was trying like crazy to find a spot. Wasn’t able to do that.”

The turning point for him was the chance to display his talent while subbing in for Simon Pagenaud in car no. 60, while the former series champion and 500 winner was recovering from his concussion, which originated from a terrible crash at Mid-Ohio:

“I tried to do everything that I could to kind of remain still in people’s minds and at the forefront of this team process, and when the opportunity came to do Nashville, obviously I grabbed it and tried to do the best I could, and after that some more serious talks started to happen.

Photo credits: Penske Entertainment | Chris Owens

“Obviously here we are a couple of weeks later. It’s been intense, but at the same time, like I said, this started a very, very long time ago,” he summed up.

Asked if the team he was driving for at the time was aware of the fact he had been in touch with other squads, Lundqvist had a positive reply:

“Well, I kept talking with a lot of teams. Like I said, I’ve been harassing these team principals, each and every one of them, for the last couple of years, and I didn’t stop doing that.”

In his opinion, the turning point for his future was the strong driving performance he showcased in the first race he drove for Meyer Shank Racing on the streets of Nashville last month, as he started to be on the radars of teams due to his quick adaptability and impressive speed shown first time out:

“The only difference was maybe at Nashville it was the other way around where all of a sudden they were calling me instead of me calling them, and obviously that kept on happening throughout Nashville and after INDYCAR and into Gateway, as well.”

However, it wasn’t an easy year on the sidelines for the future Ganassi driver, who mentioned that ultimately having a positive mindset and consistently working hard aided him massively in his quest for a drive:

“Well, I’m not going to lie, I was bummed out, too, and I kind of sat at home asking myself, okay, I’ve done everything that I possibly could, but we still haven’t had a chance.

“Am I going to give up? I said, no, that’s not me, that’s not who I am. So I decided I’m going to do everything I possibly can to still try to remain in the game and give myself a shot and persevering and reminding people that you’re here for a reason. That helped.

“Then when I did get the opportunity, I think we did the most out of it, and that’s why I’m sitting here today,” he concluded much more upbeat.