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Indy Pro 2000 Winner Lindh Hopes To Become Next 'Super Swede' in NTT IndyCar Series

Rasmus Lindh rejoiced with his most appreciative smile from the top podium spot at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, raised a trophy over his head and tried to spray victory grape juice down below on the checkerboard surface in Victory Lane.

In one of the greatest racing weekends of his 17-year-old life, after the Swedish driver swept Friday and Saturday races in the Indy Pro 2000 presented by Cooper Tires series during the INDYCAR Grand Prix, Lindh couldn’t help but think about what it would be like to one day return to that checkerboard to celebrate an Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge victory.

“It’s going to come,” he said, which qualifies as quite a confident statement for yet another typically understated Scandinavian.

He’s never met Kenny Brack but knows what the fellow countryman accomplished.

“He won here, the ‘500,’” Lindh said of Brack’s 1999 triumph, the first and only time a driver from Sweden has swigged the milk.

While an obvious racing trend might not yet qualify as a Swedish invasion, the European country has had plenty to be proud of in the last 24 hours, especially after Swedish rookie Felix Rosenqvist drove his No. 10 NTT DATA Chip Ganassi Racing Honda to a first career NTT IndyCar Series pole for the INDYCAR Grand Prix.

Rosenqvist has been joined in the series this season by another Swedish rookie, Marcus Ericsson, who drives for Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports. Much like Lindh, both of those guys are quiet, too.

“I’m always quite calm,” Lindh said. “Even if we’re slow and need to find the speed, I’m always the same.”

Lindh knows Rosenqvist and Ericsson, is inspired by their ascent and aspires to join them in the series as soon as possible. How long does he think he will need to move up the Road to Indy presented by Cooper Tires developmental ladder?

“Maybe two or three years?” Lindh said. “I hope so.”

Not only does Lindh’s Juncos Racing car have the same No. 10 as Rosenqvist’s Chip Ganassi Racing Honda, they share the same Swedish agent in Stefan Johansson, a former Formula One driver who made 73 CART starts. Johansson also represents five-time series champion Scott Dixon of Chip Ganassi Racing.

Lindh’s conquests on the IMS 2.439-mile, 14-turn road course were his first victories in the U.S. since karting in Florida in 2011. He also took over the series points lead with a 2.0669-second win over Juncos Racing teammate Sting Ray Robb.

Lindh raced at IMS last year while in USF2000, finishing 14th and third.

“I can’t imagine it,” Lindh said of his sweep. “Last year, we didn’t have the speed to win here. I said to myself that I needed to win here the next year, and that’s what we did. I’m very happy for that. Especially here, so many big names have been winning here, especially in the ‘500.’ It’s incredible to dominate the weekend as we have.”

The kid with can't-miss red hair grew up wanting nothing more than to race. His grandfather, Erland Andersson, competed on motorcycles. He also has a cousin who races motorcycles.

Lindh was able to share his latest racing accomplishment with his father, Mathas. Like father, like son, dad keeps his emotions in check, too.

“He’s so happy,” Lindh said. “He just said, ‘Great job.’”

Then the son reminded, “That’s a lot.”

The Friday victory celebration became more special when Rosenqvist stopped by the podium to congratulate Lindh and tell him, “Good race.”

“An extra push,” Lindh said of his friend giving him more inspiration.

Then Rosenqvist went out and provided more by winning the pole for the INDYCAR Grand Prix.

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