One Interview With: Linus Lundqvist



Posted on 11/01/2023

One Interview With: Linus Lundqvist

Chip Ganassi Racing and The American Legion will be conducting "One Interview With" Q&A's throughout the 2023 racing season. Read previous interviews with Chip Ganassitwo-time INDYCAR champion Alex Palou and Retired Navy SEAL and Extreme E Team Manager Dave Berkenfield.

Today's rendition features Linus Lundqvist, who is currently preparing for his first full-time season in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES with Chip Ganassi Racing.

As a reminder, Be The One to:

  • Ask veterans in your life how they are doing.
  • Listen when a veteran needs to talk.
  • Reach out when a veteran is struggling.

How did you first get started in racing? When did you realize that you might be able to make a career out of this?

“I first started when I was six years old. Like most drivers, I started in go karts and fell in love with the sport, but most importantly, I fell in love with winning. I raced in karting for about eight years and then my first year making the jump to cars, I realized that I wanted to do this for a long, long time and maybe I can make a career out of this. It’s been quite a journey.”

Aside from the Indianapolis 500, which race are you most excited for next season?

“There are a lot of races that I am excited for next year, but I am a big fan of street races. I am looking forward to St. Pete, as it is always a nice venue. Nashville will also be nice having the finale there. I’ve really enjoyed the layout there, too, over the past few years and it will be great to see how it will be coming down Broadway.”

What have the past few months been like as you’ve become a part of the Chip Ganassi Racing team? 

“It’s been extremely busy, probably the busiest I have ever been. I’m still struggling to believe that it is happening. The first time I got in the car for the Rookie Orientation Program, my first outing with the team, and it was just an incredible feeling. Jumping into an American Legion Honda, as well, made it even more special at the Speedway with the whole team there. To this day, every time I go to the shop, I have a special feeling and think, ‘Wow, this is really happening.’ There are a lot of new faces to learn still, but it has been very busy and very good. Preparations are well under way for next year.”

What were the greatest lessons that you learned while racing in the Indy NXT series? 

“I learned so many lessons and I think that is a great junior series for INDYCAR and it prepares you extremely well. It was good having done two years because I learned a lot in my first year. We all know that you need to be fast, and you need to be winning races, but the two key elements I took away were first, make sure that your lows are still high. Secondly, you need to enjoy it and you can’t be too upset with yourself and focus on just maximizing the result that you could get.”

What has it been like becoming more involved with The American Legion and getting to meet veterans for perhaps the first time?

“Just last week, I made my first visit to a veteran’s home in preparation for Veteran’s Day. It was eye-opening to me, being able to literally spend time speaking with him and his family in their kitchen, where I could hear their stories, learn about the sacrifices they’ve made and of course the love that they have for the country. The community that they’ve been able to find around racing, around The American Legion, is really great to hear and makes this all the more special. It’s bigger than just a partnership in racing. It’s an opportunity to connect and to save lives. To have the ability to play a very small part in that is very special.” 

Would you rather read a book or listen to a podcast? Then, what book or podcast is your favorite?

“Read a book. I like to do a fair amount of reading. My favorite book is probably Dune, which is obviously a movie now, too. I read that a few years ago and I keep going back to it. Reading is a nice way to lose yourself to a different world and disconnect from everything. I read science fiction and novels the most.”

What is the first app that you check in the morning? What would you say is your most used app?

“The first one I check when I wake up is probably WhatsApp. My friends and I have a group chat and they’re obviously six hours ahead of me, so I have a bit of catching up to do. I use Spotify the most because I play a lot of music and listen to a lot of podcasts. But I also enjoy scrolling Instagram. It’s easy to lose a couple hours of your day there.”

Do you have a skill or an interest that people might not know about?

“I’ve actually done different forms of martial arts for the past 10 to 12 years now. It’s something that I really enjoy doing. It’s the most fun and the best form of training that I’ve ever done, and I still like to an hour every now and then.”

Do you watch sports outside of racing? What is your favorite team or athlete?

“I follow a bit of UFC and the fight game. Then, for many, many years, I have been a big fan of Jon Jones. He’s a bit controversial, but I really admire the passion and the ability that he has. It’s something that’s very rare and cool.”

Are you a good chef? What is your go-to meal to cook?

“I am a decent chef. I am by no means a master chef but having lived by myself for the past few six or seven years, I’ve had to learn to cook at least a few meals. I would say that my go-to meal to make is Spaghetti Bolognese. I do a pretty nice one.”