By: Zach Catanzareti, Staff Writer
For the second time, Swedish driver Felix Rosenqvist captures pole position in the NTT IndyCar Series at the Indianapolis GP Circuit.
Doing so prior in 2019, the Arrow McLaren SP Racing driver put his No. 7 Chevrolet on pole for Saturday’s Gallagher Grand Prix by nearly three-tenths of a second over second-place Alexander Rossi.
“It’s really cool,” said Rosenqvist after securing the third pole of his IndyCar career. “We did only one lap in Q1. We saved those tires for the Fast Six. It’s rare to have those days but I think today was a day about execution.”
Three top-10 finishes and now two poles through seven starts at the Indy GP course makes it one of Rosenqvist’s better tracks in IndyCar. However, work has been done to improve.
“I just feel we worked really hard as team to improve here because we come here twice,” he said. “Every time we come here, we get better and better. It’s been a smooth day so we’re lucky to have one of those days.”
With his IndyCar future currently in limbo for 2023, the 30-year-old has reason to push. Rosenqvist now has two poles on the year, tying Colton Herta for the second most of any driver this year. Additionally, he has scored five top-10 finishes in the last seven races, showing his season-best speed when it matters most.
Behind the Swede was Rossi, the Andretti Autosport driver who lapped the circuit at 1:10.503 seconds for his second front-row start of 2022.
“We’ve always historically struggled here, especially in qualifying,” Rossi said. “Our race pace has been good in the past. We had a really good test a month ago so it’s nice to see that translate. It’s good to be back at the speedway, we all love coming here. But that lap from Felix, I don’t think we had anything for it.”
In third spot is Rosenqvist’s teammate at McLaren, Patricio O’Ward. The Mexican driver turned a 1:10.609-second lap.
“This is a great team result,” O’Ward said. “I’m extremely happy with — first of all, making the Fast Six. When we started qualifying, we were in trouble. I think we turned it around, I don’t know how we did that. We got the car in a window that I could work with it.
Team Penske followed in close-step with Will Power and Josef Newgarden in the top five. Newgarden, who was injured following a fainting incident last weekend at Iowa Speedway, returned to the car Friday morning and lines up fifth.
Rookie Christian Lundgaard scores a season-high sixth place on the grid for Saturday leading Alex Palou, Rinus VeeKay, Colton Herta and Conor Daly the top 10.
Something about the Speedway. pic.twitter.com/3UrYeUgQLS
— Arrow McLaren IndyCar Team (@ArrowMcLaren) July 29, 2022