By Phillip Schmitz, Staff Writer
FORT WORTH, Tex. – For the second straight year, Felix Rosenqvist will lead the field to green in the NTT IndyCar Series race at Texas Motor Speedway after scoring the pole for the PPG 375 on Saturday afternoon.
The driver of the No. 6 Arrow McLaren Chevrolet set the fast time early in the session and held off all comers with his two lap average of 220.264 mph ahead of six-time series champion Scott Dixon, who joins him on the front row.
“Arrow McLaren just gave us a weapon today again,” Rosenqvist said. “I think we just kind of built on last year. Maybe it was a good thing to start out early. I don’t know. The track kind of warmed up. Anyways, we’ll take it. Thanks to all of our partners, VELO, NTT, Arrow. They have done a phenomenal job.
“I think we have always been good here, but this is a whole different confidence level compared to last year. Let’s try to wrap it up tomorrow.”
Aside from Rosenqvist scoring the pole, Arrow McLaren as a whole had a very strong showing in qualifying with all three cars qualifying inside the top five. The team’s newest member, Alexander Rossi, will roll off in third on Sunday, with Pato O’Ward rounding out the top-five. Defending race winner Josef Newgarden driving for Team Penske will start in fourth.
“There’s definitely a calm,” Rosenqvist added of the confidence his team has. “We’re all pretty nice and calm. Everyone at the 6 car, especially, I think we just kind of do our thing and don’t look too much at the others. We were just kind of chatting there ‘Let’s not celebrate too early here.’ You never know if there’s a magic wind putting Marcus (Ericsson) into P1.
“It was an amazing quali. I don’t think we could have done much better with what we had. Big thanks to everyone.”
Other drivers of note in qualifying were Takuma Sato, who will start sixth in his debut race with Chip Ganassi Racing, and defending INDYCAR champion Will Power racing for Team Penske starting in eighth.
Benjamin Pederson racing for AJ Foyt Enterprises qualified as the highest rookie in 13th place.
After having a first practice to forget, qualifying didn’t go any better for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing. The trio of Graham Rahal, Jack Harvey, and Christian Lundgaard will start 24th, 27th, and 28th in tomorrow’s race.
Final practice for INDYCAR teams to prepare for tomorrow’s PPG 375 which is at Noon ET on NBC will be at 1:45 pm to 3:30 pm ET on Peacock. One element that might play a factor in tomorrow’s race could be the potential of rain affecting the race.
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