Rosenqvist takes big trick to win NTT P1 award in Indianapolis

Felix Rosenqvist won the NTT P1 award for the Gallagher Grand Prix with a Friday afternoon lap at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course that impressed rivals and continued its recent resurgence.

Rosenqvist earned his second pole of the season with a fast lap of 1 minute, 10.2265 seconds in the #7 Chevrolet Arrow McLaren SP. His previous pole in 2022 was at Texas Motor Speedway. This is the third career pole for Rosenqvist, his first having taken place in 2019 at the IMS road circuit.

SEE : Qualifying Results | Skill Highlights

“I felt so calm in the car,” Rosenqvist said. “I think I knew when I did that trick that it was the right one. A big, big thank you to the team. A very good car. »

Live coverage of the 85-lap race on the 14-turn, 2.439-mile circuit begins at noon ET Saturday on NBC and the INDYCAR Radio Network. Peacock Premium and INDYCAR Radio Network will cover the morning warm-up live from 8:15 a.m. to 8:45 a.m. during Brickyard Weekend featuring the NTT INDYCAR SERIES, NASCAR Cup Series and NASCAR Xfinity Series.

The gap between Rosenqvist’s lap and second-qualified Alexander Rossi’s fastest lap was 0.2765 seconds, the second-largest margin this season on a road or street circuit. Only the 0.4455 second margin of Colton Herta, who took pole position at the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach, was greater.

Rossi will join Rosenqvist on the front row after qualifying second in 1:10.5030 in the #27 NAPA AUTO PARTS/AutoNation Honda. This is Rossi’s best qualifying on the IMS road circuit.

« It’s a huge effort from Felix, » said Rossi. “Good job for him. This is by far the best result we have had here as a team. We had a good test here last month and were very relieved that it translated. »

Pato O’Ward qualified third in 1:10.6092 in the #5 Chevrolet Arrow McLaren SP. Five-time IMS winner Will Power was fourth in 1:10.6224 in the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet.

Josef Newgarden, cleared to drive this weekend after Friday morning practice, qualified fifth in a time of 1:10.6968 in the No. 2 PPG Penske Chevrolet. Rookie Christian Lundgaard completed the Firestone Fast Six in 1:10.7280 on the #30 Honda Shield Cleansers.

Rosenqvist’s pole position marked a new chapter in his summer rise. His six top-10 finishes this season have been secured since the GMR Grand Prix in early May. Rosenqvist re-signed with McLaren Racing at the end of June, but the team has not announced its racing streak for 2023.

The popular Swede has made no secret that he wants to stay in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES next season with Arrow McLaren SP, and his team-mate O’Ward and other rivals warmly congratulate him on pit lane after qualifying .

“I appreciate everyone reaching out to me,” Rosenqvist said. « It means a lot, and I think it helps to have those kinds of performances. »

Rosenqvist and Arrow McLaren SP completed just one fast lap in the first qualifying group, saving wear on their ‘red’ Firestone alternative tyres. This paid off with cooler gums during the Fast Six Firestone.

“Everything worked perfectly,” Rosenqvist said. « I’m super excited, man. »

The three-round qualifying session was almost as remarkable for the drivers who will start the race from the depths of the field as for those who qualified from the front.

Championship leader Marcus Ericsson will start last out of 25 cars at the wheel of Huski Chocolate Chip Ganassi Racing’s #8 Honda. He stopped on the track due to a mechanical problem during his warm-up lap in the first session, without ever doing a fast lap.

Six-time series champion Scott Dixon, 34 points behind Ericsson in fourth, will start 20th in the #9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda. The IMS road course has been a trap in qualifying recently for Dixon, as he has started 12th or lower in his last five races here.

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