Felix Rosenqvist continues to push for McLaren

Indy Road Course starting lineup: Felix Rosqnevist earned his third career pole in the No. 7 Dallara-Chevrolet at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Friday, where the championship race took some interesting turns.

Rosenqvist qualified first for Saturday’s Gallagher Grand Prix (noon ET, NBC) with a lap of 1 minute, 10.2265 seconds on the 14-turn, 2.439-mile layout. It was the second pole on the IMS road course for the Swede, who was also the first to start here in 2019.

Rosenqvist was also on pole for the March 20 race at Texas Motor Speedway, but suffered a mechanical failure in his Arrow McLaren SP.

QUALIFICATION RESULTS: Click here for the full Indy Road course report l Round 1, Group 1 l Round 1, Group 2 l 2nd round l Quick six

INDY ROAD COURSE: How to watch Saturday’s race on NBC, schedules, entry list

“I felt so calm in the car,” Rosenqvist said. “I think I knew when I drove that bike that it was the one. Big, big thanks to the team. A really good car.”

Alexander Rossi was second by 0.2765 seconds behind Rosenqvist, the second largest difference between first and second on the road or street this season (Colton Herta won the Long Beach field by 0.4455 seconds).

“That’s a huge effort from Felix,” said Rossi, who is coming off a career-best second at the IMS road in his final start at the track for Andretti Autosport before leaving for McLaren next season. “Good job for him. This is by far the best result we have achieved here as a team. We had a good test here last month and we are very relieved.”

Pato O’Ward, Rosenqvist’s teammatequalified third, followed by Penske teammates Will Power and Josef Newgarden, who got his license to drive on Thursday after being hospitalized last week.

The two-time series champion took a serious points hit when he crashed last Sunday while leading at Iowa Speedway (in a race won by O’Ward). Newgarden would enter Indy with a points lead if he wins (and capped the weekend at Iowa after winning last Saturday).

NTT IndyCar Series points leader Marcus Ericsson, who leads Power by eight points with five races remaining, had a nightmare in qualifying.

After stopping on track at Turn 6 with a mechanical problem in the warm-up lap, Ericsson was unable to complete a qualifying lap. His Dallara-Honda eight will start last in the 25-car field.

Chip Ganassi Racing teammate Scott Dixon, who is 34 points behind Ericsson in his quest for a seventh championship, will start 20th after another disappointing qualifying.

Power leads all drivers with five wins at the IMS track and looks poised to make a run for the title starting in the top two rows.

Here’s the IndyCar starting lineup for Saturday’s Gallagher Indy GP at the 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course (qualifying position, car number in parentheses, driver, engine, time, speed):

LINE 1

1. (7) Felix Rosenqvist, Chevrolet, 01:10.2265 (125.030)
2. (27) Alexander Rossi, Honda, 01:10.5030 (124.539)

LINE 2

3. (5) Pato O’Ward, Chevrolet, 01:10.6092 (124.352)
4. (12) Will Power, Chevrolet, 01:10.6224 (124.329)

LINE 3

5. (2) Josef Newgarden, Chevrolet, 01:10.6968 (124.198)
6. (30) Christian Lundgaard, Honda, 01:10.7280 (124.143)

LINE 4

7. (10) Alex Palou, Honda, 01:10.2074 (125.064)
8. (21) Rinus VeeKay, Chevrolet, 01:10.3100 (124.881)

LINE 5

9. (26) Colton Herta, Honda, 01:10.3532 (124.805)
10. (20) Conor Daly, Chevrolet, 01:10.5135 (124.521)

LINE 6

11. (18) David Malukas, Honda, 01:10.5636 (124.432)
12. (60) Simon Pagenaud, Honda, 01:10.7624 (124.083)

LINE 7

13. (45) Jack Harvey, Honda, 01:10.8564 (123.918)
14. (29) Devlin DeFrancesco, Honda, 01:10.7073 (124.180)

LINE 8

15. (3) Scott McLaughlin, Chevrolet, 01:10.9067 (123.830)
16. (06) Helio Castroneves, Honda, 01:10.7560 (124.094)

LINE 9

17. (15) Graham Rahal, Honda, 01:10.9093 (123.826)
18. (51) Takuma Sato, Honda, 01:10.8276 (123.969)

LINE 10

19. (77) Callum Ilott, Chevrolet, 01:11.1195 (123.460)
20. (9) Scott Dixon, Honda, 01:10.8938 (123.853)

LINE 11

21. (14) Kyle Kirkwood, Chevrolet, 01:11.2156 (123.293)
22. (28) Romain Grosjean, Honda, 01:11.0244 (123.625)

LINE 12

23. (48) Jimmie Johnson, Honda, 01:11.7710 (122.339)
24. (4) Dalton Kellett, Chevrolet, 01:12.0060 (121.940)

LINE 13

25. (8) Marcus Ericsson, Honda, No Time (No Speed)

Indy road course starting line-up: Felix Rosenqvist continues to put pressure on McLaren originally appeared on NBCSports.com

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