ROSENQVIST EDGES McLAUGHLIN FOR XPEL 375 POLE
FORT WORTH, Texas (March 19, 2022) – Felix Rosenqvist posted a fast lap early on in qualifying and then had to outlast a valiant charge from the 27th and final car on the track to earn the pole position for Sunday’s NTT INDYCAR SERIES XPEL 375 at Texas Motor Speedway.
The driver of the No. 7 ARROW McLaren SP Racing Chevrolet completed his two-lap qualifying run at 46.8906 seconds at 221.110 mph, besting No. 2 qualifier Scott McLaughlin (No. 3 Team Penske XPEL Chevrolet) by just 0.003-of-a-second with his run of 46.8936 at 221.096. It was the second series pole for the Swedish native, whose first came in 2019 at the INDYCAR Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
“Getting that run that early is just killing you,” said Rosenqvist. “There are so many guys here close. I had a couple of guys within thousandths. I just have to thank Arrow McLaren SP, Chevy, and Vuse. The car felt so good, and I knew that lap was pretty much as good as I could have made it. It was just so hard to wait for so long to get it.
“This is huge for the team and for myself as far as a big confidence boost. Big comeback after some tough times. I am really pleased for everyone on my team to get this result. It’s awesome. So now we will just switch focus to the race and see what we can do.”
The balance of the top-10 qualifiers were Takuma Sato (No. 21 Dale Coyne Racing with RWR Honda), Will Power (No. 12 Team Penske Chevrolet), Scott Dixon (No. 9 PNC Bank Honda), Helio Castroneves (No. 06 Meyer Shank Racing Honda), Josef Newgarden (No. 2 Team Penske Chevrolet), Rinus VeeKay (No. 21 Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet), Colton Herta (No. 26 Andretti Autosport with Curb/Agajanian Honda) and 2021 XPEL 375 winner Pato O’Ward (No. 5 ARROW McLaren SP Chevrolet). The first five drivers posted average speeds of more than 221 mph.
Jimmie Johnson, the seven-time NASCAR Series Champion and seven-time race winner at Texas Motor Speedway who is making his NTT INDYCAR SERIES oval debut in the XPEL 375, put the No. 48 Chip Ganassi Racing Honda 18th on the pylon with a two-lap run of 47.1562 at 219.865. He will line up on the outside of Row 9.
Texas Motor Speedway’s NTT INDYCAR SERIES two-lap qualifying record is 46.586 at 222.586, established in 2017 by Charlie Kimball for Chip Ganassi Racing.
Rosenqvist was presented with a Henry Big Boy Texas Tribute edition rifle in SpeedyCash.com Victory Lane for winning the pole.
The NTT INDYCAR SERIES XPEL 375 will be broadcast live Sunday, March 20, on NBC beginning at 11:30 a.m. CT, with the green flag scheduled to wave over the 27-car field at 11:45 a.m. (Radio – INDYCAR Radio Network, SiriusXM Radio INDYCAR Nation Ch. 160 and 95.9 The Ranch).
NOTES: Simon Pagenaud (No. 60 Meyer Shank Racing Honda) topped the speed charts in the Saturday morning’s chilly practice session with a best run of 23.2376 seconds at 223.087 mph. Rosenqvist was second, Herta third, series rookie Callum Ilott (No. 77 Juncos Hollinger Racing Chevrolet) fourth and McLaughlin fifth. Johnson was 22nd fastest at 23.5181 at 220.426.
INDYCAR has allowed seven teams an additional 30 minutes of practice this afternoon to run the upper racing lane in the hope of laying down enough tire rubber to help in providing a second racing lane for Sunday’s XPEL 375. The drivers participating in the 4-4:30 p.m. session will be Ed Carpenter, Helio Castroneves, Pato O’Ward, Will Power, Graham Rahal, Felix Rosenqvist and Takuma Sato. The full field will then practice from 4:45-5:45 p.m.