Race Weekend Central

Felix Rosenqvist Takes Pole in Texas

Felix Rosenqvist secured his second ever pole position in the NTT IndyCar Series by setting the fastest lap in Saturday’s (March 19) single-car qualifying session for the 2022 Xpel 375 at Texas Motor Speedway.

Only the 11th of 27 cars to take the track for two-lap runs, Rosenqvist’s pole time looked to be under threat from the likes of Scott McLaughlin, Will Power and Takuma Sato as the pace hovered in the mid-220 to low-221 mph range for most of the session. In a welcomed change of pace, luck pulled Rosenqvist’s name, and the Swede held on to the top starting position for Sunday’s race.

Rosenqvist admitted that he was feeling the pressure while sitting on provisional pole, watching the rest of the field chase his 221.1 mph lap.

“The car felt so good, I knew that lap was pretty much as good as I could have made it, and it was just so hard to wait so long to get it,” Rosenqvist said.

“But this is huge for the team and for myself; a big confidence boost, a big comeback after some tough times, so I’m really pleased for everyone at my team to get this result.

Of all the tracks for Rosenqvist to take his first pole of 2022, Texas carries some irony. Rosenqvist recalled his misfortune at the speedway in recent years, including crashing out while chasing Scott Dixon for the win in 2020.

“This race, so many times here, we’ve been close, up front, we’ve been fighting for wins, and for whatever reason it hasn’t happened,” he recalled.

“I feel this time we have a better chance than ever to have a nice clean start … one lap at a time.”

See also
Techbench Tuesday: IndyCar at Texas Motor Speedway in 2022

Despite Rosenqvist’s Arrow McLaren SP Chevy sitting on pole, Team Penske may have had the best day overall. St. Petersburg winner McLaughlin missed taking pole from Rsoenqvist by less than a tenth of a second, and teammate Power will start from the second row in fourth place. Josef Newgarden, 2019 Texas winner, will follow his Penske teammates in seventh place.

On the flip side of the coin, it was a Saturday to forget for the Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing group as their three Honda entries will roll off 24th, 25th and 27th place. Likewise, A.J. Foyt Enterprises could only manage 22nd, 23rd and 26th.

Most surprising of all was Sato, who spent most of the day set to share the front row with Rosenqvist, only to be relegated to third place by McLaughlin at the last minute. Sato has historically run well at Texas, and Dale Coyne Racing’s record in Fort Worth isn’t too shabby in its own right. Sao has put that experience to good use and looks set to continue his strong start with Dale Coyne.

Coverage of the 2022 Xpel 375 will begin on Sunday (March 20) at 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC.

The starting grid is:

1. Rosenqvist
2. McLaughlin
3. Sato
4. Power
5. Dixon
6. Helio Castroneves
7. Newgarden
8.Rinus VeeKay
9. Colton Herta
10. Pato O’WArd
11. Alex Palou
12. Alexander Rossi
13. Romain Grosjean
14. Marcus Ericsson
15. Simon Pagenoud
16. Conor Daly
17. Delvyn DeFrancesco
18. Jimmie Johnson
19. Daivd Malukas
20. Callum Illott
21. Ed Carpenter
22. Dalton Kellett
23. Kyle Kirkwood
24. Jack Harvey
25. Christian Lundgaard
26. JR Hildebrand
27. Graham Rahal

About the author

Alex is the IndyCar Content Director at Frontstretch, having initially joined as an entry-level contributor in 2021. He also serves as Managing Director of The Asia Cable, a publication focused on the international affairs and politics of the Asia-Pacific region which he co-founded in 2023. With previous experience in China, Japan and Poland, Alex is particularly passionate about the international realm of motorsport and the politics that make the wheels turn - literally - behind the scenes.

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