Even with Dixon’s 2nd win of 2015, Montoya maintains strong lead in IndyCar point standings


Saturday’s Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway marked the start of the second half of the 16-race Verizon IndyCar Series schedule.

But just like it has been throughout the first half, Juan Pablo Montoya continues to maintain his stranglehold on the VICS points standings.

Race winner Scott Dixon joined Montoya as the only drivers with two victories thus far this season.

However, because Montoya finished fourth, Dixon wasn’t able to appreciably cut Montoya’s lead. Dixon still trails Montoya by 43 points. Will Power remains in second place, 35 points behind Montoya.

In fact, there was no change in the first five positions in the standings.

The driver making the biggest gain in the points was Tony Kanaan, who finished second in Saturday’s race. Kanaan climbed three spots in the standings, from 12th to 9th.

Gaining two spots each were Sebatian Bourdais (up to 7th), and Jack Hawksworth (up to 17th).

Gaining one spot each was Marco Andretti (up to 6th), Charlie Kimball (up to 10th), Takuma Sato (up to 14th), James Jakes (up to 15th) and Gabby Chaves (up to 16th).

Simon Pagenaud suffered the biggest loss in the standings, dropping two spots that knocked him out of the top 10 and down to 11th.

Losing one spot was Carlos Munoz (down to 12th).

IndyCar Standings

As of: Firestone 600 +/- Points Behind Wins
1  Juan Pablo Montoya #2 348 2
2  Will Power #1 313 35 1
3  Scott Dixon #9 305 43 2
4  Helio Castroneves #3 286 62 0
5  Graham Rahal #15 261 87 0
6  Marco Andretti #27 +1 255 93 0
7  Sebastien Bourdais #11 +2 244 104 1
8  Josef Newgarden #67 215 133 1
9  Tony Kanaan #10 +3 215 133 0
10  Charlie Kimball #83 +1 214 134 0
11  Simon Pagenaud #22 -2 213 135 0
12  Carlos Munoz #26 -1 208 140 1
13  Ryan Hunter-Reay #28 183 165 0
14  Takuma Sato #14 +1 180 168 0
15  James Jakes #7 +1 155 193 0
16  Gabby Chaves #98 +1 153 195 0
17  Jack Hawksworth #41 +2 135 213 0
18  James Hinchcliffe #5 -1 129 219 1
19  Luca Filippi #20 120 228 0
20   Stefano Coletti #4 115 233 0

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Texas starting lineup: Felix Rosenqvist back on pole; Scott Dixon qualifies second


FORT WORTH, Texas — For the second consecutive year, Felix Rosenqvist will lead the NTT IndyCar Series starting lineup to the green flag at Texas Motor Speedway.

The Arrow McLaren driver is hoping the third time will be the charm at the 1.5-mile oval, where he has run extremely well but has only a career-best 12th in five starts.

“We’ve always been good here, but this is a whole different confidence level compared to last year,” Rosenqvist told NBC Sports’ Marty Snider. “Let’s try to wrap it up (Sunday).”

In 2020, Rosenqvist was competing for a podium when he crashed with 10 laps remaining at Texas.

QUALIFYING RESULTS: Click here for speeds from Saturday’s time trials

INDYCAR AT TEXASSchedule, start times, how to watch on NBC, Peacock

Last year, he started first on an oval for the first time in his career but finished 21st because of a broken halfshaft.

“It’s definitely one of my favorite tracks, and naturally, I’ve always been OK here,” Rosenqvist said. “It was the first oval that made sense to me. Every year I’m building on that. But looking at the results, they don’t represent the speed I normally have.

“I don’t want to jinx anything, but I hope tomorrow is going to go a bit better and some luck our way would be nice. It’s been feeling super good. Arrow McLaren has been mega every session, so just keep it rolling.”

Arrow McLaren qualified all three of its Chevrolets in the top five, building on a second for Pato O’Ward and fourth for Alexander Rossi in the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

The March 5 season opener was a disappointing start for Rosenqvist who was squeezed into the wall by Scott Dixon on the first lap.

Dixon, a five-time winner at Texas, will start second Sunday, followed by Rossi and Josef Newgarden. O’Ward will start fifth alongside Takuma Sato, who will start on the outside of the third row in his Chip Ganassi Racing debut.

During nearly four hours of practice and qualifying (including a special high-line session), Saturday’s lone incident involved Conor Daly.

The Ed Carpenter Racing driver spun three times but stayed off the wall and in the frontstretch grass. Aside from a front wing change and new tires, there was no damage to his No. 20 Dallara-Chevrolet during the incident midway through the 30-minute session in which drivers were limited to the high line.

“I hadn’t really had a moment before, but it snapped really aggressively,” Daly told NBC Sports after final practice. “Not ideal, but I do know my way around correcting a spin it seems like. I drove NASCAR last weekend and that seemed to help a little bit. I drove in the dirt a lot in USAC Midgets and seemed to be able to save something but not ideal or what we wanted to have happen.”

Daly will start 25th of 28 cars alongside teammate Rinus VeeKay in Row 13. Carpenter qualified 18th.

“Our three of our cars were clearly looking for something. Mechanical grip is for sure what we need. Qualifying we actually expected to be a lot better, but we found an issue there. We’ll see what happens. This race can change a lot. I’m confident in the team to hopefully figure some things out for tomorrow.”

Here’s the IndyCar starting lineup for Sunday’s PPG 375 at Texas Motor Speedway (qualifying position, car number in parentheses, driver, engine and speed):


1. (6) Felix Rosenqvist, Dallara-Chevy, 220.264 mph
2. (9) Scott Dixon, Dallara-Honda, 219.972


3. (7) Alexander Rossi, Dallara-Chevy, 219.960
4. (2) Josef Newgarden, Dallara-Chevy, 219.801


5. (5) Pato O’Ward, Dallara-Chevy, 219.619
6. (11) Takuma Sato, Dallara-Honda, 219.508


7. (10) Alex Palou, Dallara-Honda, 219.480
8. (12) Will Power, Dallara-Chevy, 219.355


9. (18) David Malukas, Dallara-Honda, 219.256
10. (26) Colton Herta, Dallara-Honda, 219.184


11. (28) Romain Grosjean, Dallara-Honda, 219.165
12. (29) Devlin DeFrancesco, Dallara-Honda, 219.146

ROW 7 

13. (55) Benjamin Pedersen, Dallara-Chevy, 219.100
14. (14) Santino Ferrucci, Dallara-Chevy, 218.892


15. (3) Scott McLaughlin, Dallara-Chevy, 218.765
16. (8) Marcus Ericsson, Dallara-Honda, 218.698


17. (77) Callum Ilott, Dallara-Chevy, 218.427
18. (33) Ed Carpenter, Dallara-Chevy, 218.375

ROW 10

19. (78) Agustin Canapino, Dallara-Chevy, 218.367
20. (27) Kyle Kirkwood, Dallara-Honda, 218.227

ROW 11

21. (06) Helio Castroneves, Dallara-Honda, 218.196
22. (60) Simon Pagenaud, Dallara-Honda, 218.103

ROW 12

23. (51) Sting Ray Robb, Dallara-Honda, 217.676
24. (15) Graham Rahal, Dallara-Honda, 217.611

ROW 13

25. (20) Conor Daly, Dallara-Chevy, 217.457
26. (21) Rinus VeeKay, Dallara-Chevy, 216.880

ROW 14

27. (45) Christian Lundgaard, Dallara-Honda, 216.210
28. (30) Jack Harvey, Dallara-Honda, 216.103