IndyCar Indy road course starting lineup: Felix Rosenqvist charges to pole for McLaren

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Indy road course starting lineup: Felix Rosqnevist captured his third career pole position Friday in the No. 7 Dallara-Chevrolet at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, where the championship race took several interesting turns.

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

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

TIRE DESIGNATIONS: Click here to see the starting lineup’s compound selection for the green flag

QUALIFYING RESULTS: Click here for the full report from Indy road course l Round 1, Group 1 l Round 1, Group 2 l Round 2 l Fast Six

INDY ROAD COURSEHow 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 did that lap that it was the one. Big, big thanks to the team. Really good car.”

Alexander Rossi was second 0.2765 seconds behind Rosenqvist, the second-biggest margin from first to second on a road or street course this season (Colton Herta won the Long Beach pole by 0.4455 seconds).

“That’s a huge effort from Felix,” said Rossi, who will start a career-best second on the IMS road course 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’ve had here as a team. We had a good test here last month and very relieved it translated.”

Pato O’Ward, Rosenqvist’s teammate, qualified third, followed by Penske teammates Will Power and Josef Newgarden, who had been cleared to drive Thursday after being hospitalized last week.

The two-time series champion took a serious points hit when he crashed while leading last Sunday at Iowa Speedway (in a race won by O’Ward). Newgarden would have entered Indy with the points lead if he’d won (and swept 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 nightmarish qualifying session.

After stopping on track in Turn 6 with a mechanical problem on a warmup lap, Ericsson was unable to make a qualifying lap. His No. 8 Dallara-Honda will start last in a 25-car field.

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

Power leads all drivers with five victories on the IMS road course and seems poised to strike in the title hunt starting in the top two rows.

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


ROW 1

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

ROW 2

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

ROW 3

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

ROW 4

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

ROW 5

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

ROW 6

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

ROW 7

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

ROW 8

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

ROW 9

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

ROW 10

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

ROW 11

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

ROW 12

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

ROW 13

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