Felix Rosenqvist held on from an early run slot to clinch a career milestone first oval-track pole position in NTT INDYCAR SERIES qualifying for the XPEL 375 at Texas Motor Speedway.
Narrowly fending off nearest rival Scott McLaughlin, who ran last in qualifying courtesy of winning the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, Rosenqvist edged to an emotional pole on Saturday that also coincides with his first as an Arrow McLaren SP driver.
The effort sees Rosenqvist become the first Swedish driver in 20 years to clinch pole at an oval track in the highest tier of American single-seater racing, following on from Kenny Bräck who led the qualifying times at an overseas visit to Britain’s Rockingham circuit in 2002.
Bräck was also the latest Swede to start out front at a USA-based oval, which he did at Michigan International Speedway in 2001.
“It’s an amazing feeling to be back here, out front,” says an elated Felix Rosenqvist. “I knew that run was pretty much as good as I could have made it, but oh my – it was hard to wait for so long to get it! This is huge for the team, and for myself. It’s a big confidence boost, and a big comeback after some tough times.
“I am immensely pleased for everyone on the team to get this result, and proud to have achieved one of my main personal targets over the last few years: a pole position at an oval. Now, though, let’s focus on the race.”
Saturday’s qualifying performance marks the second pole position of Rosenqvist’s NTT INDYCAR SERIES career. His first came at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course in 2019.
The XPEL 375 gets underway at 11:45 am local time (U.S. Central) on Sunday, with Rosenqvist set to lead the field to green ahead of 248 laps of racing.
NTT INDYCAR SERIES | Rd. 2
XPEL 375 – Qualifying
Texas Motor Speedway (USA)