Felix Rosenqvist will start the Indianapolis 500 from the front row of the grid for the first time of his career after qualifying third – 0.1 mph shy of pole position – for the Greatest Spectacle in Racing.
Storming through to the decisive Fast Six segment after leading the preceding two sessions on qualifying weekend, Rosenqvist was the last driver to run in Sunday’s pole decider and produced a new personal best average of 234.114 mph (376.7 km/h) across his final four-lap attempt.
The effort came agonisingly close to pole, but ultimately turned out fractions slower than rivals Alex Palou and Rinus VeeKay, leaving Rosenqvist third on the grid for next Sunday’s race.
The gap to pole-setter Palou (234.217 mph) amounted to 0.1 mph across ten miles (16 km) of flat-out driving; the equivalent of 0.07 of a second.
All top three drivers lapped below the previous pole position record, making it the fastest front row in Indy 500 history.
“Man, that was close!” says Felix Rosenqvist. “For whatever reason, it didn’t feel like we had quite the same speed in this run as the previous one. I’m not sure why; we’ll look into that. Anyway, it’s phenomenal to be on the front row for the Indy 500. Big thanks to Arrow McLaren and Chevrolet. It’s so tight at the front and I’m super proud of the team. Everyone got behind us for this one to try and squeeze everything out of this beautiful #6 car.”
Rosenqvist will line up as the top Arrow McLaren driver in the field, and becomes only the second Swede in history to start the Indianapolis 500 from the front row, matching Kenny Bräck’s best starting slot of third in 1998.
“Now this torture is over, especially for the guys,” Felix Rosenqvist concludes. “It’s good fun being in the car, but the crew have worked so hard over the weekend to put us in this fantastic position. They deserve a little bit of a breather, even though we’re back on track again tomorrow. Now it’s a big switch back to race mode and going for the win next Sunday.”
All 33 qualified cars will return to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Monday for a two-hour practice session to start off race week. The 107th Running of the Indianapolis 500 goes green on Sunday, May 28.
When it happens: Full Indy 500 time table
NTT INDYCAR SERIES | Rd. 6
107th Indianapolis 500 – Qualifying
Indianapolis Motor Speedway (USA)
1: Alex Palou (ESP), Chip Ganassi Racing, 234.217 mph
2: Rinus Veekay (NED), Ed Carpenter Racing, 234.211 mph
3: Felix Rosenqvist (SWE), Arrow McLaren, 234.114 mph
4: Santino Ferrucci (USA), Foyt Racing, 233.661 mph
5: Pato O’Ward (MEX), Arrow McLaren, 233.158 mph