Felix Rosenqvist suffered heartbreak in Sunday’s XPEL 375 at Texas Motor Speedway, with the Swede forced to retire from the second round of the NTT INDYCAR SERIES after leading the field to the green flag.
Rosenqvist started the 248-lap race from pole position – his first at an oval track – and initially slotted confidently into second place for the opening stages.
Things were running very much according to plan until just beyond the 100-lap mark, when first a troublesome pit stop caused the Arrow McLaren SP driver to slip down the order, and then a technical failure brought down the curtain for good on lap 138.
“It’s disappointing, of course,” says Felix Rosenqvist. “The car was fantastic at the beginning of the stint – probably the best of anyone – but we had a lot of deg on the front left tyre. It was down to the cord, so when we came into the pits it was virtually impossible to stop the car. I think both cars had the same issue, and we both overshot our marks. That was my mistake, and then I also had a separate problem on the right rear wheel to compound it all, and I rejoined in 15th or 16th.
“We were back up in 12th at the restart, and we were confident that we could still salvage a top five. Then something just broke on the rear and that was the end of the day for us. That’s something we definitely have to look into and fix, because no matter what happens in a race, obviously you can’t win it if you’re not in it.”
Despite the setback, which comes at the same track where Rosenqvist retired in similarly frustrating fashion when running second in the 2020 race, the Swede and his Arrow McLaren SP team can draw plenty of positives from a weekend of much promise.
“It’s another tough pill to swallow, especially starting from pole here at Texas where I already had unfinished business, but we’ll take comfort from the pace we’ve shown around here,” Felix Rosenqvist concludes. “I got the pole, and we set the fastest and second fastest lap of the race, so both cars were flying. That’s highly encouraging for the future. We will learn, improve, and come back even stronger!”
The next NTT INDYCAR SERIES event takes place at California’s Long Beach street track on April 10.
NTT INDYCAR SERIES | Rd. 2
Texas Motor Speedway (USA)
1: Josef Newgarden (USA), Penske, 248 laps
2: Scott McLaughlin (NZL), Penske, +0.067s
3: Marcus Ericsson (SWE), Ganassi, +1.354s
4: Will Power (AUS), Penske, +15.223s
5: Scott Dixon (NZL), Ganassi, +15.674s
DNF: Felix Rosenqvist (SWE), Arrow McLaren SP, +110 laps
NTT INDYCAR SERIES | After 2/17 races
1: Scott McLaughlin (NZL), Penske, 97 p.
2: Will Power (AUS), Penske, 69 p.
3: Alex Palou (ESP), Ganassi, 67 p.
4: Josef Newgarden (USA), Penske, 65 p.
5: Marcus Ericsson (SWE), Ganassi, 58 p.
19: Felix Rosenqvist (SWE), Arrow McLaren SP, 23 p.