Rosenqvist roars to Texas pole

Joe Skibinski / Penske Entertainment

Felix Rosenqvist broke 221 MPH to claim pole position for tomorrow’s Xpel 375 at the Texas Motor Speedway.

The 30-year-old Swede had the advantage of qualifying his No. 7 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet in the qualifying order under rising temperatures. He proceeded to rocket around the 1.45 mile oval at a 221.110 mph average and held off a quick run by St. Petersburg winner Scott McLaughlin to take the top spot.

Rosenqvist described the waiting game as agonizing but elated over the result.

“Doing that early is just killing you,” said the 2019 NTT IndyCar Series rookie of the year. “A couple of guys were within thousandths.

I knew that lap was as good as I could have made it and it was so hard to wait for so long. This is huge for the team and myself. Big comeback after some tough times so I’m really pleased for everyone on my team to get this result.”

The pole is Rosenqvist’s first since the 2019 GMR Grand Prix of Indianapolis and his first on an oval.

Scott McLaughlin kept the Swede on his heels by coming up .003 of a mph short and settled for second place.

McLaughlin’s run knocked 2019 Texas pole sitter Takuma Sato to third ahead of 2-time Texas winner Will Power in fourth while five-time Texas winner Scott Dixon rounded out the top five. A pair of former Texas winners occupy the fourth row as 4-time winner Helio Castroneves took seventh ahead of Josef Newgarden in eighth.

Colton Herta was the lone Andretti Autosport representative in the top ten in ninth while Rosenqvist’s teammate and defending race winner Pato O’Ward completed the top ten.

The seven drivers making their debut at TMS found themselves mired in the field. Andretti Autosport teammates Romain Grojean and Devlin DeFrancesco slotted in 13th and 18th respectively. Jimmie Johnson’s anticipated oval debut ended in 18th place ahead of David Malukas in 19th and Callum Ilott in 20th.

Christian Lundgaard buoyed the rookie squad in 25th just behind Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing teammate Jack Harvey in 24th. The pair’s 2016 Texas-winning teammate Graham Rahal ended the day last on the grid in 27th.

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