Felix Rosenqvist has an infectious smile. Sadly, it hasn’t been seen very often over the last year, but after his strong run to pole on Saturday at Texas Motor Speedway, the Swede was all smiles—beaming pride and confidence—after celebrating his run to P1 in qualifying.
The driver of Arrow McLaren SP’s No. 7 Chevy has a lot more work to do tomorrow during the Xpel 375 if he’s going to earn a second career NTT IndyCar Series win, so the celebrations were kept short and sweet on Saturday. Nonetheless, the sight of Rosenqvist posing for pole photos and addressing the media after enduring a brutal 2021 season where nothing went right was, in a word, heartwarming.
“Oh, it’s great man. I don’t think it could have been better timing,” he told RACER. “Obviously we still have a race to do, but it was good to prove to yourself that you can get a pole. Around this place, you need some balls to accomplish that. So it was really cool feeling a lot of adrenaline. I’m super stoked for the team just to know we’re good. We’re P1; this qually [performance] goes a long way for everyone on No. 7 car.”
Rosenqvist earned the first pole of his IndyCar career in 2019 on the IMS road course and won his first race the following year at Road America. If there was any question to whether he still had the speed to run up front, it was removed with a two-lap average of 221.110mph in qualifying.
“I think in IndyCar, we’re all really good drivers and we’re used to winning and taking poles and being up there and when you don’t do that for a long time, you can hurt your confidence,” he said. “And that’s why it feels really good. It’s great feeling.”