Welcome back to happier times, Felix Rosenqvist.
The Arrow McLaren SP driver rocketed to pole at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday with his No. 7 Chevy, claiming the fastest average speed set among the 27 drivers in attendance with a run to 221.110mph. St. Petersburg polesitter and race winner Scott McLaughlin came close to dethroning the Swede in the No. 3 Chevy, but came up just short at a 221.096mph average to give the Bowtie a lockout of the front row.
“I definitely feel I have some unfinished business,” Rosenqvist said of Texas, where he ran well in last year’s doubleheader event but left with finishes of P13 and P16. “It was a good run. It was kind of exciting there. So far, so good.”
Takuma Sato authored the biggest surprise of qualifying with a trip to third for Dale Coyne Racing with Rick Ware Racing in the No. 51 Honda (221.094mph) – good enough for the front row until McLaughlin went last and knocked the two-time Indy 500 winner down one spot.
Like Sato, veterans dominated the rest of the top six as Penske’s Will Power (221.016mph), Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon (221.011mph) and Meyer Shank Racing’s Helio Castroneves (220.768mph) followed.
After Sato, the next remarkable performance came from the smallest team in the series as rookie Callum Ilott qualified 20th in the No. 77 Honda, ahead of oval expert Ed Carpenter (P21), vaunted rookie Kyle Kirkwood (P23) and the entire A.J. Foyt Racing team, plus the entire Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing team.
UP NEXT: Tire Scrubbing Session, 4-4:30 p.m., Final Practice 4:45-5:45 ET