INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Felix Rosenqvist continued to fight for his seat in the IndyCar Series with a pole-winning run on the road course at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The Swede earned his second pole of the season with a run of 1 minute, 10.2265 seconds in Friday qualifying. It’s the second pole of the season for Rosenqvist, who is making the case for keeping his ride in IndyCar with Arrow McLaren SP.
The contract extension he recently signed with McLaren Racing gives boss Zak Brown the ability to shift Rosenqvist to Formula E next season — but Rosenqvist doesn’t want to leave IndyCar. Brown has four current IndyCar drivers signed — Rosenqvist, Pato O’Ward, Alexander Rossi and reigning champion Alex Palou — for three seats.
Rossi, who is in his final season driving for Andretti Autosport, qualified second for Saturday afternoon’s race. He is moving to Arrow McLaren next year when it expands to three cars.
O’Ward, who won Sunday at Iowa Speedway, qualified third and rushed to hug teammate Rosenqvist after Rosenqvist edged him for the pole. O’Ward is lobbying hard to keep Rosenqvist as his teammate in IndyCar.
“It’s a great team result,” O’Ward said of the first and third starting spots for the Chevrolet team.
“Super happy to see that for Felix. He deserves that, he’s been working super hard.”
Will Power qualified fourth for Team Penske and was followed by teammate Josef Newgarden, who was medically cleared to compete earlier Friday. Newgarden collapsed and hit his head after crashing while leading Sunday at Iowa.
Christian Lundgaard qualified sixth for Rahal Letterman Lanigan.
The title race is a toss-up among six drivers separated by 44 points with five races remaining. Indianapolis 500 winner Marcus Ericsson is the points leader, but his car stalled during qualifying and he’ll start last Saturday in the 25-car field.
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