Rosenqvist Leads Fast 12

Photo by Kyle McInnes

Fekix Rosenqvist edged Santino Ferrucci by 17 hundredths of a mile per hour to take first in the Fast 12 shotout. Ferrucci, who was the fourth car on track, set the pace with a233.911 mph average. The next seven cars failed to reach the bar he set. Rosenqvist, the last car on ntrack, beat Ferrucci with a better fourth lap. The Arrow McLaren driver had a last lap of 233.623 mph, while Ferricci’s final trip around the oval was 233.154 mph.

Eliminated from pole contention were Alexander Rossi, Takuma Sato, Tony Kanaan, Marcus Ericsson, Benjamin Pedersen, and Will Power.

The Fast Six

The Fast Six, who will run for the pole at 5 pm Eastern today:

Only two Hondas made the final round. The pole shootout inckudes two cars from arrow McLaren, two from Ganassi, and one each from Foyt and Carpenter.

Cars wil again qualify in inverse order of speed.

Qualifications Wrap Up- Rosenqvist Leads; RLL Struggles

Photo by Kyle McInnes

Drama abounded at both ends of the field at IMS today. Alexander Rossi led for most of the day after first hour runwith a 233.528 mph run. In mid afternoon Felix Rosenqvist ran a 233.947 average to take the top spot.Rosenqvist’s average is the third fastest average in Speedway history.

The fast 12 who have a shot at the pole tomorrow:



Alex Palou

Rinus VeeKay

Scott Dixon

Tony Kanaan

Takuma Sato

Pato O’Ward

Santino Ferrucci

Marcus Ericsson

Benjamin Pedersen

Will Power

Thre entire teams- Ganassi, McLaren, and Foyt- will try for the pole tomorrow.

Perhaps a bigger surprise than two Foyt cars making the second nround s that only car from Team Penske and just one from Carpenter advance.

Ate the end of the field, the Rahal cars struggled to reach the 230 mph mark needed to crack the fastest 30. With Katherine Legge and Christian Lundgaard 29th and 30th, the team cars would be knocking each other out. In the end, only Legge survived.

The Coyne team also struggled, with David Malukas and Sting Ray Robb on the outside for the majority of the day. Malukas finally found nthe speed in the last 30 minutes and ended in the 23rd spot.

The last chance shootout features three Rahal cars- Lundgaard, Jack Harvey, and Graham Rahal- and Coyb=ne rookie StingRay Robb. It could be a tough day for RLL.

Where Is Andretti

Kyle Kirkwood in 15th was the fastest for Andretti Autosport. Romain Grosjean and Colton Herta bookend Row7. The bteam has been great on street and road courses, but their oval program is lacking. T\Andretti dominated IMS in the mid teens. Now they struggle to be competitive.


Today saw a record number of first day qualification attempts. The field made 82 runs.

Attendance looked to be one of the larger fist day qualifications crowds in a few years.

Tomorrow’s weather should be much warmer.

Today made me a fan of this format. There was continuous action and lots of drama on both ends of the grid. I still think some tweaks can be made, but today held my interest,

Two teams deserve special recognition. A. J. Foytb Racing for getting both cars int eh second round, Juncos Hollinger Racing for preparing the new chassi for Callum I,ott in time for the morning practice and making the field.

Rosenqvist Repeats Texas Pole

Photo from Arrow McLaren Twitter account

Felix Rosenqvist earned his second straight pole at Texas Motor Speedway, recording the only two lap average above 220 miles per hour. The Arrow McLaren driver was the 10th driver to make a alifying run, and his laps came just before the track temperature began to significantly warm up.

The Arrow McLaren team had a strong day, with Alexander Rossi qualifying third and Pato O’Ward finishing the session in fifth.

Scott Dixon earned the fromnt row spot next to Rosenqvist. 0.292 miles per hour behind. Josef newgarden will start fourth.


Rosenqvist now has four career poles. Two are at Texas, and the other two are at the IMS road course. He has not won a race from pole.

Benjamin Pedersen led the rookies with his 13th place effort.

Takuma Sato didn’t need much time to get back up to speed. The two time Indianapolis 500 winner will start sixth in his first race of 2023.

RLL woes continue in qualifying. Graham rahal led the team and will start 19th. Christian Lungaard and Jack Harvey will start nin the last row.

Ed carpenter racing did not fare a lot better. Ed Carpenter starts 18th tomorrow, but Conor Daly and Rinus VeeKay make up row 13.

It was a respectable run for A. J> Foyt Racing with Pedersen in 13th and Santino Ferrucci in 14th.


Tickets Are Coming

From IMS:

O’Ward, Rosenqvist Help Send Blue Envelopes
of Indy 500 Tickets to Fans
INDIANAPOLIS (Wednesday, March 8, 2023) – The countdown to the 107th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge reached another special moment as the highly anticipated blue envelopes featuring Race Day tickets were mailed Wednesday, March 8 from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Ticket Office. The initial ticket mailing also received some assistance as Arrow McLaren teammates Pato O’Ward and Felix Rosenqvist, who finished second and fourth, respectively, in last year’s edition of “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing,” were part of the festivities of shipping more than 150,000 tickets.

The shipments extend to all 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia and 35 countries around the world as race fans eagerly await Indy 500 Race Day on Sunday, May 28. Both O’Ward and Rosenqvist also signed, sealed and sent a couple of envelopes to lucky fans that will set out for their respective homelands of Mexico and Sweden.

“I had no idea the process that it was for the physical tickets to get mailed,” said O’Ward, driver of the No. 5 Arrow McLaren Chevrolet.

“So, for me, it just screams and yells tradition, and the Indy 500 is all about tradition. I’m really happy that I got to do this, and I got to see what it’s all about. It’s not just a simple email. There’s a lot of meaning to that ticket. People collect them. People have them at home. They keep them at home, and I think that’s very special.”

It takes approximately nine weeks to package all pre-ordered tickets for mailing, from orders the day after the previous year’s race up to current orders. Hard work from employees in the Ticket Office and other Penske Entertainment Corp. departments ensures the ticketing process runs smoothly and on schedule.

A few facts and figures about this year’s initial ticket mailing:

Number of tickets sent: More than 150,000 Race Day tickets (includes Race Day tickets, parking, concert tickets, etc.)

Number of blue envelopes sent: More than 25,000

Number of U.S. Postal Service trays to accommodate envelopes: More than 580

Weight of all ticket envelopes and trays in first mailing: More than 5,000 pounds

Hours needed to fill envelopes by hand: More than 880 person-hours

Number of working days to package envelopes: 43

Number of Penske Entertainment employees who fill envelopes: 43

Number of states distributed: 50

Number of countries distributed: 35 (including the United States)

Federal postal inspectors came to IMS with a large truck for the first mailing. O’Ward and Rosenqvist joined several IMS employees in helping load the trucks.

“Oh, it’s the most physical labor I’ve done in a while,” said a smiling Rosenqvist, driver of the No. 6 Arrow McLaren Chevrolet. “It’s pretty awesome. It’s a lot of tickets. When you go into that room, you’re like, ‘Wow.’ It gives you perspective on what a big event the Indy 500 is.

“It’s pretty cool to put a little personal touch to some of the envelopes and just being here with everyone from IMS just helping out. Sometimes you take for granted everything behind the scenes, but just a thing like mailing out the tickets is such a huge project, and I’m happy to be part of it. It’s cool; 81 days out, we’re getting closer.”

Receiving an eagerly awaited blue envelope in the mail is a rite of spring for thousands of fans of “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.” But why are the envelopes blue? In the 1970s, Indianapolis 500 tickets were mailed in brown envelopes with the IMS return address in the upper left corner. In the 1980s, a heavier-stock, gray-colored envelope was introduced to mail the tickets, with just the IMS Post Office box number in the upper left corner. A computerized printer also was used for the first time in the 1980s to print ticket customers’ name and address on each envelope.

When the NASCAR Cup Series was added to the IMS schedule in 1994, the Ticket Office needed a way to distinguish between the envelopes containing tickets for the Indianapolis 500 and the annual NASCAR race, especially if the Postal Service returned the envelope as non-deliverable. So, the IMS Ticket Office decided to color-code the ticket envelopes for each event. Indianapolis 500 ticket envelopes became blue, Brickyard Weekend envelopes became purple, GMR Grand Prix envelopes became green, and ticket envelopes for other IMS events use a variety of colors, including red, cream, gray and yellow.

Tickets for the 107th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge on Sunday, May 28, the GMR Grand Prix on Saturday, May 13 and all other Month of May events are available at or via the IMS Ticket Office at 317-492-6700.  

Indycar Season Preview-2023 Breakthroughs and Hot Seats

Today is the first in a series of preview articles as we head into the 2023 NTT Indycar Series season. Let’s take a look at four drivers who I think are going to have much improved years. Three are rookies from last year, and one young veteran I think is about to hit his stride. We will also look at some drivers who may be fighting for their jobs this year.

Drivers to Watch

Kyle Kirkwood

Kirkwood seems to be enjoying his new team. he has been quick in testing, as have his Andretti teammates. What remains to be seen is if his racecraft has improved. Last year Kirkwood sometimes tried too hard to overcome equipment deficits. the result was a lot of unforced errors and a 24th place finish in the final standings. He has the equipment and the team behind him to succeed this year. i expect to see a lot of the Kirkwood we saw on the Road to Indy in 2023. Will he win a race? I think that is possible, but not likely this season.

Christian Lundgaard

Lundgaard quietly earned Rookie of the Year in 2022, and showed steady improvement as the season went on. He earned seven Top 10 finishes, including two Top Fives and one podium. A year’s experience, backing by Hy-Vee, and an improving RLLteam should combine to see even better results for Lundgaard in 2023. I see him ending up in the TopTen at the end of the year.

David Malukas

A rough start to 2022 probably cost Malukas the Rookie of the Year title. He lost to Lundgaard by only 18 points. A driver who showed increasing maturity as the year progressed, Malukas drive to a brilliant second place at World Wide Technology Raceway. Malukas had one other top 10, at Iowa. He was the highest finishing rookie at the Indianapolis 500, but his lack of NASCAR titles cost him Indy Rookie of the Year. Of the three sophomores, I think Malukas is the most probable to eke out a win in 2023. Dale Coyne Racing doesn’t have the best equipment, but they know how to play the rules, and I think a race will fall his way.

Rinus VeeKay

It’s time for Rinus to stop teasing us. The potential is there for a breakout season. We have been waiting for the ECR driver to put together a solid, consistent season. VeeKay won the pole at Barber and finished third after a slow out lap following his second pit stop. He had a decent year in 2022 with six Top Tens and three Top Fives, but just one podium. Maybe we expect too much of VeeKay. I look for a top ten season finish and more regular top five appearances. A win is possible.

Hot Seats

Three drivers need to have really good seasons if they wish to stay in Indycar in 2024. One will be leaving his current team after the season, and this year is an audition for all the other teams. The other two have to show significant improvement in 2023.

Jack Harvey

We still aren’t sure what kind of a driver Jack Harvey is. Harvey had just one Top ten in 2022. That will not be good enough this coming season., I hoped for better results since he joined the series. For 2023, a different sponsor, different car number, and new crew may help Harvey rise to the level that fans have expected of him. I’m not expecting a win, but a final spot in the top 15 would be a significant improvement.

Romain Grosjean

I don’t know Grosjean’s contract status, but I thought when he joined Andretti, he would be a consistent contender for podiums and wins, 2022 was not a good year for Andretti overall, but I thought the former F1 driver would enhance their program. It didn’t happen. Grosjean has been quick in testing during the preseason, and he seems to feel the team has a better baseline heading into 2023. A win is possible, but more top five and top ten finishes are needed.

Felix Rosenqvist

Rosenqvist will depart Arrow McLaren at the end of 2023. In 2022,he had to fight to keep his job, and he showed himself to be up to the task. In 2023 his objective si to show the other teams that he belongs in Indycar. I think he does, and I have no doubt Rosenqvist will show well this season. A win will be tough given his teammates and the competition from other teams,but look for Rosenqvist to have a deal in place with a new team for 2024 before the season ends.

Palou, Rosenqvist Stay Put

In the end, it was much ado about nothing. Alex Palou and Felix Rosenqvist will stay with the teams they raced for in 2022 next year. In nearly simultaneous announcements, both drivers and teams declared that 2023 will be status quo.

Palou in Victory Circle Sunday

Palou had indicated mid- season that he had signed with McLaren on the heels of a Ganassi announcement that his contract with the team has been extended. Palou ended the season with a win in the final race of the year at Laguna Seca last Sunday. He was fifth in the final standings. From Palou’s Twitter account:

“I’m also grateful that @CGRTeams will allow me to pursue F1 testing with @McLarenF1 outside of my INDYCAR commitment.

·Thank you Chip, Mike and the entire team for your willingness to work together and help support both the team and my personal goals throughout this process. “

Rosenqvist’s ride with Arrow McLaren SP was on the line this past season. He finished eighth in the standings, one spot behind teammate Pato O’Ward. Rosenqvist had one pole this season, at Texas. He had signed an extension with the team, but it was not specific as to which series Rosenqvist would be assigned to.

In the team’s news release, Rosenqvist said,

“There’s no better way to enter the off-season than with this news! I love this team, and I’m so happy to continue working with all the incredible people I’ve gotten to know over the past two seasons. With everything the team has in the pipeline, the continuing relationship with Pato and the addition of Alex Rossi, we are going to bring our A-game for 2023. It will be the most exciting season for me so far. Let it be March already!”

Rosenqvist on Pole; The Future of AMSP 1-2-3

Felix Rosenqvist denied Will power a shot at history by winning the pole for tomorrow’s Gallagher Grand Prix. It was Rosenqvist’s second pole on the IMS road course, and his second of the season. Of more significance, Alexander Rossi, who will join AMSP in 2023, will start second, and Rosenqvist’s current teammate .Pato O’Ward, starts third. It is possible the three drivers will all be teammates next season.

Power remains one pole behind Mario Andretti with 66 career poles. he has four more opportunities this season to tie Andretti. Power is also one win behind Michael Andretti for third place in career victories with 41. He has a chance to get that mark tomorrow.

Rosenqvist doesn’t consider IMS his best track, but one that he and the team have worked to improve their performance here.

“I’ve been struggling a little bit here in the
races historically. I just feel like we’ve worked very hard as a team to improve this track as we go here twice a year, and at some point
last year we were like, guys, we need to improve at the
Indy GP because we’re struggling.
Since then every time we come back here I feel like we’re
just getting better and better. We had a test here a couple
of weeks ago where I think we found some really good
things, and we were pretty sure where we wanted to start
today in terms of setup, and yeah, it’s just been a smooth


The two rookies battling for Rookie of the Year both made the second sound. Christian Lundgaard, who leads David Malukas by four points, advanced to the Fast Six and will start sixth. Malukas will star 11th.

Points leader Marcus Ericsson shut off his car in turn on his first out lap when the crew noticed a problem on the telemetry. Ericsson will start last Saturday.

Professionals– Josef newgarden, Alexander Rossi, and Alex palou entered today with some baggage, but all three ust went about their business. Rossi qualified second, Newgarden fifth, and Palou seventh, just missing the Fast Six.

Newgarden was cleared to race after this morning’s practice. Rossi announced in June that he would leave Andretti Autosport to drive for AMSP next season. Palou is embroiled in a dispute as to whom he will drive for in 2023.

Ed Carpenter Racing continues to show signs of improvement in their road course program. Both Conor Daly and Rinus VeeKay made the second round. Daly led his group in round 1. VeeKay will line up eighth and Daly 10th.

The starting lineup:

Rosenqvist Stays with McLaren Team

Image from McLaren

The announcement doesn’t say whether he will remain in Indycar or move to Formula E, but it does confirm that Felix Rosenqvist has a job in the Mclaren family for 2023 and beyond.

The official news release from McLaren:

McLaren Racing has signed a multi-year deal with Felix Rosenqvist to remain on the team’s driver roster from 2023 and beyond.

McLaren Racing is currently in the process of evaluating its driver line-ups for 2023 with the newly formed McLaren Formula E Team set to embark on its debut season in the all-electric racing series and plans to expand Arrow McLaren SP into a three-car team with Felix set to be driving in one of the two series.

McLaren Racing is currently in the process of evaluating its driver line-ups for 2023 with the newly formed McLaren Formula E Team set to embark on its debut season in the all-electric racing series and plans to expand Arrow McLaren SP into a three-car team with Felix set to be driving in one of the two series.

Felix, from Värnamo, Sweden, joined Arrow McLaren SP in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES in 2021. Since joining the series in 2019, when he was named Rookie of the Year, Felix has secured three podiums and two pole positions. Felix recently finished the 106th Running of the Indianapolis 500 in an impressive fourth place, and currently occupies a spot in the top-10 among a competitive drivers’ championship.

Rosenqvist’s racing career also includes a stint in Formula E, having raced in the series for three seasons from 2016 to 2019, winning three races, securing six pole positions and seven podiums.

The full Arrow McLaren SP and McLaren Formula E 2023 driver line-ups will be confirmed in due course.

Felix Rosenqvist, said:

“I’m delighted to be remaining with McLaren for 2023 and beyond. With the team expanding into Formula E next season, it provides additional opportunities for me both in the USA and Europe and I look forward to being in a position to announce my plans in the coming weeks. I’ve loved my time with the Arrow McLaren SP Team in IndyCar driving the No. 7 car and we’ve had some great moments together, including securing pole earlier this year in Texas and coming home P4 in the Indy 500. I’m excited and grateful to be given this opportunity to explore the new options available to utilise my experience to help McLaren start 2023 on the strongest possible footing.”

Zak Brown, CEO, McLaren Racing, said:

“I’m delighted to be continuing our relationship with Felix. He’s a fantastic racer, with a lot of experience in many different types of racing cars. As a proven race winner in both categories, it was important for us to secure his talent withing the McLaren Racing family as we work to finalise our plans for 2023. His experience in Formula E would be invaluable as we head into this exciting new era of racing for McLaren Racing but he has also made a fantastic contribution to our IndyCar team. I look forward to working together with him to finalise the best opportunity for him next season.”

Rosenqvist’s Season Coming Together

Indycar photo by Joe Skibinski

Felix Rosenqvist believes his season is beginning to come together. He has qualified well, but errors in the races have held him back. He sees his sixth place finish in Saturday’s GMR Grand Prix as a positive sign, but he wasn’t completely satisfied.

“Yeah, it was a solid weekend,” the driver of the number 7 Arrow McLaren SP car said. “You know we we’ve had really good qualifying performance the last couple of races and I think last week and actually Barber half of the race was really good and then we made some mistakes and this race we were I think honestly we were the quickest on track and like all conditions and unfortunately we had a collision with Pato in the middle of the race.

“I’m still kind of bummed about it because I think we had a chance to win but it was good to be back in the top six for our season is very good. I think we had some momentum to run on this morning.”

Rosenqvist felt the first practice went well.

“Good, ” he said. ” Not really much to report. We didn’t do much traffic running. We just tried to like set up the car and make sure the car is fine for the weeks to come. And I felt good because I have a good baseline and we would know more and this afternoon when we were running traffic a bit more.”.

“I never really felt like this place is that green like you always come out the first run and you have pretty good grip and obviously the track grips up during the day.”

Rosenqvist said he will work on passing more this afternoon. He thinks it will be difficult to pass more than one car at a time.

“It seems like it’s very easy to pass one car. And then when you have two cars in front, it’s tricky. And then when you have three cars in front, it becomes really difficult. So you want to be up front no matter what’s you know. I think being second is probably the optimal spot in the race. Yeah, that’s the way it’s right now.”

This is a season on the brink fo rRosenqvist, but he is confident that the results will come.