MONTEREY, Calif. (Saturday, Sept. 9, 2023) – Arrow McLaren posted stickers reading “THANK YOU FRO” inside the car of Felix Rosenqvist this weekend at the season-ending Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey.
After NTT P1 Award qualifying Saturday, the team has even more reason to thank the Swedish driver.
Rosenqvist won the pole for the NTT INDYCAR SERIES season finale in his last race with Arrow McLaren, turning a lap of 1 minute, 6.6416 seconds in the team’s No. 6 Chevrolet during the Firestone Fast Six. It’s the second NTT P1 Award this season and fifth career pole for Rosenqvist, who will move to Meyer Shank Racing next season.
“This is our last race together tomorrow, so what a way to get that going,” Rosenqvist said. “Especially here, track position is super important. We couldn’t have given ourselves a better opportunity.”
Rosenqvist will try to earn his second career win and first with Arrow McLaren in the 95-lap race Sunday. Live coverage starts at 2:30 p.m. ET on NBC, Peacock, Telemundo Deportes on Universo and the INDYCAR Radio Network.
Scott McLaughlin will join Rosenqvist on the front row after his qualifying lap of 1:06.6513 in the No. 3 XPEL Team Penske Chevrolet. McLaughlin just missed unseating Rosenqvist from the top spot on the last flying lap of the Firestone Fast Six, almost overcoming a mistake at the start of his hot lap.
“I dropped a wheel at (Turn) 10, the fast right-hander, just trying to get that extra little bit,” McLaughlin said. “The car was mega. I really feel bad for these guys on the XPEL Chevy. Congrats to Felix. It’s pretty awesome he got his last pole with the team there.”
Christian Lundgaard qualified third at 1:06.7478 in the No. 45 Hy-Vee Honda of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing. The Firestone Fast Six was a case of what could have been for Lundgaard, who bounced inside the apex of the famous Corkscrew corner on his penultimate qualifying run, losing time on a lap that appeared to be headed for pole.
Lundgaard also set an INDYCAR SERIES track record of 1:06.4610 during the second round of qualifying, breaking Helio Castroneves’ record of 1:07.722 set in 2000. The 11-turn, 2.238-mile road course was repaved this May, with extra grip leading to quicker times and higher speeds.
Two-time series champion Josef Newgarden qualified fourth at 1:06.7937 in the No. 2 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet.
Six-time series champion Scott Dixon will start on the inside of Row 3 after qualifying fifth at 1:07.0171 in the No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda. Alex Palou, who clinched his second season championship last Sunday at Portland, qualified sixth at 1:07.2846 in the No. 10 The American Legion Honda of Chip Ganassi Racing. Palou earned a spot in the Firestone Fast Six for the ninth time this season.
Juri Vips was the top rookie qualifier, seventh in the No. 30 Mi-Jack Honda of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing. Former Formula 2 driver Vips made his NTT INDYCAR SERIES debut last weekend at Portland.
One of the biggest surprises in the first round of qualifying was the elimination of Colton Herta, who led practice Friday in the No. 26 Gainbridge Honda fielded by Andretti Autosport w/Curb-Agajanian. Herta, who will start 15th, won this race from the pole in 2019 and 2021.
A 30-minute practice at noon ET will precede the race, with live coverage on Peacock and the INDYCAR Radio Network.
Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey Qualifying Results
- (6) Felix Rosenqvist, Chevrolet, 01:06.6416 (120.897 mph)
- (3) Scott McLaughlin, Chevrolet, 01:06.6513 (120.880)
- (45) Christian Lundgaard, Honda, 01:06.7478 (120.705)
- (2) Josef Newgarden, Chevrolet, 01:06.7937 (120.622)
- (9) Scott Dixon, Honda, 01:07.0171 (120.220)
- (10) Alex Palou, Honda, 01:07.2846 (119.742)
- (30) Juri Vips, Honda, 01:06.8300 (120.557)
- (21) Rinus VeeKay, Chevrolet, 01:06.9172 (120.400)
- (12) Will Power, Chevrolet, 01:06.9282 (120.380)
- (28) Romain Grosjean, Honda, 01:07.1292 (120.019)
- (14) Santino Ferrucci, Chevrolet, 01:07.4479 (119.452)
- (5) Pato O’Ward, Chevrolet, 01:07.9392 (118.588)
- (78) Agustin Canapino, Chevrolet, 01:07.4009 (119.535)
- (15) Graham Rahal, Honda, 01:07.2323 (119.835)
- (26) Colton Herta, Honda, 01:07.4666 (119.419)
- (11) Marcus Armstrong, Honda, 01:07.3726 (119.586)
- (7) Alexander Rossi, Chevrolet, 01:07.5425 (119.285)
- (27) Kyle Kirkwood, Honda, 01:07.4029 (119.532)
- (8) Marcus Ericsson, Honda, 01:07.6149 (119.157)
- (77) Callum Ilott, Chevrolet, 01:07.5183 (119.328)
- (60) Tom Blomqvist, Honda, 01:07.7419 (118.934)
- (18) David Malukas, Honda, 01:07.7816 (118.864)
- (55) Benjamin Pedersen, Chevrolet, 01:07.7583 (118.905)
- (51) Sting Ray Robb, Honda, 01:07.8639 (118.720)
- (20) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Chevrolet, 01:11.0620 (113.377)
- (29) Devlin DeFrancesco, Honda, 01:07.9083 (118.642)
- (06) Helio Castroneves, Honda, No Time (No Speed)