INDIANAPOLIS — The big thing heading into this weekend’s GMR Grand Prix (3 p.m. ET, NBC, INDYCAR Radio Network) at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway was if Arrow McLaren SP could race their way to a podium. We know they can qualify well. That’s not in question. Could the finish well was.
Felix Rosenqvist had 3 straight top 6 qualifying efforts on the season. He’s just had no top 10’s all year either. Pato O’Ward qualified on the pole here last year but faded to 5th. In 6 starts around the 2.439-mile road course, he’s never had a podium. Is this the year?
They looked good on Friday. O’Ward was quickest in Practice 2 while Rosenqvist was 8th. Each made the Fast 6 and while O’Ward look strong early in the final qualifying session, he just didn’t have enough on the used reds to get it done.
“We had a very good day today,” O’Ward said. “We didn’t quite get it done in the Firestone Fast Six. We were as quick as anybody on fresh reds but we missed it a little bit on used reds. I think we could have been a bit faster but in the end, we didn’t have enough for pole. I’m happy that we are starting toward the front, that’s important in IndyCar. I’m also happy to have Felix up there with me. We are going to look to have a good race tomorrow.”
Rosenqvist, starts 6th in his No. 7 Dallara-Chevrolet. He was frustrated though as he felt like he left a little bit on the table.
“It’s a good qualifying streak for the No. 7 Vuse Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet,” he said. “It’s always frustrating when your last lap isn’t good, I screwed it up in the last corner. It felt like we were really good on the new tires but we took a lot of life out of them. I think we had a little bit more today but it was another solid qualifying, which is what we need. It will be fun.”
Still, they’re in the hunt. 80% of the last 40 natural road course races were won by someone in the Fast Six.