INDIANAPOLIS — It was a Jekyll and Hyde kind of 24 hours for Arrow McLaren SP. 2 of their 3 cars made up 2 of the 3 spots on the provisional front row for next Sunday’s 106th Running of the Indianapolis 500 (11 a.m. ET, NBC, INDYCAR Radio Network). They felt like they had a great chance at the front row again on Sunday. However, not only did they not get on the top row here at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, they’ll both come from Row 3 at that.
Pato O’Ward went from 2nd on Saturday to 7th on Sunday with a four-lap average of 232.705 mph in his No. 5 Dallara-Chevrolet. That’s down from 233.037 mph which he set as the opening qualifier on Saturday. That proved to likely play a huge role in his Day 1 speed in comparison to his Day 2 as the third year driver was hoping for a bit more going into his qualifying run.
“We qualified seventh for the big show,” O’Ward said. “Honestly, I expected a bit more. We had very solid qualifying runs up until this point, so we are analyzing what happened on this qualifying run. It’s unfortunate but some things are out of your control. The team did a great job to put that car in a good place, and we had great balance, probably the best we’ve had all week. We’re in a good position to fight for the win on Sunday.”
For Felix Rosenqvist he was ho-hum about this effort. He’ll start 8th (232.182 mph) in his No. 7 Dallara-Chevrolet.
“I have mixed feelings about today,” said the Swedish driver. “Waking up this morning, I was kind of dreaming about being on the pole. We lost a lot of speed this morning in practice so I think we had a pretty good turnaround to finish eighth. That’s a good place to start the race, which is the most important thing. We can win from there.”
This is the best qualifying efforts here for the ‘500 for both drivers. It’s also a rare feat for them in the sense that they started in Row 3 next to each other in the Grand Prix last weekend and now in Row 3 against next to each other here.