Saturday June 3rd, 2023 10:35AM

Rosenqvist paces historic first day of qualifying at Indy

By IndyCar Media
  Contact Editor

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - Felix Rosenqvist led a historic day of qualifying Saturday for the 107th Indianapolis 500, turning the third-fastest four-lap qualifying run in history to lead the 12 drivers who will compete for the pole on Sunday.

Rosenqvist’s second run of the day, at 4:42 p.m. ET, featured a four-lap average speed of 233.947 mph in the No. 6 Arrow McLaren Chevrolet. Only Arie Luyendyk’s all-time record run of 236.986 in 1996 and Scott Dixon’s pole run of 234.048 last year were faster.

The Swede’s first attempt, at 11:55 a.m., clocked in at 233.099.

“Super proud of the whole team for executing,” Rosenqvist said. “That last run we did was just phenomenal. Almost in a 234 average. That was pretty mind-blowing how we found so much speed. We weren’t super happy on our first run, so we had two or three reasons to think we were going to go quicker. We kind of put them all together. Wow, what a run.

“Yeah, just a fun time to be in Arrow McLaren right now. Everything kind of resets for tomorrow, but we’re definitely feeling good right now.”

Rosenqvist’s teammate Alexander Rossi was second at 233.528, and Alex Palou was third at 233.398. Rinus VeeKay was fourth at 233.395, Dixon fifth at 233.375.

Tony Kanaan, making his final NTT IndyCar Series start in this race, was sixth at 233.347. Arrow McLaren put all four of its cars in the top eight today, while Chip Ganassi Racing put its four in the top 10.

Katherine Legge made history with her qualifying run, turning the fastest single qualifying lap and four-lap qualifying average by a female driver in Indy 500 history. Her fastest lap of 231.627 broke the record of 230.201 set by Simona de Silvestro in 2021, and her four-lap average of 231.070 eclipsed the mark of 229.439 set by Sarah Fisher in 2002 and secured the final locked-in starting spot of the day, 30th.

While positions 13-30 were locked into the field today, qualifying continues Sunday with the Firestone Fast Six runs for the NTT P1 Award and the pressure of making the 33-car field in Last Chance Qualifying.

The 12 fastest drivers from today will participate in Top 12 Qualifying from 2-3 p.m. ET, with the six fastest from that session competing for the pole in Firestone Fast Six Qualifying from 5:15-5:45 p.m. In between those two sessions, the four slowest drivers from today will compete for the final three spots in the field in Last Chance Qualifying from 4-5 p.m.

Participants in Top 12 Qualifying are Rosenqvist, Rossi, Palou, VeeKay, Dixon, Kanaan, two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Takuma Sato (233.322 mph), Pato O’Ward (233.252), Santino Ferrucci (233.147), reigning “500” winner Marcus Ericsson (233.030), rookie Benjamin Pedersen (232.739) and reigning series champion Will Power (232.719).

Last Chance Qualifying will feature Rahal Letterman Lanigan drivers Christian Lundgaard (231.056), Jack Harvey (230.098) and Graham Rahal (228.526), along with rookie Sting Ray Robb (229.955).

History was made almost as quickly as the 34 cars circled the 2.5-mile oval today under sunny skies and temperatures in the mid-70s.

Besides Rosenqvist’s epic run and Legge’s history-making laps, Pedersen’s four-lap average was the second-fastest ever by a rookie, topped only by the 233.100 turned by Tony Stewart in 1996. The first lap of Pedersen’s run, 233.297, was the fastest ever by an Indy 500 rookie.

The number of qualifying attempts in a single day was the final record to fall on a frantic day of nearly non-stop attempts during the six-hour, 50-minute session. There were 84 qualifying attempts Saturday, shattering the mark of 73 set in 2019.

Five drivers endured the pressure of four qualifying attempts in one day: Colton Herta, Lundgaard, David Malukas, Rahal and Robb.

On-track action Sunday starts with Top 12 Qualifying Practice from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., followed by Last Chance Qualifying practice from 12:30-1:30 p.m., with coverage of both sessions on Peacock and the INDYCAR Radio Network.

The 107th Indianapolis 500 is scheduled for Sunday, May 28.

WDUN will carry live IndyCar Radio Network coverage of the 107th running of the Indianapolis 500 from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday, May 28, beginning at noon on 102.9 FM, at 1 pm on AM 550 and streaming live on AccessWDUN.

NTT IndyCar Series
Indianapolis Motor Speedway – Indianapolis, IN
Indianapolis 500 – May 20, 2023

Day 1 Qualifying Results

1. (6) Felix Rosenqvist, Dallara-Chevy, 02:33.8810 (233.947 MPH)
2. (7) Alexander Rossi, Dallara-Chevy, 02:34.1569 (233.528 MPH)
3. (10) Alex Palou, Dallara-Honda, 02:34.2432 (233.398 MPH)
4. (21) Rinus VeeKay, Dallara-Chevy, 02:34.2449 (233.395 MPH)
5. (9) Scott Dixon, Dallara-Honda, 02:34.2584 (233.375 MPH)
6. (66) Tony Kanaan, Dallara-Chevy, 02:34.2768 (233.347 MPH)
7. (11) Takuma Sato, Dallara-Honda, 02:34.2932 (233.322 MPH)
8. (5) Pato O’Ward, Dallara-Chevy, 02:34.3394 (233.252 MPH)
9. (14) Santino Ferrucci, Dallara-Chevy, 02:34.4093 (233.147 MPH)
10. (8) Marcus Ericsson, Dallara-Honda, 02:34.4866 (233.030 MPH)
11. (55) Benjamin Pedersen, Dallara-Chevy, 02:34.6797 (232.739 MPH)
12. (12) Will Power, Dallara-Chevy, 02:34.6932 (232.719 MPH)
13. (33) Ed Carpenter, Dallara-Chevy, 02:34.7128 (232.689 MPH)
14. (3) Scott McLaughlin, Dallara-Chevy, 02:34.7206 (232.677 MPH)
15. (27) Kyle Kirkwood, Dallara-Honda, 02:34.7311 (232.662 MPH)
16. (20) Conor Daly, Dallara-Chevy, 02:34.8833 (232.433 MPH)
17. (2) Josef Newgarden, Dallara-Chevy, 02:34.9039 (232.402 MPH)
18. (23) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Dallara-Chevy, 02:35.0837 (232.133 MPH)
19. (28) Romain Grosjean, Dallara-Honda, 02:35.1744 (231.997 MPH)
20. (06) Helio Castroneves, Dallara-Honda, 02:35.2032 (231.954 MPH)
21. (26) Colton Herta, Dallara-Honda, 02:35.2055 (231.951 MPH)
22. (60) Simon Pagenaud, Dallara-Honda, 02:35.2539 (231.878 MPH)
23. (18) David Malukas, Dallara-Honda, 02:35.3270 (231.769 MPH)
24. (98) Marco Andretti, Dallara-Honda, 02:35.3857 (231.682 MPH)
25. (24) Stefan Wilson, Dallara-Chevy, 02:35.4083 (231.648 MPH)
26. (29) Devlin DeFrancesco, Dallara-Honda, 02:35.6061 (231.353 MPH)
27. (78) Agustin Canapino, Dallara-Chevy, 02:35.6287 (231.320 MPH)
28. (77) Callum Ilott, Dallara-Chevy, 02:35.7212 (231.182 MPH)
29. (50) R.C. Enerson, Dallara-Chevy, 02:35.7574 (231.129 MPH)
30. (44) Katherine Legge, Dallara-Honda, 02:35.7971 (231.070 MPH)

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