Rosenqvist, Palou convert poles to wins before Thermal feature

Felix Rosenqvist earned Meyer Shank Racing’s first IndyCar pole position and held onto it for the entirety of the first heat race and captured the team’s first win, albeit in a non-points heat race, as the Swede held off Team Penske’s Scott McLaughlin to claim victory with the No. 60 Honda.

With the heat race transfer moving the top six drivers into the $1 Million Challenge, it was Rosenqvist, McLaughlin, Penske’s Josef Newgarden, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s Christian Lundgaard, Juncos Hollinger Racing’s Agustin Canapino, and Andretti Global’s Colton Herta playing through to the finale.

Contact happened before the 14 drivers arrived at Turn 1 as Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon tipped JHR’s Romain Grosjean into a spin, who pirouetted across the Turn 1 apex and hit Ed Carpenter Racing’s Rinus VeeKay who in turn hit Lundgaard. Grosjean and VeeKay were out on the spot.


“Who’s going to pay for the damage?” Grosjean asked. “We do nothing wrong and the car is completely smashed.”

Dixon was given a drive-through penalty for the infraction, which ended his chances of transferring through to the final. Due to the caution period needed to remove Grosjean’s car, the 10-lap (or 20-minute) race format saw the first heat limited to eight laps.

The second heat was similar to the first, minus the Turn 1 contact, as polesitter Alex Palou led Ganassi teammate Marcus Armstrong, RLL’s Graham Rahal, Ganassi’s Linus Lundqvist—in qualifying order—across the finish line.

The battle in the 10-lap contest was over the final transfer spots as Pietro Fittipaldi, who started sixth, improved to fifth and Arrow McLaren’s Alexander Rossi, who started seventh, barged his way past MSR’s Tom Blomqvist and sealed the all-important sixth place to take part in the run for the money which starts at 10:59am PT.



Story originally appeared on Racer