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Rosenqvist’s Summer Audition Stays Strong

Rosenqvist's Summer Audition Stays Strong

Amid the long shadow of Scott Dixon who won the Honda Indy Toronto and put Mario Andretti for second on INDYCAR’s all-time win list, with 52 each, the drive of Dixon’s former Chip Ganassi Racing teammate, Felix, shone. Rosenqvist.

Rosenqvist used a bump-and-run pass on Alexander Rossi on lap 45 to finish a season-best third, which he hopes secures him a ride in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES next season.

Rosenqvist already knows he will drive for McLaren Racing, but it is not certain whether he will be in the No. 7 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet will remain in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES or return to Formula E where it was a race winner in the 2017-2018 season.

In recent weeks, McLaren Racing has announced the signings of Rossi, the 2016 Indianapolis 500 winner, and reigning champion Alex Palou, retaining Pato O’Ward. The wildcard in the case is the status of Palou, who Chip Ganassi Racing has also claimed for 2023.

“Yes, I think hopefully this weekend will make (team officials) question some things,” said Rosenqvist. “It’s still a long way to go in the year, but like I said, every race we get better and better. This is the trajectory I want to follow and I’m really looking forward to the rest of the season.”

Rosenqvist has finished in the top 10 of five of the past six races. Sunday’s podium at Exhibition Place was his first-place finish in the top three as an Arrow McLaren SP driver.

Graham Rahal, who finished fourth in Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s #15 United Rentals Honda, said Rosenqvist has no one to prove.

“That man is an exceptional talent,” Rahal said. “He belongs in INDYCAR racing and I hope he finds a place. I know if we had room at the inn (at RLLR) I would push for him (to get hired).”

Rosenqvist led the 85-lap race after starting eighth. But the pass that will be called into question came from Rossi as they rounded Turn 3 in a battle for third position. Rosenqvist got into Rossi and they collided as they climbed the hill towards Turn 4. Rossi lost his grip on his handlebars and Andretti Autosport’s No. 27 NAPA AUTO PARTS/AutoNation Honda hit the left wall and ended his race .

“It wasn’t big,” Rosenqvist said of the contact. “He also stays on the outside.”

The Swede went on to say Rossi was more at fault, although neither driver was penalized.

Rossi was clearly unhappy about the incident, but he has stopped criticizing a driver he will be working with in one form or another in 2023.

Rahal: fourth ‘Feels like a win’

Rahal was certainly pleased with fourth place after a difficult season for the organization co-owned by his father. His previous best finish this season was a few sevenths (in St. Petersburg and Long Beach).

“(Fourth) feels like a win, especially today I don’t think it was given,” Rahal said.

Indeed, Rahal started 14th after failing to make it out of the first lap of Saturday’s qualifying, even though it looked like he had a car that could go further.

Rahal praised his team for their commitment to the process.

“When you’re in the pit like (our team) has been and you’re being abused like we’ve been all over social media — even in the paddock everyone goes, ‘What the hell is wrong with you?'” Rahal said. . “Everyone expects more from us. We expect more from ourselves. For those guys to keep their chins up – have you seen the team’s smiles this weekend? That’s worth the price to me. The result is even better.

“I am super proud of them. (There is) a lot of heart in this program. Hopefully this is a kick-start to the great things to come.”

Next: Iowa Speedway Doubleheader

The NTT INDYCAR SERIES heads to Iowa Speedway for a weekend of racing and concerts.

Training begins Friday at 4:30 PM (ET) on Peacock Premium, with the Hy-Vee Deals.com Presented by Doordash on Saturday at 4:00 PM (ET) and the Hy-Vee Salute to Farmers 300 Presented by Google at 3:00 PM (NL) ) Sunday. Both races will be broadcast live on NBC and the INDYCAR Radio Network.

The return to the short oval in Newton, Iowa, features concerts from Tim McGraw and Florida Georgia Line on Saturday, Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton on Sunday.

There are no costs associated with Friday.

Odds and ends

  • Takuma Sato (#51 Deloitte Honda of Dale Coyne Racing with RWR) was crushed by two other cars on the opening lap of Turn 1 and his left front wheel hit the outside wall. He couldn’t go on. “I couldn’t do anything,” he said.
  • The warning for Sato continued Toronto’s run of never a race without caution. This was the 36th race.
  • Josef Newgarden (No. 2 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet) was in third and looked forward to a chance to challenge for race win when the final pit stop came. But he didn’t get as close to the fuel tank as he would have liked, and the slowness of the stop knocked him down to 10th, where he finished. He is fourth in the standings, 44 points from the lead.
  • Will Power (Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet No. 12) started the fourth straight race deeper than 15th for the better part of his career, but was unable to deliver the magic he showed on the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course during the drive from the back of the field to finish third. In this he started 16th and finished 15th. Power remains second in the standings, but he dropped to 35 points behind Marcus Ericsson (Huski Chocolate Chip Ganassi Racing Honda No. 8), who finished fifth.
  • Reigning series champion Alex Palou (No. 10 NTT DATA Chip Ganassi Racing Honda) recovered from a tough week to finish sixth. He argued early in the week over the government contract, hit the wall at Turn 2 and suffered a mechanical failure before the race.
  • Rookie Kyle Kirkwood (No. 14 Sexton Properties Chevrolet of AJ Foyt Racing) had contact with Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Carvana Chip Ganassi Racing Honda) late in the race. Kirkwood said he didn’t think Johnson saw him make a passing attempt, but Kirkwood was penalized for avoidable contact.
  • Indy Pro 2000 points leader Louis Foster of Exclusive Autosport completed his win of the weekend with a 3.9-second win over Pabst Racing’s Jordan Missig. Foster won for the sixth time this season and he has won a total of seven series. The next race, an oval, will be at World Wide Technology Raceway August 18-20.
  • Jace Denmark gave Pabst Racing a victory on the USF2000 weekend by winning its third race of the season in Race 2 on Sunday. Teammate Myles Rowe, the series points leader, finished fifth after winning Race 1. DEForce Racing drivers Thomas Nepveu and Dylan Christie completed Sunday’s podium. The final race of the season is September 1-4 at Portland International Raceway.

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