Texas Motor Speedway

The NTT INDYCAR SERIES is back after a few weeks off as the stage is set for the second round of the 2023 season with the PPG 375 this afternoon at Texas Motor Speedway.

Felix Rosenqvist captured the NTT P1 Award as part of an assault of the sharp end of the grid for Arrow McLaren, pushing to the best qualifying outing for the Swede for a second consecutive year at the 1.5-mile superspeedway. Teammates Alexander Rossi and Pato O’Ward ended up third and fifth, respectively.

SEE: Starting Lineup

In one of the more unique statistics, each of Rosenqvist’s four pole positions have come at only two venues: TMS (2022, ’23) and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course (2019, ’22).

Six-time NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion Scott Dixon qualified second for his 10th front-row start at Texas. The driver of the No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda has set the standard at TMS, recording five wins, with four of those coming in the last nine races.

Coverage for the 250-lap race begins at noon ET on NBC, Peacock, INDYCAR LIVE! and the INDYCAR Radio Network. The command to start engines will be moved up to 12:01 p.m. ET due to the threat of inclement weather.

High, Wide and Handsome

The high line on the 1.5-mile oval has seen more attention this weekend than in previous years after a special session that saw the full field divided in half, with each taking 15 minutes of time ahead of final practice to work the upper groove.

While the outing allowed the field to get more comfortable with the second lane for final practice, no group looked more settled than Team Penske.

Two-time and defending race winner Josef Newgarden, in particular, looked especially comfortable after putting his No. 2 PPG Team Penske Chevrolet anywhere he wanted and making moves around rivals with outside passes. The speed was also evident in final practice as two-time INDYCAR SERIES champion Newgarden ended up second-fastest overall.

Eyes on the Skies

The forecast calls for partly cloudy skies at the start of the race, with a 50% chance of scattered thunderstorms looming at 2 p.m. ET, with that jumping to 70% the following hour. Considering last year’s race took just over two hours to complete, there’s an opportunity to run the entire race without interruption.

Conditions will likely be cool, with the air temperature expected to be in the upper 60s at the drop of the green flag and hovering around 70 degrees Fahrenheit for the remainder of the race. The command to start engines will be given at 12:01 p.m. ET to provide more time to complete the race before rain may arrive.

Previous Texas Winners

The combination of Dixon and Newgarden has won five of the previous six trips at TMS for the NTT INDYCAR SERIES, with the only outlier being O’Ward’s maiden victory in 2021.

Team Penske’s Will Power has two wins, with the most recent coming in 2017 – the first race of the track’s reconfiguration, which saw the banking in Turns 1-2 altered from 24 degrees to 20. Other previous winners that will be running in the field on Sunday also include Helio Castroneves, who won four times – 2004, ’06, ’09 and ’13 – all with Team Penske. Castroneves will start 21st in the No. 06 AutoNation/SiriusXM Honda for Meyer Shank Racing.

Other previous winners in the field include Ed Carpenter (2014) and Graham Rahal (2016).

Now, it’s time to boot, scoot and boogie.