LONG BEACH, Calif. — Felix Rosenqvist's career turnaround continued Saturday when the Swede won Meyer Shank Racing its first ever pole in IndyCar by barely edging Will Power for the top starting spot at the Long Beach Grand Prix.

Rosenqvist is in his first season with his third IndyCar team and has proven to be fast every time he gets in the MSR car. He qualified second in the season-opening race, and then qualified first for his heat race in last month's $1 million exhibition.

“I feel like I have a team behind me for sure. I feel like we are making the right changes to the car,” Rosenqvist said. “We are really on it with Meyer Shank Racing.”

Now he needs to convert it into a victory, which would be just the second ever for Meyer Shank Racing. The team won the 2021 Indianapolis 500 with Helio Castroneves.

How will Rosenqvist do it?

“That's the big question,” Rosenqvist said. “That's what keeps me up at night.”

His last win was in 2020, when he drove for Ganassi.

Rosenqvist beat Power of Team Penske by just 0.0039 seconds.

“Story of my life lately,” said Power, IndyCar's all-time leader in poles with 70 for his career. His last pole-winning runs came last year when he swept the top starting spot for the doubleheader at Iowa.

Penske teammate Josef Newgarden, who won the season-opening race at St. Petersburg, qualified third and was followed by Andretti Global teammates Colton Herta and Marcus Ericsson, and finally reigning IndyCar champion Alex Palou of Chip Ganassi Racing.

Rosenqvist took great pride in both giving MSR its first IndyCar pole and doing it by beating Power. Rosenqvist said he has spent countless hours watching YouTube videos of Power's career qualifying runs to hone his own craft.

It was a disastrous session for Arrow McLaren, as all three of its drivers were eliminated in the first round of qualifying. Alexander Rossi, in a contract year, will start 13th, Pato O'Ward will start 14th and reigning F2 champion Theo Pourchaire will start his IndyCar debut from 22nd. Pourchaire is the latest replacement driver for David Malukas, who has yet to make his IndyCar debut for McLaren because he seriously injured his wrist in a mountain bike crash the month before the season started.

The poor qualifying effort came on the first day McLaren boss Zak Brown has been at an IndyCar event and the trio of drivers had differing opinions on their runs.

“I wasn’t unhappy with the car at all, just not fast enough,” O'Ward said. "The race is a different monster, you just try to get ready for what the race trends to be. If our race car is good, I can do it. We just have to make sure we can get it in that window.”

Said Rossi: “Just missing overall pace, man. We’ve had some moments where it was OK, but struggling for grip. I don’t know, not much what we can do."

Pourchaire was a bit more optimistic.

“I am not so far from Pato, he's a really good driver, I think,” said Pourchaire, who is prepared to fill in for Malukas next week in Alabama if Malukas is still not healed. "It’s a completely new thing for me. Starting so far back like this, I will just try to complete the race. I will try to do my best and I think finishing in the top 15 or close to the top 10 would be a good thing.”

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