O’Ward claimed his third pole of the season in an extremely tight session, lapping simply 0.006 seconds quicker than Team Penske driver Will Power.

Although O’Ward slipped to 3rd within the standings following final weekend’s Nashville race, the place he completed a lowly thirteenth, the Mexican stays solely 48 factors behind collection chief Alex Palou (Chip Ganassi Racing).

Declaring himself “tired of being in the middle pack”, having not completed within the high 5 since his victory within the second Detroit race in June, O’Ward stated “a great test in Portland” had given him encouragement for the races forward.

“What we found there I knew was going to help us here,” he stated of the check.

“I can positively claw my manner again into the battle for this championship, that’s the aim.

“What I really need, I wish to get to Long Beach with a correct, legit likelihood of successful the championship.

“I’m excited, I feel we’ve some nice circuits for us developing.”

O’Ward revealed that his automobile now “just handles better” and is far more predictable to drive.

“We’ve had a quick car in many places, but damn it’s a handful – it is so hard to drive,” he stated.

Patricio O’Ward, Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet

Photo by: Phillip Abbott / Motorsport Images

“I feel we’ve discovered one thing that simply is extra predictable, that simply makes it rather a lot simpler on Felix [Rosenqvist, team-mate] and I to truly get laps in lap after lap persistently.

“We’ve simply been actually centered on making an attempt to make a greater bundle for each qualifying and the race. One factor is to have a qualifying automobile and one factor is to have a racecar. We’re making an attempt to maximise each.

“I really feel like that is the place we’ve lacked slightly bit by way of we have had a really robust qualifying automobile after which we do not have something for the race, however then we’ll have an incredible racecar however in qualifying we’re simply not fairly there.

“[This] looks like a breath of contemporary air. It simply reveals us what we have been engaged on in testing, in our mini break, labored.”

Given his title aspirations, O’Ward stated he’s “not going to do something stupid” within the race.

“Whenever you have a chance to win, you need to take those points and win because it’s not like every weekend you go and you can win,” he stated.

“We’re positively going for that, but when we will not handle to do this, I’m not going to do one thing silly and put it within the wall. We must be good.

“Yeah, man, I’m simply actually trying ahead to turning the web page to our very crappy final three races, shut out this weekend very robust, and do not look again till the checkered flag waves in Long Beach.”


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