Marcus Ericsson is poised to ride the momentum from his second-place finish in last weekend's Race 2 at Detroit into this weekend's DXC Technology 600 at the Texas Motor Speedway.

The driver of the No. 7 Arrow SPM had an uninhibited day during last Sunday's 75-lap round at the 2.35-mile Belle Isle Street Circuit. The result was a much-needed shot in the arm after a rough start to his maiden IndyCar campaign where he only scored one additional top ten before Detroit.

The Swede has shown pace in his first go of IndyCar and was on track for top tens at the Circuit of the Americas, and the 103rd Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge before incidents on pit road took him out of contention in both.

The runner up finish has him smiling ear to ear heading into tonight's race.

"You bring confidence after a result like that," he said. "We've been working all year, and we've had some bad luck I would say and haven't got the results that we felt we deserved. "That's why I was really happy for all of the guys at Arrow SPM that we got that podium and for me to build that confidence going into this weekend."

Keeping the positivity rolling requires him to continue his oval education as he tackles the high-banked 1.44-mile oval located outside of Fort Worth, Texas - the site of his first oval experience coming at a test back in April.

He lamented that he was daunted by the high-banked Texas oval when he first his turned laps, but feels much more at ease having raced the Indy 500 two weeks ago.

"Coming back here it's like I have so much more experience," he said. "When I was here the first time, I was so new to it, and it was a difficult day. I think that experience helped my month of May, but after that, I've gained a lot of confidence. For sure it helps, but I feel a different level this week."

Ericsson's motorsport career encompasses four years of Formula 1 spent driving for the Alfa Romeo F1 team (formerly Sauber). The only circuit on the NTT IndyCar Series calendar where he had raced before was at the Circuit of the Americas, having competed in four United States Grands Prix from 2015-18. The 28-year-old Swede noted that learning the new road and street circuits on the calendar and learning the ovals require vastly different approaches.

"The road and street courses here might be new for me but I've been doing it all my life," he said. "The ovals have been the big learning curve. You have to build up to it in a different way. On a road and street course, you can go out and attack a bit more where here you have to take it step by step. That was the approach I was using in the Month of May, and it was really helping me there."

Texas has similar speeds to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but Ericsson lamented that its short straightaways and high banked corners make it a different beast to tackle. "It's a very different type of oval for sure," he said. "I think Indy is a bit easier if you can call it that but this one is tricky with the high banking. It's a bit of a process but I felt comfortable."

Ericsson will line up 14th for tonight's race following an uneventful run. He was disappointed with the result having logged the fifth quickest lap in practice leading up to the session.

"I thought it was a decent run but the speed wasn't really there," he said. "We were looking really good in P2 I thought and the car felt really good. Something didn't transfer now and we need to analyze and see why. I was flat on my laps so that was good but it was just lacking in pace."

 

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