Felix Rosenqvist has attributed his breakthrough oval performance at IndyCar's season opener to a visit he made to see three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti over the winter break.
Rosenqvist was running in second place behind his Chip Ganassi Racing team-mate Scott Dixon in last weekend's belated IndyCar opener at the Texas Motor Speedway, before he crashed out of the race with just 10 laps to go whilst attempting to pass the lapped James Hinchliffe.
28-year-old Rosenqvist finished sixth in the drivers' championship in his maiden IndyCar season in 2019, but only recorded a best finish of 11th in the five oval races.
Prior to the start of the 2020 season Rosenqvist targeted improving his performance on the oval courses and visited four-time IndyCar champion and CGR's team advisor Franchitti.
"I went to visit Dario in the winter to talk about ovals, and get that into my mindset," Rosenqvist told Autosport.
"He was an epic driver, he has a good teaching ability, he knows how to put feelings into words when it comes to teaching, that's been incredible.
"The whole team has been really supportive and that really paid dividends in Texas.
"They obviously knew when they signed me that I wouldn't be an oval legend straight away, some drivers are they, they go in and are good straight away, but I definitely wasn't but there weren't any expectations for me to be to winning oval races straight away.
"They've been very patient and helpful, especially Dario and Scott [Dixon].
"Whenever I'm asking them something, they've been really helpful, and there hasn't been a question stupid enough to ask in their eyes."
Rosenqvist also revealed he watched NASCAR Cup races over the winter in order to enhance his understanding of oval racing ahead of his second year in IndyCar.
"I've taken big steps with myself over the winter when it comes to the ovals," he added.
"99% of my focus over the winter has been just that, becoming a better oval driver.
"I spent a lot of time trying to understand the racing, not necessarily how to be quicker but just how the racing works, watching NASCAR because they're the masters of ovals.
"After I joined IndyCar I really respected what they did in a different way.
"If any of us would jump in there, they would just beat us easily, and there has been plenty of IndyCar drivers who have shown that to be a fact.
"Seeing the little details, what they do, how the track is changing grip, and pit stops and everything, it's pretty inspiring when you get into the details.
"Definitely a different calm and confidence all day, and that together with having the best car, made something click."
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