Home Editor's Picks IndyCar Recap: Palou Nets First Career Win At Alabama

IndyCar Recap: Palou Nets First Career Win At Alabama

by Brian Ledford

(BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA) In his second year of racing within the NTT IndyCar Series, Alex Palou picked up his most impressive result to date by claiming the checkered flags at the Hondy Indy Grand Prix of Alabama Sunday afternoon.

Photo Credit: INDYCAR – Joe Skabinski

The season opener for the open-wheeled series saw the 24-year-old claim his first career win piloting the No. 10 SEGI.TV Honda for Chip Ganassi Racing.

Starting third in the 24-car field, Palou claimed the lead in Lap 19 of the 90-Lap feature at Barber Motorsports Park’s 17-turn, 2.3-mile circuit. Utilizing a smartly-constructed, two-stop strategy, he dominated the race, leading 56 laps on the day.

“We knew that we had the best chance to win because we had the best team and the best car,” he said after the triumph. “We did it! We started strong and we finished strong. It was amazing!’

Photo Credit: INDYCAR – Chris Owens

Palou, making his Ganassi debut, topped race runner-up Will Power (Team Penske) by .4016 seconds. Defending series champion Scott Dixon placed third to give Ganassi two spots on Sunday’s podium. Both Dixon and Power also benefited by gambling with the two-stop method.

Pole sitter Pato O’ Ward (Arrow McLaren SP) finished fourth while Sebastien Bourdais (AJ Foyt Racing) placed fifth. CLICK FOR FULL RESULTS.

Palou averaged 110.025 mph on the day and currently leads in points, 53-41, over Power.

“Today was one of those days where everything went well,” Palou said. “We had good mileage, good time management and a good pace. It was an amazing race.”

Photo Credit: INDYCAR – Joe Skabinski

Among the newcomers, Formula 1 pilot Romain Grosjean (Dale Coyne Racing) placed tenth, Supercar Champ Scott McLaughlin (Team Penske) finished 14th and seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champ Jimmie Johnson (Chip Ganassi Racing) finished 19th.

The opening lap of the 2021 season contained immediate setbacks as two-time series champ Josef Newgarden (Team Penske) lost control of his Chevy and launched a five car incident that included Team Andretti Autosport teammates Colton Herta and Ryan Hunter-Reay. All three were highly projected to place high on the afternoon but now find themselves collectively in the bottom end of the point standings after the first of 17 IndyCar events.

The series competes next Sunday at the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

For more information on the NTT IndyCar Series, go to their official website.

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