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Alex Palou extends lead in IndyCar points standings with victory at Road America

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Alex Palou began the weekend at Street America with a car-damaging crash and rallied to finish it together with his third victory within the final 4 IndyCar races.

That is how nicely issues have been going for the Spaniard in his outstanding first half to the IndyCar season.

Palou constructed on his commanding lead within the factors standings with a decisive victory Sunday. The Chip Ganassi Racing driver received by 4.5610 seconds over Indianapolis 500 winner Josef Newgarden, Crew Penske’s winner at Street America final 12 months.

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Alex Palou smiles

Alex Palou, driver of the #10 The American Legion Chip Ganassi Racing Honda prepares for observe earlier than the 107th Working of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Could 22, 2023 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Justin Casterline/Getty Photos)

“It was an incredible day for us,” Palou mentioned.

Palou’s victory was the 250th total workforce win for Chip Ganassi Racing

It has been wonderful month, actually.

Palou’s title follows victories on Could 13 on the Indianapolis street course and June 4 at Detroit. The one race he hasn’t received out of the final 4 was the Indy 500, the place he completed fourth however had the pole place and dominated for a lot of the race till he was spun on pit street throughout routine stops.

He has a 74-point lead within the factors standings over Ganassi teammate Marcus Ericsson. The final time anybody had this huge of a lead eight races into the season was in 2020, when eventual collection champion Scott Dixon owned a 117-point edge.

“I believe all of us must be higher if we wish to catch the ten automobile,” Newgarden mentioned of Palou. “That’s simply the truth of it.”

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Alex Palou drives

Alex Palou, driver of the #10 The American Legion Chip Ganassi Racing Honda drives throughout the IndyCar GMR Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Could 13, 2023 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Justin Casterline/Getty Photos)

Pato O’Ward of Arrow McLaren was third, and Dixon of Ganassi was fourth. Colton Herta began from the pole and dominated however Andretti Autosport blew the technique and Herta completed fifth.

Palou’s victory did not come simply.

He spun in a Saturday morning observe, hitting the tire barrier with the best aspect of his Honda. However after his workforce labored to rebuild his automobile later that day, Palou completed third in qualifying to place himself in place for one more victory.

“We virtually had no time to rebuild the automobile,” mentioned Palou, who additionally received right here in 2021. “They did. They not solely bought the automobile again on observe, but it surely was quick.”

Palou is searching for his second IndyCar collection title in three years after profitable the crown in 2021. Will Energy is the defending collection champion.

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Alex Palou poses with Spanish Flag

Alex Palou (#10 Chip Ganassi Racing) poses with the Spanish Flag throughout the entrance row picture shoot on Could 22, 2023 on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, in Indianapolis, IN.  (Jeffrey Brown/Icon Sportswire by way of Getty Photos)

Though Herta dominated, a late pit resolution brought about him to fade down the stretch.

Herta was in entrance when he went to pit street on the fortieth lap, one lap earlier than the remainder of the lead group. Herta remained forward of the opponents who pitted a lap later however had a way more precarious gasoline state of affairs.

That enabled Palou to step by step shut the hole earlier than lastly overtaking him on the forty ninth of 55 laps on the 4.014-mile, 14-turn course.

Herta continued to fall again within the pack the remainder of the way in which earlier than settling for fifth place. He hasn’t received a race since Could 2022 on the Indianapolis street course.

“It is irritating,” Herta mentioned. “We had one of the best automobile.”

Dixon’s fourth-place end was outstanding contemplating what had occurred a day earlier.

The six-time IndyCar Sequence champion was at fault in a crash with Energy throughout a Saturday morning observe that severely broken each their vehicles. An indignant Energy bought out of his automobile, exchanged phrases with Dixon and shoved him within the chest.

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Alex Palou drives

Alex Palou, driver of the #10 The American Legion Chip Ganassi Racing Honda drives throughout observe for the 107th Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Could 19, 2023 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Justin Casterline/Getty Photos)

Dixon’s automobile was broken badly sufficient that he used a completely completely different automobile for qualifying later Saturday. He certified twenty third within the 27-car subject however labored his manner up close to the entrance of the pack.

The Energy-Dixon crash brought about considered one of 5 crimson flags throughout a Saturday morning observe on Street America’s repaved floor, which created sooner instances but additionally made this observe very slippery every time drivers went a little bit off line. Energy complained Saturday that “this observe’s horrible once you go off it.”

However there weren’t any main incidents Sunday throughout a race that featured 444 on-track passes, essentially the most ever for an IndyCar race at this website. The outcomes of Street America’s first repaving since 1995 drew optimistic critiques after the race.

“There was loads of unknowns going into the brand new floor on how it will race,” Newgarden mentioned. “I believe immediately, I don’t know the way you can have requested for significantly better of a race.”

Palou believes all that passing could be an indication of issues to come back for this observe.

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Alex Palou gives thumbs up

Alex Palou, driver of the #10 The American Legion Chip Ganassi Racing Honda waves to the followers earlier than the IndyCar GMR Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Could 13, 2023 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Justin Casterline/Getty Photos)

“By way of passing, I believe it’s truly going to be even higher subsequent 12 months as a result of the observe floor was nonetheless too new,” Palou mentioned. “On the exiting or the surface of the corners, it was a bit slippery. I believe we’re not going to have that subsequent 12 months, so it’s going to be even higher racing.”

UP NEXT

IndyCar heads to the Mid-Ohio Sports activities Automotive Course for a July 2 race at Lexington, Ohio. Scott McLaughlin of Crew Penske received at Mid-Ohio final 12 months.

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