IndyCar: Alex Palou Conquers The Streets of Detroit

Alex Palou - Joe Skibinski/Penske Entertainment

If this is Alex Palou‘s last season with Chip Ganassi Racing, he’s going to make it a special one.

Since winning the GMR Grand Prix during the month of May, all the 2021 IndyCar Series champion has done is capture the pole for the 107th running of The Indianapolis 500 and finish within the top five, then on Sunday showing how smooth and precise his driving style is by leading 74 out the 100 laps during the Detroit Grand Prix, beating Team Penske’s Will Power and grabbing his sixth career victory and his second victory in the last three races.

“The No. 10 car was on point today,” Palou said. “Super proud of the job we did. It was tricky there at the end, man, with those (worn) tires couldn’t really get to temperature (on restarts).”

“We had an issue that was probably my fault, but then we got stuck there,” Palou said. “I couldn’t really upshift. Proud that we got it back and that we got another win this year.”

Power, the reigning and two-time series champion, finished P2 as he had a 2.8-second lead over Palou with less than 40 laps to go, but Palou was determined to grab the win as he stayed focused heading into Turn 3 on Lap 65, moving around Power to regain the lead for good.

“I did everything I could to get Palou,” Power said. “He was just too quick, man. Too good today.”

Arrow McLaren driver Felix Rosenqvist drove to a season-best third in his No. 6 Chevrolet, but it wasn’t without controversy. In the closing laps, Rosenqvist and teammate Alexander Rossi were swapping positions back and forth when Rosenqvist bumped Rossi out of the way to secure P3.

When asked about the bump towards the end of the race, Rosenqvist responded “I mean, we race hard, but I think we also race fair. Obviously we like each other. We don’t have any intentions to put each other in the wall. But, yeah, it was tight. I think the move wasn’t really high-risk. I was completely alongside him into three. Yeah, just gets tight, man. It’s so close. He squeezed me a little bit on entry, I squeezed him a little bit on exit.”

“Yeah, I think it’s a good problem to have. The Arrow McLaren cars have been up there every race. You’re going to find yourself in a situation where you’re fighting teammates. I think it’s something we’ll discuss internally if we can manage it differently. Obviously there were no team calls on this one, which is cool. They let us battle it out on the track.”

Rounding out the top five was six-time series champion Scott Dixon in the #9 for Ganassi, which gave CGR two cars in the top five.

With his win on Sunday, Palou has completed two of the three legs needed to earn a $1 million bonus from the PeopleReady Force for Good Challenge. With a win on the IMS Road Course and in Detroit, all Palou needs to do is grab a win on an oval track either at Iowa (July 22-23) or World Wide Technology Raceway (August 27).

Up next for the NTT IndyCar Series is the Sonsio Grand Prix at Road America on Sunday, June 18th.

Featured Image Credit: Joe Skibinski/Penske Entertainment