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How Alex Palou took the Indy Road Course by Storm

The 108th Indianapolis 500 is just around the corner, which means Indy Road Course time for IndyCar. Let’s see what happened and how Alex Palou won the 2024 Sonsio Grand Prix.

Sticker red strategy

After taking the lead from Alex Palou, Christian Lungaard comfortably led the first 30 laps and change. Once the pit stops came, the strategy battle was between the Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Driver Lundgaard, Team Penske driver Will Power, and Chip Ganassi Racing driver Palou.

The sticker red (brand-new alternate) was the money tire but the teams all opted for different times of using it.

For example, Will Power, the most successful driver on the Indianapolis Road Course, opted to use his sticker reds early. Meanwhile, Lungaard saved his brand-new alternates for later.

Palou jumps Power and Lundgaard

The strategy battle heated up even more as the No. 12 Verizon Chevrolet pit wall opted for a last-second strategy call that caught everybody off-guard. Will Power suddenly pitted for a set of used alternates.

Lundgaard naturally pitted a lap later and pipped Power. This was partly due to Power’s pit wall not accounting for lapped traffic at the pit exit, which cost him the lead.

Shortly after, Palou pulled off the overcut and jumped both Lundgaard and Power. Once the DHL Honda took the lead, the Chip Ganassi driver soared off into the distance.

Herta the comeback kid

Colton Herta had a roller coaster weekend. He was leading the championship going into the weekend, but things would soon go very wrong.

During qualifying, his pit wall made a human error and didn’t give him enough fuel to qualify. As a result, the Californian had to start the race in 24th place.

He didn’t stay in 24th for very long as the green flag dropped though. Herta took his No. 26 Gainbridge Honda and went on a mission, overtaking 17 cars and finishing in 7th place.

That being said, Colton’s comeback drive was not all smooth sailing. In the earlier stages of the race, he took a trip through the gravel trap courtesy of his teammate Marcus Ericsson.

Herta’s performance combined with his input to his pit wall about strategy yielded an overall good day. While many points were given up to Alex Palou, the Andretti man is not completely out of the championship big picture.

Alex Palou takes the championship lead, will he take the month of May?

Thanks to the victory at the Indianapolis road course today, Alex Palou is leading the IndyCar championship. Will Power is second, followed by Scott Dixon and Colton Herta, tied for third.

Given Chip Ganassi’s fast machinery at the Speedway and Palou’s pace last year, it is certainly not a stretch to say he can win the big one. Can the reigning champ do what Will Power and Simon Pageneud did in years past and win the road course/ Indy 500 back-to-back?

We will find out in a couple of short weeks.

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