Alex Palou won the Sonsio Grand Prix at Road America for his 7th NTT INDYCAR SERIES win

Starting from 3rd place Car 10 Palou, Alex won the Sonsio Grand Prix at Road America for his 7th NTT INDYCAR SERIES win. This is his 2nd win in a row, 3rd win & 7th Top 5 for 2023. 2nd Place Car 2 Newgarden, Josef, started from 4th place. 3rd Place Car 5 O’Ward, Pato, started from 2nd place.

4th Place Car 9 Dixon, Scott, started from 23rd place followed by 5th place Car 26 Car Herta, Colton, started from pole. 6th Place Car 8 Ericsson, Marcus, started from 9th place followed by 7th place Car 45 Lundgaard, Christian, started from 7th place. 8th Place Car 3 McLaughlin, Scott, started from 18th place followed by 9th place Car 27 Kirkwood, Kyle, started from 6th place. Lastly in the Top 10 was Car 7 Rossi, Alexander, in 10th place, started from 5th place. Canadian Car 29 DeFrancesco, Devlin finished in 23rd place.

The race had 4 Cautions for 9 Laps: 1st Caution on lap 1 for Contact: Car 27 in Turn 1. 2nd Caution on lap 13 for Off Course: Car 28 in Turn 3. 3rd Caution on lap 16 for Contact: Car 30 in Turn 14. 4th Caution on lap 25 for Off Course: Car 18 in Turn 8.

The had 9 Lead Changes among 4 drivers: Car 26 Herta, Colton 33, Car 10 Palou, Alex 10, Car 12 Power, Will 7, Car 11 Armstrong, Marcus 5. Lead Change Summary: 1 26 Herta, Colton, 12 10 Palou, Alex, 13 26 Herta, Colton, 26 11 Armstrong, Marcus, 31 12 Power, Will, 33 26 Herta, Colton, 40 10 Palou, Alex, 42 12 Power, Will, 47 26 Herta, Colton, 49 10 Palou, Alex.

Photo Courtesy of INDYCAR


Palou Keeps Rolling, Pads Points Lead with Road America Victory

ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (Sunday, June 18, 2023) – The juggernaut known as Alex Palou reached top gear Sunday, winning the Sonsio Grand Prix at Road America presented by AMR for his third victory in the last four NTT INDYCAR SERIES races.

Palou drove his No. 10 The American Legion Honda fielded by Chip Ganassi Racing to victory by 4.5610 seconds over Josef Newgarden in the No. 2 PPG Team Penske Chevrolet. Pato O’Ward finished third in the No. 5 Arrow McLaren Chevrolet, his fourth podium finish in eight races this season.

“It’s been an amazing weekend,” Palou said. “I’m super happy. They gave me the pit stop that gave us the win. It was an amazing day for the No. 10 American Legion Ganassi car, and we’re going to keep it going.”

The victory expanded Palou’s lead to 74 points – more than one race worth of points – over teammate Marcus Ericsson in the championship race as the Spaniard aims for another season title to add to his 2021 crown.

This was the seventh career victory for Palou, with wins in the GMR Grand Prix on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course and the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear also added to his tally in the last five weeks. Palou’s win also was the 250th victory for Chip Ganassi Racing across all racing disciplines.

CGR also flexed its muscle as the only team with two drivers in the top five at the finish. Six-time series champion Scott Dixon drove from the 23rd starting position to place fourth in the No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda. NTT P1 Award winner Colton Herta finished fifth in the No. 26 Gainbridge Honda.

Palou and CGR prevailed this weekend with equal amounts of speed and resiliency forged through winning races and championships. Palou crashed heavily in Turn 14 during practice Saturday morning, giving the Ganassi crew just 90 minutes for repairs before NTT P1 Award qualifying. Palou didn’t skip a beat, qualifying third behind Herta and O’Ward.

“We started with a lot of speed,” Palou said. “Big mistake by my part in practice two. We went back on track, and it (car) was even better than in practice two. We’re going to try and keep it rolling. We have an amazing team behind us.”

Palou lurked near the front the entire race, twice leading for a lap or two as Herta was on a slightly different pit stop cycle. Herta made his final stop on Lap 40 of 55, with Palou pitting for the last time one lap later, both drivers taking Firestone primary (black sidewall) tires.

That one lap between the contenders’ pit stops made a big difference in the outcome. Herta was forced to save fuel over the final 14 laps, with Palou on full power. Palou used that speed advantage to slice Herta’s lead to two-tenths of a second by Lap 45.

Palou then pulled right on Herta’s gearbox, ready to pounce for the lead. The decisive moment came on Lap 49, when Palou passed Herta on the outside in Turn 1 and drove away. It was the last of nine lead changes and one of an event-record 32 passes among the top five in this race.

Newgarden, O’Ward and Dixon were able to catch Herta in the final six laps. But no one could mount any challenge to Palou, who is turning racetracks across North America into his personal asphalt playgrounds lately.

“It’s a frustrating one,” said Herta, who led a race-high 33 of 55 laps. “We had the best car. We were cruising the whole time. I had so much more in it, and we never really got to show it because we were always saving fuel, trying to go that lap later. That’s a killer.”

Palou encountered only one nervous moment after taking the lead for good, narrowly missing the No. 11 Ridgeline Lubricants Honda of CGR teammate Marcus Armstrong as he lapped him in the fastest section of the 14-turn, 4.014-mile circuit on the final lap.

Palou will split $10,000 with Chip Ganassi Racing and his chosen charity, The American Legion, for his victory as part of the PeopleReady Force For Good Challenge. He has won two of the three legs needed to earn a $1 million bonus, with a win on the road courses at IMS and Road America and the street circuit at Detroit. Palou can secure the bonus with a win in any of the three remaining three oval races, a doubleheader July 22-23 at Iowa Speedway and Aug. 27 at World Wide Technology Raceway.

The next NTT INDYCAR SERIES race is The Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio presented by the 2023 Accord Hybrid on Sunday, July 2 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course near Columbus, Ohio.

Sonsio Grand Prix at Road America Race Results

Position Starting Position Car Driver Laps Running

1 3 Car 10 Palou, Alex 55 Running
2 4 Car 2 Newgarden, Josef 55 Running
3 2 Car 5 O’Ward, Pato 55 Running
4 23 Car 9 Dixon, Scott 55 Running
5 1 Car 26 Herta, Colton 55 Running
6 9 Car 8 Ericsson, Marcus 55 Running
7 7 Car 45 Lundgaard, Christian 55 Running
8 18 Car 3 McLaughlin, Scott 55 Running
9 6 Car 27 Kirkwood, Kyle 55 Running
10 5 Car 7 Rossi, Alexander 55 Running
11 14 Car 15 Rahal, Graham 55 Running
12 15 Car 21 VeeKay, Rinus 55 Running
13 22 Car 12 Power, Will 55 Running
14 20 Car 60 Pagenaud, Simon 55 Running
15 26 Car 06 Castroneves, Helio 55 Running
16 11 Car 14 Ferrucci, Santino 55 Running
17 27 Car 20 Hunter-Reay, Ryan 55 Running
18 17 Car 77 Ilott, Callum 55 Running
19 21 Car 78 Canapino, Agustin 55 Running
20 16 Car 6 Rosenqvist, Felix 55 Running
21 10 Car 55 Pedersen, Benjamin 55 Running
22 25 Car 51 Robb, Sting Ray 55 Running
23 12 Car 29 DeFrancesco, Devlin 55 Running – Canadian
24 8 Car 11 Armstrong, Marcus 54 Running
25 19 Car 28 Grosjean, Romain 54 Running
26 24 Car 30 Harvey, Jack 54 Running
27 13 Car 18 Malukas, David 24 Off Course

Race Stats:
Time of Race: 01:50:04.6640 Avg Speed: 120.335 Lead Changes: 9 Caution Laps: 10
140.442 mph (102.8921 sec) on lap 45 by 12 – Will Power
140.442 mph (102.8921 sec) on lap 45 by 12 – Will Power

Next INDYCAR Event: Sunday, July 2 Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course USA Network, Peacock

Photos & Graphics Courtesy of INDYCAR

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