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Alex Palou Scores Second Straight Indy GP Victory


Alex Palou and the No. 10 Chip Ganassi Racing squad celebrate their first points-paid INDYCAR victory of 2024 at Indianapolis. (Photo: Wayne Riegle | The Podium Finish)

SPEEDWAY, Ind. — The Month of May begins the same way as it did a year ago with Alex Palou scoring a dominant victory in Saturday’s Sonsio Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course.

Palou led three times for a total of 39 of 85 laps to score his first points-paid INDYCAR win of the season and the 10th of his career, matching his car number of the DHL Honda. More importantly, he will enter the Indianapolis 500, the one race that has eluded him, as the series points leader.

The key to victory was not entirely his diplomatic approach, but his No. 10 Chip Ganassi Racing pit crew getting the job done in reducing the consequences of a rare error made by Palou at the start of the race.

“It wasn’t a great start from my side. Did a mistake. Overshot the braking a little bit and just locked and lost that place, went into the grass a little bit. Wasn’t my best start, but I was just looking forward to getting that back and trying to get the lead back,” Palou explained.

“But then we lost another place I think on the first stint with Power. We were on the blacks, the primaries at that time. But honestly, our pace was a lot better than I thought on the primaries. We were able to stay with them. They pitted early. We overcut them both, and from that point, we stayed on the lead.

“I would say that today the hard part was done by my crew, the No. 10 crew, my engineers and my mechanics on giving that first position back. And I just had to control from the lead.”

With an Indy victory in the books, the mindset shifts from celebrating Saturday’s triumph to having Palou’s face engraved into the Borg-Warner Trophy. Palou’s Ganassi entry is the same car he drove in last year’s Indy 500 in which he finished fourth.

“We need to change really fast, in like 72 hours I think we’ll be back on track, so it comes by really quick,” said Palou.

“It’s completely a different car for us. Obviously, the way you drive, you cannot really attack. You need to respect this place a lot, otherwise it bites you, not like the road course. The road course, you can have a spin and you just continue. I don’t know. It’s different. You have a full week or four days of practice, and you can take your time to do things perfectly step by step.”


Alex Palou celebrates with his Chip Ganassi Racing pit crew after winning the Sonsio Grand Prix at Indianapolis. (Photo: Wayne Riegle | The Podium Finish)

Trailing Palou by 6.6106 seconds was Will Power, who got his second podium of the season and once more, was unable to match Palou’s pace. Power’s winless streak now extends to 31 races. Since his last win at Belle Isle in 2022, he has finished runner-up seven times, a reoccurrence he is not fond of hearing.

“I don’t know what else we could have done there. I think that was a very solid day from us,” said Power, who trails championship leader Palou by 12 points. “We tried the undercut. It was just a little cooler today where the undercut wasn’t quite as strong. We gave it all we got.

“Once again, my boys on pit lane were gaining me positions. Actually at Barber, two races in a row, we jumped Lundgaard in a pit stop. But I’m lucky to have them. They’re solid. It was just a solid day. Just didn’t quite have enough on that restart.”

Rounding out the podium was Christian Lundgaard, who once again showed his muscle around the road course but was unable to seal the deal for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing. In a way, the disappointment provided a sense of happiness as the No. 45 team are making progress as an organization.

“Happy to be disappointed I would say,” said Lundgaard, who led 35 laps. “I think that’s becoming an expression in the RLL engineering truck. Sometimes we’re just happy to be disappointed.

“I’m proud of the team. We qualified well at Barber, and I think considering how we handled Long Beach in terms of strategy trying to get too much out of what I think we could have hurt us on the pure result. Going into Barber, it was a pure strategy of just get through the race and make sure that we get a good result, and coming here, there was a minimum, which was a podium. We got it, but I wanted it to be a win.”


Alex Palou (10) leading the 27-car INDYCAR field to the green flag at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course. (Photo: Wayne Riegle | The Podium Finish)

Pole sitter Palou’s time up front did not last long as Lundgaard made quick business on the two-time INDYCAR champion within the first few corners in a clean effort.

The same could not be said further back as Felix Rosenqvist and Scott McLaughlin were among a handful of drivers who tangled or went wide in the opening lap. Not long after, the Andretti Global duo of Marcus Ericsson and championship leader Colton Herta got together, sending the latter into the gravel and he was none too pleased with the contact over the radio.

“Your teammate’s leading the championship and you race him like an ass like that. I don’t know what you’re thinking,” Herta stated about Ericsson. “He probably drove deeper than in qualifying and runs me clean off the track. You have to be smarter than that, it’s so dumb.”

More drama escalated when Romain Grosjean was livid with one specific driver for the second time Saturday. The racer in question was Santino Ferrucci, who had an episode with the Juncos Hollinger Racing driver during morning warmups. During the race, the fierce duo ran hard which then saw Grosjean go into the grass, and like Herta, went on a profane tirade over the radio about Ferrucci’s antics behind the wheel.

Cooler heads ultimately prevailed as Ferrucci explained his battle with Grosjean improved as their aggressive driving styles sparked during that specific moment at Indianapolis.

“(Romain’s) on the outside and honestly, anybody would’ve been in the same position,” Ferrucci explained. “He did pass me clean earlier, so it’s totally fine. Later in the race, he passed me into seven and I gave him space. Back to normal racing, but that’ll be for anybody. Whether I’m on the outside or inside, that’s just how we race.”


Santino Ferrucci ended up retiring in 27th in the Sonsio Grand Prix at Indianapolis. (Photo: Wayne Riegle | The Podium Finish)

At the end of Lap 19, the two leaders made their first scheduled pit stop which saw Palou go on the Firestone primary scuffs whereas Lundgaard went with the alternates. Despite having a 7.4-second stop to Palou’s 6.6, Lundgaard beat Palou off pit lane. Emerging into the battle was Power, who went with the No. 12 Team Penske machine’s only sticker set alternates and challenged Palou for the runner-up spot, successfully besting the Chip Ganassi Racing veteran.

A heated Herta, who started 24th, almost saw his afternoon dashed with Rinus VeeKay in Turn 12, barely avoiding going nose first into the back of the No. 21 Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet.

Both men fought even more aggressively in the opening turn with Herta wining that exchange for 17th and pulling away. Herta then carved his way towards the top-10 and crossed the line in seventh, gaining 17 spots. With several early title contenders finishing ahead of him, he will enter the 108th Indianapolis 500 fourth in points, 25 points behind Palou.


Colton Herta (26) gained 17 positions to score a top-10, but lost his INDYCAR points lead at Indianapolis. (Photo: Wayne Riegle | The Podium Finish)

Back up front, Power was gradually gaining ground on Lundgaard for the top spot, hungry for a sixth Indy Road Course victory. As the field were nearing their second pit window, Lundgaard’s lead over Power was down by one second on Lap 37 as dirty air from lapped traffic kicked into high gear, allowing Power to gain ground.

One lap later, Power was within striking distance of Lundgaard for the lead before making their stops. Lundgaard was dealing with the Meyer Shank Racing duo of rookie Tom Blomqvist and Felix Rosenqvist not conceding to the leader as they were at the tail end of the lead lap.

Lundgaard was saved by the bell when Power suddenly dove into the pits on Lap 39 and went with the used alternates during their seven-second pit stop.

After Power made his stop, Lundgaard made his scheduled stop and during that stop, the No. 45 crew opted to go for the primary set instead of the sticker alternates, something the Danish racer was not keen on doing. Lundgaard ended up beating Power, but the excitement picked up with Ericsson being the meat of the leader’s sandwich.

Due to the sequence, Ericsson caused tremendous annoyance in Power’s quest for the top spot.


Christian Lundgaard (45) ahead of Alex Palou (10) in the Sonsio Grand Prix at Indianapolis. (Photo: Wayne Riegle | The Podium Finish)

Lundgaard’s time up front came to an end when Palou exited ahead of him on Lap 42 after going for the soft alternates. Since Palou was passed in the opening lap, it marked the first time the pole sitter was leading laps outright.

From there, the reigning INDYCAR champion began pulling away from Lundgaard, similar to what he did during the Thermal $1 Million Dollar Challenge in March.

On Lap 57, Ferrucci’s day came to an end after bringing his No. 14 AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet to pit road, becoming the lone retiree of the 85-lap race. A brake bias failure was the cause of Ferrucci’s demise and rather than further compromising his Chevrolet, he felt it was best to park it.

With Ferrucci’s day done, a frustrated Lundgaard had nothing on Palou with the unideal primary set, so when both he and Palou pitted on Lap 62, the true race began as they made their final stops.

Scuff reds and a wing adjustment later, Lundgaard’s day worsened exiting off pit road slow, propelling Power ahead of him. A rough pit release and a slow right rear tire change were the culprit of Lundgaard trailing Power after their final stop. Palou on the other hand had no challengers in his mirrors.


The No. 10 Chip Ganassi Racing pit crew servicing Alex Palou with a set of alternate Firestone tires at Indianapolis. (Photo: Wayne Riegle | The Podium Finish)

Once McLaughlin gave up the lead to make his scheduled stop on Lap 66, a vital full-course caution came out after rookie Luca Ghiotto, who was making his second INDYCAR start, stalled his No. 51 Honda in Turn 11 after losing control of his car. Ghiotto’s car was re-fired and ultimately finished 25th.

With 17 laps remaining, the race resumed as Palou and Power frantically battled for the lead entering the first turn with Palou, who locked up the brakes, getting the advantage once again.

By this point in the race, Scott Dixon made his presence known in the top-five and in the mix for the final spot of the podium held by Lundgaard. Nothing came of the battle for third as the Rahal Letterman Racing driver was able to bring home a podium in the 2.439-mile road course for the second time of his career.

Meanwhile, Dixon had to fight hard to maintain the fourth position as fellow Kiwi and Chip Ganassi Racing teammate Marcus Armstrong was hot on his tails for a career-best INDYCAR finish. As their teammate Palou ran away with his first win since Portland last September, those two put on a show. However, the sensei was not able to dethrone the master as Armstrong settled for his maiden top-five finish in a points-paid INDYCAR race.

“It was a good day in the office, and we had good pace. At the end, Scott looked like he was struggling a bit with his rears,” said Armstrong. “Although to be honest, it’s probably not the wisest thing in the world to do a big lunge on Scott and potentially ruin our day. If the opportunity was going to present itself in a safe way, then I would’ve gone for it, but we ran out of time.”

Chip Ganassi Racing

Marcus Armstrong scored his first career points paid INDYCAR top-five result at Indianapolis. (Photo: Wayne Riegle | The Podium Finish)

Four rounds are now in the books and beginning Tuesday, it is all about the Indianapolis 500 for the series.

Coverage of Opening Day Practice begins at 9:00 a.m. ET on Peacock with the fight for the pole and determining the 33-car grid airing live Sunday, May 19 at 3 p.m. ET on NBC as Palou looks to score his second straight pole in the 500.

Finally, the green flag of the 500-mile races will commence Sunday, May 26 at 12:38 p.m. ET on NBC. Josef Newgarden is the defending race winner.

2024 Sonsio Grand Prix Race Results

Finish Start Car No. Driver Sponsor/Make Laps Status
1 1 10 Alex Palou DHL Honda 85 Running
2 3 12 Will Power Verizon Chevrolet 85 Running
3 2 45 Christian Lundgaard Hy-Vee Honda 85 Running
4 6 9 Scott Dixon PNC Bank Honda 85 Running
5 8 11 Marcus Armstrong The Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center Honda 85 Running
6 13 3 Scott McLaughlin Sonsio Chevrolet 85 Running
7 24 26 Colton Herta Gainbridge Honda 85 Running
8 7 7 Alexander Rossi VELO Chevrolet 85 Running
9 9 15 Graham Rahal Fifth Third Bank Honda 85 Running
10 10 60 Felix Rosenqvist SiriusXM/AutoNation Honda 85 Running
11 14 27 Kyle Kirkwood AutoNation Honda 85 Running
12 23 77 Romain Grosjean Juncos Hollinger Racing Chevrolet 85 Running
13 5 5 Pato O’Ward ARROW Chevrolet 85 Running
14 11 30 Pietro Fittipaldi Mi-Jack Honda 85 Running
15 25 4 Kyffin Simpson (R) Journie Rewards Honda 85 Running
16 21 28 Marcus Ericsson Delaware Life Honda 85 Running
17 4 2 Josef Newgarden Snap-On Chevrolet 85 Running
18 17 18 Jack Harvey Invst Honda 85 Running
19 18 6 Theo Pourchaire (R) SmartStop Self Storage Chevrolet 85 Running
20 20 20 Christian Rasmussen (R) GuyCare Chevrolet 85 Running
21 15 78 Agustin Canapino Juncos Hollinger Racing Chevrolet 84 -1 Lap
22 27 41 Sting Ray Robb Chevrolet 84 -1 Lap
23 26 66 Tom Blomqvist (R) SiriusXM/AutoNation Honda 84 -1 Lap
24 19 8 Linus Lundqvist (R) The American Legion Honda 84 -1 Lap
25 22 51 Luca Ghiotto (R) Bimec Honda 84 -1 Lap
26 12 21 Rinus VeeKay Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet 84 -1 Lap
27 16 14 Santino Ferrucci Sexton Properties Chevrolet 55 Mechanical


Throughout my young motorsports media career, my number-one goal is to be a personnel that can be flexible with my writing and photography in the world of NASCAR and INDYCAR. Content delivery is vital because this is my main passion and what keeps me going. On the side, I also do sports production ranging from Seattle Kraken hockey to the 2023 NCAA Women's March Madness. All for the love of the game. With four National Motorsports Press Association photography awards, I'm not slowing down anytime soon. Outside of media, I'm super vocal about my musical tastes that goes from Metallica to HAIM. At times, there might be some Paul Thomas Anderson and Southern California references in my social media.

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