NEWS & RACES
2020.07.19Untimely Yellow Costs Palou Strong Finish at Iowa Speedway Race 2
Dale Coyne Racing with Team Goh driver Alex Palou was hoping to improve on his previous night’s result at Iowa Speedway on Saturday. However, an untimely yellow just after his third pit stop cost him a potential top-10 result, and the rookie had to settle with a 14th place finish.
Palou, who was starting seventh, lost positions at the start but then settled into 12th position for most of his first stint. While the Spaniard moved his way back up to third before entering pit lane on Lap 62, he would end up 22nd after his first pit stop.
The driver of the #55 Honda, who registered lap times as quick as the leaders as he got more and more comfortable with every lap, then took advantage of a full course caution to pit from fifth on Lap 119 and return to the track in eighth place.
However, Palou wasn’t so fortunate with the timing of the second full course caution that came out on Lap 180. The rookie had just exited pit lane after pitting from second but would end up 15th, one lap down to the leaders upon exiting the pits.
“We started closer to the front than last night, and unfortunately I didn’t have a good start. I lost a lot of positions but once we settled in I think we had a really strong car. We were able to pass some guys which we didn’t do as much yesterday. I also started passing cars on the outside, which was pretty cool. I also didn’t do that in the first race. So, I’ve definitely learned a lot the last couple of nights and was more comfortable for sure. We improved a lot so I’m happy. The car was better, I was better. It’s just a shame about the result. The last yellow cost us a lot. Overall, I really enjoyed racing on a short oval. The next time I come here it will be a bit calmer, and I’ll know to expect. There was a lot to learn but I really liked racing here,” said Palou.
After five races in three weeks, Dale Coyne Racing with Team Goh will have a couple of weekends off before heading to the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course August 8 – 9 for the next round of the NTT IndyCar Series.
2020.07.18Palou Finishes 11th in Short Track Debut at Iowa Speedway Race 1
Dale Coyne Racing with Team Goh rookie Alex Palou gained a ton of experience in his NTT IndyCar Series short track oval debut at Iowa Speedway on Friday night taking the checkered flag in 11th place.
Tonight’s 250 lap event was only Palou’s second oval start of his career. After qualifying 18th earlier in the day for the first race of the weekend, the rookie fell to the back of the field at the start but slowly made his way forward thanks to an alternate pit stop strategy but also by passing oval veterans such as Scott Dixon and Ed Carpenter on track.
After holding his own on used tires, Palou entered pit lane on Lap 78 from fifth place for his first stop of the evening. Following his first trip down pit lane, he fell to 21st but continued to make his way back up through the field and was running 15th when a full course yellow came out on Lap 144.
The Dale Coyne Racing with Team Goh squad took advantage of the caution to make their second and final pit stop on Lap 148. Palou then found himself in 12th position when the race returned to green flag conditions on Lap 171 and he went on to cross the finish line in 11th place.
With tonight’s performance, Palou continues to lead the Rookie of the Year standings with 98 points.
“It was awesome. It’s my first short oval and the first oval race that I finish. I think the result wasn’t as good as we would have wanted it but I’m super happy with the car and the race. I felt really comfortable and I was getting more and more comfortable with every lap,” said Palou. “It was tough because the strategy we did, we had to do a lot of laps on old tires and those laps were really hard to do because everybody around me was running so quick and we just had to maintain our pace. But it worked out. It’s a shame that we were not in the Top 10 but I think 11th place is good and tomorrow we’re starting P7 so it should be a bit easier. I learned so much tonight and I have a lot to process before the race tomorrow.”
Palou will be starting seventh in tomorrow’s second round of the doubleheader weekend thanks to an impressive second lap in today’s qualifying session. Race 2 will be broadcast live on NBCSN from 8:30pm ET on Saturday, July 18. Drivers will also get an additional one-hour practice session on Saturday from 2:30pm.
2020.07.16Unknown Territory for Alex Palou at Iowa Speedway
After an excellent doubleheader event at Road America last week, Dale Coyne Racing with Team Goh rookie Alex Palou is heading into unknown territory this weekend at Iowa Speedway for what will be his short track debut.
Palou is coming off third and seventh place finishes at the Elkhart Lake road course, where he also scored his best starting position of the season with a third place on the starting grid.
The rookie is carrying momentum to the 0.875-mile oval in Newton, Iowa, and while he is hopeful that he can have another strong doubleheader weekend, he’s well aware that there’s a lot of learning to be done.
“It’s going to be my first experience on a short oval, which means another completely new experience for me. I now have to switch my mind back to oval racing, it’s not a road course anymore, it’s not my specialty so it will be a lot of learning once again as a rookie. Everyone has told me that Iowa is going to be crazy, that it’s a difficult race with the bumps. We have two races again this weekend, so it will be demanding but it will also be good to help me gain as much experience as possible on that type of track,” expressed Palou.
The driver of the #55 Dale Coyne Racing with Team Goh Honda only has one oval start on his resume with a best starting position of 16th and finish of 23rd at Texas Motor Speedway. He and his fellow rookies will get an additional 30 minutes of practice time on Friday, July 17 starting at 1:00pm local time.
All drivers will then get one hour of practice (1:30pm – 2:30pm local) with qualifying for both races taking place from 4:30pm to 5:30pm.
Each driver will get two qualifying laps. Lap 1 will determine their starting position for Race 1 and Lap 2 their starting position for Race 2.
Race 1 of the Iowa IndyCar 250s will go green on Friday, July 17 at 8:15pm local time (9:15pm ET) and will be broadcast live on NBCSN from 8:30pm ET.
Race 2 will also be broadcast live on NBCSN from 8:30pm ET on Saturday, July 18. Drivers will also get an additional one-hour practice session on Saturday from 2:30pm.
Qualifying and practice will be streamed live on the NBC Sports Gold app.
2020.07.13Seventh in Race 2 at Road America Puts Palou Atop Rookie Standings
After picking up his first podium finish of the season with a third place in race 1 on Saturday, Rookie Alex Palou capped off his weekend at the REV Group Grand Prix presented by AMR with another solid performance by placing seventh in Race 2 at Road America. Today’s result also puts him atop the Rookie of the Year standings with 79 points.
Earlier in the day, Palou scored his best starting position in the NTT IndyCar Series with a third place on the starting grid, after missing out on pole position by a mere two hundredths of a second.
Palou once again started strong, however due to multiple full course cautions in the opening laps, it wasn’t until the Lap 8 restart that the rookie was able to take over second place and build a gap to Scot Dixon in third.
Following his pit stop on Lap 13, Palou complained of a lack of grip which cost him valuable positions. Then upon exiting the pits on Lap 28, after his second stop, the rookie pushed too hard in order to maintain his track position but in doing so ended up falling back to 14th place.
However, the Spaniard continued to push to make his way back to sixth place before his final stop on Lap 41. The driver of the #55 Honda exited the pits in seventh place where he would take the checkered flag behind his teammate Santino Ferrucci in the Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser Sullivan entry.
“Our first stint was really good. I felt great. I think Pato (O’Ward) had more pace than us but we were really strong compared to others. Then we stopped and switched to the black tires and I don’t know what happened on that second stint, but we lost grip and didn’t have the pace to keep up with the others. So we lost a lot of track positions there. Unfortunately, I then made a mistake when I came out in traffic after our second stop. I pushed too hard to try to keep my position and instead I lost four places so that wasn’t great. But it was good that at the end of the day we came back from 11th to finish seventh. It’s not ideal, but I’m happy to finish in the top 10,” shared Palou.
“It was fun, I learned a lot this weekend. Overall, I think we had an amazing weekend for Dale Coyne Racing with Team Goh. Obviously, I would say that when you’re running second in the opening stint, you want to finish there, but still, I think we did a good job. We’re still learning, we’re only in our fourth race so I’m looking forward to what we can do with more race experience as we move forward.”
The NTT IndyCar Series will be back on track next weekend at Iowa Speedway for another doubleheader event, with races on Friday and Saturday night.
2020.07.12Brilliant Drive Leads to Palou’s First Podium Finish
Dale Coyne Racing with Team Goh rookie Alex Palou scored his first NTT IndyCar Series podium on Saturday during Race 1 of the REV Group Grand Prix presented by AMR with a third-place finish, thanks to a brilliant drive from his 14th place on the starting grid.
Right from the start Palou was a mission to move forward as he gained five places on the first lap to take over ninth place. The Spaniard, who was making only his third start in the series, remained in that position holding off veteran driver Ryan Hunter-Reay until his first pit stop on Lap 12.
Following the first round of stops, Palou cycled back up to fourth and once again remained there until his second trip to pit lane on Lap 26. This time, the rookie made it up to sixth before his final stop on Lap 38, under a full course caution.
Palou was running fourth at the restart on Lap 45 and immediately overtook Hunter-Reay heading into Turn 1. However, with another caution flag coming out, the pass wasn’t allowed, and Palou was relegated back to fourth for the following restart.
The rookie didn’t give up and once again got by Hunter-Reay for third place at the restart. With eight laps remaining, he held off Hunter-Reay all while keeping in striking distance of Will Power to score his first podium finish.
“It’s amazing, it feels so good! That was an awesome race for us. It was my first time here at Road America and having practice, qualifying and the race all in the same day isn’t easy. It was tough starting 14th but we were lucky today because we had a really strong car. I could overtake some of the guys at the start and then we just had a really good pace, good enough to be overtaking when we had clean air,” said Palou.
“The crew did well on the pit stops and the last one was amazing as we got ahead of quite a few guys and we were P4 after that last stop. After the restart, I could easily follow Ryan (Hunter-Reay) and Will (Power) and I was able to overtake Ryan twice to get into third. It was a really nice race for us. I hope we can repeat our performance tomorrow, and hopefully do even better.”
Palou and his Dale Coyne Racing with Team Goh squad will have the chance to do it again tomorrow in the second round of the doubleheader weekend. The green flag will drop at 11:42am local time and the race will be broadcast live on NBC from Noon ET.
2020.07.10Palou Hoping for Strong Doubleheader Weekend at Road America
Rookie Alex Palou will be making his first appearance at the picturesque Road America circuit this weekend as the NTT IndyCar Series heads to Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin for the REV Group Grand Prix presented by AMR.
The Dale Coyne Racing with Team Goh driver will have not one, but two races around the 4.014-mile, 14-turn road course as he looks to improve on his promising performance at last weekend’s GMR Grand Prix.
“We’ve done some simulator work in preparation for Road America so that should help us heading into the weekend. It gives me a better idea of what to expect, but it’s still going to be tough because of the single practice session. Even if you’ve driven the track on the simulator, nothing beats driving on the real thing, so you still need some time to learn the track and get the car where you want it to be and that can be tough to do in just one 75-minute session,” expressed Palou, who will be making his third and fourth Indy car starts this weekend.
“That said, I’m confident we’ll be stronger there than at Indy. From what I’ve seen by watching on board videos and with the sim work, the track is really nice, it has a little bit of everything and I’m looking forward to not only one but two races there this weekend.”
Teams will get one 75-minute practice session on Saturday, July 11 starting at 10:00am local time. Qualifying for Race 1 is scheduled for 1:15pm local time with Round 1 of the doubleheader going green later that day at 4:15pm local time.
The green flag will fall on the second race of the REV Group Grand Prix presented by AMR on Sunday, July 12 at 11:42am local. Qualifying for Race 2 will take place earlier that day at 9:00am local time.
Race 1 will be broadcast live on NBCSN from 5pm ET with Race 2 being broadcast live on NBC from Noon ET. The lone practice session and both qualifying sessions will be streamed live on the NBC Sports Gold App.
2020.07.05Promising First IndyCar Road Course Race for Palou
Dale Coyne Racing with Team Goh rookie Alex Palou completed his first full NTT IndyCar Series race on Saturday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. However, while it was a promising road course debut, it wasn’t an easy one for the driver who ended up placing 19th in the GMR Grand Prix.
Palou, who was starting 21st, managed to move up to 16th place before heading to pit lane for his first stop on Lap 11. Having elected for a three-stop strategy, the rookie returned to the track in 23rd place.
Despite moving back up to 11th prior to his second stop, the Spaniard would end up losing a lap having pitted only a couple of laps before a full course caution.
Palou ended up getting his lap back and gained a couple of positions following his final stop on lap 58 to take the checkered flag in 19th place.
“It was really tough today at the GMR Grand Prix. Our strategy didn’t work out how we would have hoped. We pit early when we were running on the Firestone Red tires and that ended up not playing in our favor. Then we didn’t have any luck with the caution because we lost a lap there, so it was kind of over at that point for us,” explained Palou. “However, the pace of our Dale Coyne Racing with Team Goh Honda wasn’t bad, we improved from yesterday, which is good. We’ll need to analyze everything but I’m happy that we got all the laps in today. It will help us for Road America next weekend. I think we’ll be much better there.”
The Dale Coyne Racing with Team Goh squad will be back in action next weekend, July 11 and 12, at Road America for the REV Group Grand Prix doubleheader event.
2020.07.04Palou to start from 11th row at GMR Grand Prix
Dale Coyne Racing with Team Goh driver Alex Palou was hoping for a better result for his maiden NTT IndyCar Series road course qualifying session on Friday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but the rookie had to settle for 21st on the starting grid for Saturday’s GMR Grand Prix.
Despite the end result, Palou impressed on his initial three-lap qualifying outing by placing third quickest with a lap time of 1:11.57 set on the primary Firestone ‘black’ tire. However, he was unable to get his alternate Firestone tires up to temperature for his final run in the 10-minute session. His fastest lap time of 1:11.1815 placed him 11th in his qualifying group.
“I’m disappointed with my qualifying result today,” expressed Palou. “When we first went out on the primary Firestone tire we were really good and were sitting P3 before going back out on the reds for our final lap. I had traffic on the out lap, like everybody, but I was not able to get the tires up to where they needed to be, so I didn’t have enough grip on my final lap and that’s why our result wasn’t so good. It’s all part of the learning experience, I guess. However, I’m happy with the first run we did, and I’m also encouraged for tomorrow because I believe we have a strong car for the race and that’s when it counts the most.”
Palou and his fellow NTT IndyCar Series drivers will get a final 30-minute warm up session tomorrow morning at 9:00am. The GMR Grand Prix will be broadcast live on NBC starting at Noon ET on Saturday, July 4.