NEWS & RACES
Brilliant 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.