Alex Palou to make 50th IndyCar career start at Long Beach

Competing in his fourth full-time season in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES, Alex Palou is set to achieve a milestone start. By competing in this weekend’s Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach at the Streets of Long Beach, California, the driver of the No. 10 Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara-Honda will achieve career start No. 50 in the IndyCar circuit.

A native of Sant Antoni de Vilamjaor, Catalonia, Spain, Palou made his inaugural presence in the IndyCar circuit at the start of the 2020 season, where he was signed by Dale Coyne Racing in conjunction with Team Goh. By then, he entered the sport with an extensive racing background that included starts in the GP3 Series, All-Japan F3 Championship region, World Series Formula V8 3.5, FIA Formula 2, European F3, Super Formula and Super GT. He was also coming off an eventful season in 2019, where he competed for McLaren Customer Racing Japan in the Super GT GT300 class and TCS Nakajima Racing for Super Formula in Japan, where he achieved a single victory and a third-place result in the championship standings.

Making his maiden IndyCar start at Texas Motor Speedway in June 2020 amid a shortened season due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Palou finished 23rd after being involved in an early incident. Two races later, he achieved his maiden podium result after finishing third during the first of a Road America doubleheader feature in July. The Spaniard would proceed to finish seventh in the second Road America doubleheader feature before recording his third top-10 result of the season in the second of an IndyCar Harvest Grand Prix doubleheader feature at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course in October. With an average-finishing result of 14.7 throughout the 14-race schedule, Palou ended up in 16th place in the final standings.

In 2021, Palou was signed by Chip Ganassi Racing to pilot the No. 10 Dallara-Honda. His maiden start with Ganassi commenced on a high note by fending off former champion Will Power to score his maiden IndyCar victory at Barber Motorsports Park in April and claim an early lead in the championship standings. He then achieved his maiden pole position at Texas Motor Speedway during a doubleheader feature in May while also achieving three additional podiums and a total of five top-10 results during the following seven events. This included a strong runner-up finish behind Helio Castroneves in the 105th running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Palou then claimed his second career victory in IndyCar competition at Road America in June following a late overtake on former champion Josef Newgarden as he also reassumed the points lead over title rival Pato O’Ward. Another four races later, where he earned two top-10 results before sustaining back-to-back DNFs at Indy and at the World Wide Technology Raceway in August that made him lose the lead in the standings, Palou responded back with vengeance after winning for the third time in his career at Portland International Raceway in September. After finishing second at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, Palou entered the season-finale event at the Streets of Long Beach with a 35-point advantage over Pato O’Ward and 48 over Newgarden. With a fourth-place result during the finale, Palou secured his maiden IndyCar Series championship by 38 points over Newgarden and 62 over O’Ward. By then, he became the third different competitor representing Chip Ganassi Racing and the first Spaniard to win an IndyCar title.

Palou’s quest to defend his title in 2022 commenced on a strong note by finishing in the runner-up spot behind Scott McLaughlin at the Streets of St. Petersburg in February. He then finished seventh at Texas in March and third at the Streets of Long Beach in April before achieving another runner-up result at Barber Motorsports Park in May. After finishing no higher than ninth during the following four events, which included an 18th-place result during the 106th running of the Indianapolis 500, the reigning champion captured his third runner-up result of the season at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course behind McLaughlin.

In mid-July, Palou was surrounded by controversy after he disputed a report he had been re-signed by Chip Ganassi Racing for the 2023 season by announcing through social media of his intentions to join McLaren Racing for the upcoming racing season. Chip Ganassi Racing would then respond to the report by reiterating their claim to Palou’s contract and their intention of filing a lawsuit against the Spaniard. By September, however, both parties reached a settlement that would result with Palou remaining at Chip Ganassi Racing for the 2023 season while also planning a McLaren Formula One test during the off-season period. From the Exhibition Place in Toronto in July through Portland in September, Palou recorded five top-10 results, including a podium result at Nashville Street Circuit in August. By then, however, his hopes to defend his series title were diminished. Nonetheless, he managed to secure his first elusive victory of the season during the finale at Laguna Seca as he capped off the season in fifth place in the final standings.

Through 49 previous starts in the IndyCar Series, Palou has achieved one championship, four victories, one pole, 16 podiums, 333 laps led and an average-finishing result of 9.6. He is currently ranked in fifth place in the championship standings and is coming off his first podium result of this season after finishing third at Texas Motor Speedway.

Palou is scheduled to make his 50th career start in the NTT INDYCAR Series at the Streets of Long Beach for the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach on Sunday, April 16, at 3 p.m. ET on NBC.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of


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