Palou, Honda Start “The Month of May” With Victory at Indianapolis

  • Alex Palou wins the GMR Grand Prix of Indianapolis, as the activities begin at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway leading up to the Indianapolis 500
  • Christian Lundgaard starts from pole, finishes fourth for Honda and Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
  • Scott Dixon recovers from opening lap incident to finish sixth; Marcus Ericsson runs eighth as Honda drivers claim six of the top-10 finishing positions

Alex Palou cruised to his first victory of the 2023 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season at today's GMR Grand Prix of Indianapolis, piloting his Chip Ganassi Racing Honda to a nearly 17-second victory in the opening event of activities leading up to the Indianapolis 500 later this month.

Starting third on the faster, but more fragile, Firestone alternate "red" tires, Palou moved past fellow Honda driver and pole qualifier Christian Lundgaard on the opening lap, and was in command for much of the 85-lap contest.  At the checkers, Palou finished 16.8 seconds ahead of Pato O'Ward in second, having led a race-high total of 52 laps.

Running the "red" tires in the closing stint, Lundgaard finished fourth for Honda and Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, his best result of 2023.  In his #9 Chip Ganassi Racing Honda, Scott Dixon recovered from delays caused by an opening-lap incident ahead of him to finish sixth; with teammate and defending Indianapolis 500 winner Marcus Ericsson running eighth at the checkers.

With today's win, Honda has increased its lead in the INDYCAR Manufacturers' Championship to 26 points over Chevrolet (413-387), while Palou moves to the top of the championship points standings for drivers with 174.

GMR Grand Prix of Indianapolis Honda Race Results

  • 1st Alex Palou  
Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
  • 4th Christian Lundgaard
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda
  • 6th Scott Dixon
Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
  • 8th Marcus Ericsson
Chip Ganassi Racing Honda 
  • 9th Colton Herta
Andretti Autosport Honda
  • 10th Graham Rahal
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda
  • 11th Romain Grosjean
Andretti Autosport Honda 
  • 14th Kyle Kirkwood
Andretti Autosport Honda
  • 15th Marcus Armstrong-R
Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
  • 17th Devlin DeFrancesco
Andretti Autosport Honda
  • 20th Jack Harvey
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda
  • 22nd Helio Castroneves
Meyer Shank Racing Honda
  • 25th Simon Pagenaud
Meyer Shank Racing Honda               Did not finish [mechanical]
  • 26th David Malukas
Dale Coyne Racing with HMD Honda  Did not finish [contact]
  • 27th Sting Ray Robb-R
Dale Coyne Racing with RWR Honda   Did not finish [mechanical]  

R – Rookie

NTT INDYCAR SERIES Manufacturers' Championship (unofficial, after 5 of 17 rounds)

Honda 413 points
Chevrolet 387 points

NTT INDYCAR SERIES Drivers' Championship Standings (unofficial, after 5 of 17 rounds)

1. Alex Palou, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda 174 points
2. Pato O’Ward, Arrow McLaren -6
3. Marcus Ericsson, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda -19
4. Romain Grosjean, Andretti Autosport Honda   -40
5. Scott McLaughlin, Team Penske -41

Alex Palou (#10 Chip Ganassi Racing Honda) race winner, first win of 2023: "What an amazing job from the #10 crew, and our first win with [sponsor] American Legion.  We knew we had a fast car right from the start of the race weekend.  We were P1 [in practice] yesterday and the car's been amazing all weekend.  Once we knew we were starting on [Firestone] reds, I think we knew we could fight for the win.  I just had to execute.  Today could not be a better start [to May] for us." 

Christian Lundgaard (#45 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda) pole qualifier, finished fourth: "I'm satisfied with a fourth [place finish], but it was a tough day.  The #45 Hy-Vee Honda has been quick all weekend.  It wasn't AS quick today, unfortunately, but to come home fourth is OK.  There was a point in the race where I wasn't sure if we could finish in the top 10.  Our performance was strong all weekend, and that's the positive to take away from this weekend."

Scott Dixon (#9 Chip Ganassi Racing Honda) finished sixth: "The PNC Bank #9 was super fast, but we got caught up in a complete mess on the first lap when Graham [Rahal] spun in front of us after he got hit.  Then there was another accident in Turn 7 and I think we were like 17th or something at that point.  Then we spent the rest of the race trying to make up spots.  But 17th to 6th is pretty good!  I think if we'd had a [mid-race] caution, we couldn't made a run at [the victory], but congrats to Alex [Palou], that's awesome for the whole Ganassi team."

David Salters (President and Technical Director, Honda Performance Development) on today's Honda victory at the GMR Grand Prix: "Huge thanks to all the marvelous men and women at HPD for the pole and win. That's testament to all their hard work.  Congratulations to Alex [Palou] and everyone at Chip Ganassi Racing on their win today.  Also to Rahal Letterman Lanigan and Christian [Lundgaard] on his first INDYCAR pole.  We still have a couple of important weeks coming up here [in Indianapolis], but things were a lot more relaxing because we had "Barley", our surrogate HPD Race Dog here this weekend.  He's been to two races this year [Daytona and todays GMR GP], and we got pole and wins at both of them.  So big shout out to Barley!"

Fast Facts

  • Honda continues to lead the 2023 NTT INDYCAR SERIES Manufacturers' Championship, with three victories and four poles in the first five races this season. Honda currently has a 36-point advantage (413-387) over rival Chevrolet. The company is seeking its fifth NTT INDYCAR SERIES Manufacturers' Championship in the last six years in 2023.
  • Today's 85-lap race on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course kicked off three weeks of on-track activities leading up to the 107th running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 28.
  • The 15 Indianapolis 500 wins by Honda at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway lead all other major automobile manufacturers.

Activities at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway continue this week, but move to the historic 2.5-mile oval with four days of practice, starting Tuesday, followed by qualifying next weekend for the 107th running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 28.

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