Palou Prevails in Penultimate Round at Portland Clinches 2023 INDYCAR Drivers’ Championship for Honda

  • Chip Ganassi Racing's Alex Palou clinches title with dominant victory in Portland; teammate Scott Dixon finishes third to secure second place in the championship
  • Palou becomes first driver in 17 years to win the NTT INDYCAR SERIES championship prior to the final race of the year
  • Honda powers nine of top 15 finishers at Portland International Raceway

Honda driver Alex Palou clinched the 2023 NTT INDYCAR SERIES championship today at Portland International Raceway with a dominant victory at the Grand Prix of Portland.

Starting from fifth, Palou cycled to the lead in the first round of pit stops, and relinquished said lead only while pitting himself to take the victory in the penultimate round of the 17-race 2023 season. Palou becomes the first driver since Sebastien Bourdais in 2007 to clinch the title prior to the final race of the year.

Palou's Chip Ganassi Racing teammate and championship rival Scott Dixon made a valiant charge, qualifying fourth and finishing third aboard his #9 Honda, but would come up just short of keeping his championship hopes alive going into the finale at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in one week's time.

Other Honda finishers in the top 10 included Marcus Ericsson, seventh; David Malukas, eighth; and Kyle Kirkwood in 10th. Grand Prix of Portland Honda Race Results       

1st Alex Palou    Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
3rd Scott Dixon    Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
7th Marcus Ericsson Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
8th David Malukas  Dale Coyne Racing with HMD Honda
10th Kyle Kirkwood     Andretti Autosport Honda
11th Christian Lundgaard Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda  
12th Graham Rahal  Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda
13th Colton Herta    Andretti Autosport Honda
14th Helio Castroneves      Meyer Shank Racing Honda
17th Devlin DeFrancesco Andretti Autosport Honda
18th Juri Vips-R Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda
19th Marcus Armstrong-R  Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
23rd Sting Ray Robb-R    Dale Coyne Racing with RWR Honda
24th Tom Blomqvist-R Meyer Shank Racing Honda
27th Romain Grosjean Andretti Autosport Honda [Did not finish – contact]

R – Rookie

NTT INDYCAR SERIES Manufacturers' Championship (unofficial, after 16 of 17 rounds)
Honda                  1,362 points
Chevrolet             1,346 points

NTT INDYCAR SERIES Drivers' Championship Standings (unofficial, after 16 of 17 rounds)
1. Alex Palou, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda                 618 points [clinches championship]
2. Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda                -  91
3. Josef Newgarden, Team Penske                             -148
4. Pato O'Ward, Arrow McLaren                                   -157

Alex Palou (#10 Chip Ganassi Racing Honda) race winner, clinches 2023 NTT INDYCAR SERIES championship, his second title in the last three years: "It was an amazing weekend overall; we just had really fast cars. We knew we had to go for it, and we just raced how we have been doing all season. Super proud to be here in victory lane. I love it. I never thought I'd be an IndyCar champion, to be a two-time IndyCar champion feels amazing, like a dream. These guys and girls give me all the tools I need to win. We'll keep on rolling. Whatever we did today we were going to come out on a really strong position."

Scott Dixon (#9 Chip Ganassi Racing Honda) finished third, clinches second in the Drivers' Championship: "First of all, huge congrats to the '10' car guys [teammate Alex Palou] on clinching the championship. Our race was pretty straightforward.  We had a pretty good run on our first stint, but then got caught up in some traffic; and then, obviously, Felix [Rosenqvist] jumped us during that last caution.  And that's how things ended up for us."

David Malukas (#18 Dale Coyne Racing with HMD Honda) finished eighth, biggest mover in the race after starting 24th: "It was a really good race for us.  We knew we had pace, We were strong in practice, and in warmup. But something just didn't go right for us in qualifying.  But when we got to the race, we could run with the guys further up front, where I felt like we belonged all weekend. It was a tough race but, all-in-all, a very successful one for us."

David Salters (President, Honda Performance Development) on today's Honda win and Palou championship clinch in Portland: "Wow, what a weekend. Honda pole; Honda win, and a Honda driver clinches the championship.  First of all, thanks to all of the people, all the women and men at Chip Ganassi Racing.  Huge shout out to Alex [Palou], who was absolutely stunning today, as he has been all year.  Chip Ganassi and team have dominated this season with eight wins from the team.  Finally, a massive shout out to all the men and women at HPD who work so hard day-in and day-out to compete in this series, and, in this case, to win."

Fast Facts

  • Honda continues to lead the 2023 NTT INDYCAR SERIES Manufacturers' Championship, with 11 race victories and 11 poles in 16 races this season. Honda currently has an unofficial 16-point advantage (1,362-1,346) over rival Chevrolet. The company is seeking its fifth NTT INDYCAR SERIES Manufacturers' Championship in the last six years in 2023.
  • In addition to sweeping all five temporary street circuit races this year, Honda drivers and teams have now won on five of the six permanent road circuits, and at the World Wide Technology Raceway oval, on the 2023 NTT INDYCAR SERIES schedule.

The 2023 NTT INDYCAR SERIES concludes next weekend with its 17th and final race of the season, the Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey, at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California.

Where to Watch
Television coverage of Sunday's Grand Prix of Portland starts at 3 p.m. EDT on NBC. Complete, flag-to-flag race coverage also will be available on NBC Peacock, the INDYCAR Radio Network, and SiriusXM INDYCAR Nation (Channel 160).

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