Palou faces grid penalty this weekend In Nashville

NASHVILLE, Tenn — INDYCAR officials have announced a six-position starting grid penalty for the No. 10 Chip Ganassi Racing entry for an unapproved engine change following a team test at Portland International Raceway.

The team was in violation of:

Rule 16.2.3.2 A fifth (5th) Engine is eligible to earn Engine Manufacturer points if a Full Season Entrant has completed the Full Season Entrant Engine Mileage with its first four (4) Engines. Otherwise, a fifth (5th) or more Engine does not earn Engine Manufacturer points and will be considered an Unapproved Engine change-out.

According to the rulebook, the penalty for such a change comes at the series’ next event, which is the Big Machine Music City Grand Prix on Sunday, Aug. 8 in Nashville, Tennessee.

This is the second time Palou was hit with this penalty. It happened for Belle Isle 1 too. He changed engines between Carb Day and the Indy 500 and had a similar penalty for Detroit. He started last and had his only result off the podium since the Indianapolis road course race in mid May.

This all those stems back to off-season testing in Barber. Palou, blew an engine then and it has been a chain reaction ever since.

“Yeah, I don’t like penalties,” said the Spaniard. “We knew we had this penalty already since the season even started. We got it on my first test, second test with Chip Ganassi Racing. That was way before the first race of the season. They told me, You’re going to have a penalty.

“I was like, What? We didn’t even started the season.

“One of those rules that I think they will adopt and change in the future, I hope at least, because I don’t think it makes a lot of sense that you blow up an engine on winter testing and suddenly you are with a penalty in the season. It is what it is. Nothing we can do now. Nothing the team could have done before.

“It is what it is. We just have to recover those six places that we’re going to have. I think maybe this being a street course, street racing, it’s always a bit more crazy with the strategies, tire deg and overtakes.

“Being the first time here in Nashville, we don’t know how the reds or the blacks are going to play out. I think it’s a good place to take a penalty. But, yeah, nothing we can do, so…”

Palou qualified third but will drop to ninth at the start.

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