MADISON, Ill — If Alex Palou doesn’t win this year’s championship, the main culprit as to why stems from a blown engine this past offseason during a test at the Barber Motorsports Park. See, the NTT IndyCar Series has an engine limit for the season and you can’t exceed these rules too soon. By losing an engine so early, its had a chain reaction to Palou’s season.
He knew he’d be an engine behind everyone it the first time it happened was for Belle Isle. Palou had to change his Honda engine prior to the Indianapolis 500 which would result in a six spot grid penalty for Belle Isle 1. He’d start in the back and only finish 15th as a direct result of that penalty.
His second one came in Nashville. He was supposed to start on Row 2 but instead he came from ninth. He’d only finish seventh due to that. Now, he has another penalty due to his No. 10 Honda blowing its engine while running fourth in last Saturday’s Big Machine Spiked Coolers Grand Prix. But, due to a short oval being next, the rules for changing an engine isn’t six spots but nine instead.
Rule 220.127.116.11 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.
So, depending on where he qualifies on Saturday afternoon, he’ll have to come from nine spots behind that for the race that night. Could his points lead then be in jeopardy?
He enters with a 21 point lead after having it blossom to over 50 points before his engine troubles last week.