INDIANAPOLIS — Alex Palou enters Saturday’s GMR Grand Prix (3 p.m. ET, NBC, INDYCAR Radio Network) with the NTT INDYCAR Series points lead. The thing is, the third year driver is joined up front by 3 other championship contenders. Among the top 5 in the starting lineup, 4 of which are in the top 5 in points.
However, Palou’s main rivals too all belong to the Chevrolet camp and on the season thus far, Chevy is a perfect 4-for-4. On the 2.439-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, the bowties have 6 of the top 7 starters and are on a track to where they’ve won 9 of the last 10 at including 4 straight.
Palou, is the only non Chevy driver in the top 7. He says that while he’s the only Honda driver represented up front with having 6 Chevrolet’s make up the top 7 of Saturday’s starting lineup, he notes that he didn’t have any problems with his Honda power in qualifying.
“That’s good, right?” he told me. I” was not lacking power today. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be up there. Yeah, I don’t know. It works that way here, but it was working the other way some other races. So, yeah, I’m happy being up there and being able to fight.”
Palou, was quickest in the morning session and P2 in session 2. He has now qualified in the Fast 6 in each of his last 4 Indy road course starts.
Now, can he hold them off in the 85 lap race? Palou has 3 podiums in 4 starts this season and coming to a track that rewards track position.
“Yeah, it was a great day for us,” he said. “Really fast all day, all practices. We tried to improve the car for qualifying. We did. We found some stuff, which I was really happy about, and we got through Fast Six. That’s the main target to start up front.
“And then when you are with use reds and you have only one lap it’s tough to make it happen, right? Yeah, it was a good day for us.”
Palou, battled a loose No. 10 Dallara-Honda but loose is fast and it paid off.
“Yeah, that was what I said to the engineers as well, but they didn’t believe me. (Laughing). Yeah, it’s a track where the corners, how they are laid out, all the cars tend to obviously steer a little bit on entry if you look at it.
“We were basically trying to make the car be more comfortable and easier to push with it. At the end I was super happy during qualifying with my car both on blacks and reds. It’s a track that you always have to fight so much.”