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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Palou labels Texas IndyCar drive his greatest but on an oval

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The 2021 IndyCar champion discovered himself within the battle for victory on the 1.5-mile oval earlier than finally shedding out to eventual winner Josef Newgarden, who took the win by 1.2s from Arrow McLaren’s Pato O’Ward.  

Palou, whose remaining pitstop had come 25 laps earlier than these of Newgarden and O’Ward, commented: “I did not know they had been on new tyres on the finish; [the team] did not inform me – which was good!

“My automotive was quick, I am tremendous completely happy to be right here on the rostrum for the primary time. I’ve acquired some confidence on ovals, and it was a enjoyable race.

“IndyCar did an important job with the downforce ranges and stuff, so super-happy to be right here. We did not actually have the velocity of the #5 [O’Ward and the #2 [Newgarden] however we’ll prepare for the subsequent one.”

Requested if it was one of the best oval race of his profession, he responded: “100%, I believe it was the primary one which I may drive how I wished, after which I may assault and I knew what I used to be doing.”

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Patricio O’Ward, Arrow McLaren Chevrolet

Picture by: Brett Farmer / Motorsport Images

Whereas Palou hailed his efficiency, O’Ward impressed through the center portion of the race with the McLaren driver placing the vast majority of the sphere a lap down earlier than a succession of warning durations.   

However when an extended full-course warning allowed Newgarden to make adjustments to his Penske entry, the pair appeared evenly matched. A good battle within the final dozen laps, additionally involving Palou’s Honda-powered Ganassi automotive, was ended early when Romain Grosjean’s Andretti Autosport automotive hit the wall on the penultimate lap and introduced out the yellow with Newgarden’s automotive lower than two-tenths forward of the McLaren.

O’Ward, who now leads the championship with a brace of runner-up finishes, commented: “It has been a hell of a begin to the yr. The fellows gave me an absolute rocketship. All people who was watching the race halfway by means of noticed that.

“It was an absolute pleasure to drive, and I assume we’re nonetheless ready for that win this yr after two second locations. However that is an important begin to the championship, and that is what we want and we’ll hold chipping at it.”

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