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Palou wins to be topped 2023 champion

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Palou beat Arrow McLaren’s Felix Rosenqvist by 5.4s to say his fifth win of the season and his second IndyCar championship, following up his 2021 success. It’s Ganassi’s 15th title within the sequence.

Poleman Graham Rahal (Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing) led the 27-car area to inexperienced, heading fellow alternate-tyred starters Scott McLaughlin (Team Penske) and Colton Herta (Andretti Autosport). Palou surged as much as third from fifth on the grid, with title rival Dixon slipping to fifth after tagging the rear of Herta on the apex of Flip 2 and delaying them each. Behind them, Josef Newgarden (Penske) and Kyle Kirkwood (Andretti) acquired collectively and needed to take the escape highway on the first chicane.

On the opening lap at Flip 7, Callum Ilott (Juncos Hollinger Racing) ran large and was hit from behind by the luckless Romain Grosjean’s Andretti Autosport machine as he rejoined. Grosjean misplaced 10 laps for repairs.

The yellow flag flew on lap 3 as Will Power’s Penske entry spun off into the grass after an overambitious dive down the within of Alexander Rossi (Arrow McLaren) at Flip 4.

Rahal led the restart on lap 7 from McLaughlin, Palou (who began on more durable main tires), Herta and Dixon (additionally on primaries). Behind them, the McLarens of Pato O’Ward headed Rossi and Rosenqvist – who made a storming begin from 11th – the latter duo swapping seventh between them.

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Herta, Rossi and Marcus Ericsson (Ganassi) have been the primary to pit on lap 19 however Herta was pinged for pitlane dashing, costing him a drive-through penalty. McLaughlin stopped on lap 22, with Rahal pitting a lap later, selling Palou to the entrance forward of Dixon, each operating lengthy first stints attributable to beginning on the extra sturdy tire.

Rahal and McLaughlin have been mired in site visitors after their early stops and haemorrhaged time, as Palou set a fearsome tempo out entrance and opened up a 5s lead over Dixon. O’Ward and Rosenqvist pitted collectively on lap 30, with the previous choosing alternates however shedding monitor place to his team-mate through the cease.

Graham Rahal, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda

Picture by: Gavin Baker / Motorsport Images

Palou pitted for the primary time on lap 32, switching to the unfavoured alternates, with Dixon following swimsuit a lap later however choosing primaries.

After the primary cycle was full, Palou led Dixon by 6s, with Rosenqvist leaping to 3rd from O’Ward, Rahal, McLaughlin and Newgarden. Rossi slumped to the underside of the highest 10, whereas Herta’s penalty dropped him to 19th.

Dixon carved into Palou’s lead, because the Spaniard nursed his softer tires and acquired caught behind tailender Sting Ray Robb. Palou dived for the pits on lap 49, giving him main rubber for the remainder of the race. As he rejoined, he instinctively appeared to dam Helio Castroneves on the run to Flip 3 to maintain his monitor place – however the incident wasn’t reviewed by race management.

Rosenqvist caught proper up with Dixon earlier than making his second cease on lap 58, the Swede committing to a different lengthy stint on primaries. Dixon stopped two laps later, gifting an eight second lead again to Palou and rejoining on alternates.

Palou prolonged his benefit to over 10s with 40 laps to go and pitted for the ultimate time on lap 80 and rejoined forward of the polewinner Rahal, who nonetheless needed to make his closing cease. Dixon stopped two laps later as soon as once more, rejoining eight seconds behind.

Agustin Canapino spun off with 27 laps to go, going straight on at Flip 10 and spun wildly again throughout the monitor and onto the grass, however IndyCar stalled the decision to go full-course warning, which allowed Rosenqvist to pit earlier than the yellow flew. That jumped him to second, forward of Dixon, however meant he had the ultimate stint 23 laps to the end to run on alternates.

Palou had Rosenqvist proper behind him on the restart, with Dixon and O’Ward having to take care of site visitors. Within the pack, the recovering Herta handed McLaughlin for eighth, whereas simply forward Rossi and Ericsson clashed wheels at 170mph on the strategy to Flip 10, sending a livid Rossi to the pits for a brand new entrance wing.

Palou had all of it beneath management on the entrance, as Rosenqvist needed to handle his alternates, whereas Dixon had nothing to try to regain the runner-up spot he thought was stolen from him.

O’Ward completed fourth, forward of Newgarden – who loved a powerful bounce again, regardless of two skirmishes with Kirkwood – and Rinus VeeKay, who had certainly one of his greatest runs of the season for Ed Carpenter Racing. Ericsson was seventh however the chasing Herta spun with simply three laps to go, selling David Malukas (Dale Coyne Racing), McLaughlin and Kirkwood.

Polewinner Rahal completed 12th, forward of Herta, and was furious about his workforce’s technique calls. Ganassi’s Marcus Armstrong additionally misplaced a possible prime 10 when he was despatched on his manner with solely three wheels hooked up.

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