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Monday, July 15, 2024

Palou’s 2023 IndyCar championship type “resets the bar”

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The efficiency by Palou was one for the ages. In 17 races, the Spaniard claimed 5 wins, 10 podiums, 13 prime fives, and 17 prime 10s, of which featured no consequence decrease than eighth, to assert his second championship in three years.

He added two poles and 4 quickest laps to the tally, together with main laps in 11 rounds and amassing 377 laps led on the yr (second solely to Josef Newgarden’s mark of 607).

Palou ended the yr with a 3.7 common end, which stands out as the most effective outings since Tony Kanaan (2004) and Dan Wheldon (2005), respectively.

The run of outcomes allowed Palou to lock up the title within the penultimate spherical at Portland Worldwide Raceway, changing into the primary driver to clinch previous to the season finale since Sebastien Bourdais captured the 2007 Champ Automotive title with a race to spare.

Energy, who scored 4 podiums and 11 prime 10s to complete seventh in final yr’s title race, respects what the Chip Ganassi Racing driver was capable of accomplish and reckons it was untouchable.

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“5 wins, nothing exterior the highest eight, man, that’s … My God, you are simply sitting at such a excessive stage there,” mentioned Energy, the 2018 Indianapolis 500 winner.

“Folks say he wrapped it up with one to go or he was nearly completed with two to go. He most likely might have. He was on his method to profitable the final race. He had taken off the lead in that factor clearly with loads of mayhem.

“However that is a championship to recollect on this discipline. That may be a very, very spectacular run. Very sturdy.

“I could not see anybody beating that. There isn’t any one sitting again going, ‘If I simply end this race.’ Everyone seems to be simply going, ‘this dude simply completely mopped the ground (with the sector)’. He nailed it.”

Picture by: Penske Leisure

Alex Palou with Chip Ganass, Chip Ganassi Racing

For the sake of comparability, Energy had three outcomes exterior the highest 10 – seven past the highest eight – when profitable the 2014 IndyCar Sequence championship. His run to win the 2022 title featured 4 finishes exterior the highest 10, which additionally stood as his solely outcomes decrease than eighth.

The Aussie expressed that Palou’s type adjustments the strategy of methods to assault the championship shifting ahead.

“Yeah, it is not having errors plus profitable races,” Energy mentioned. “Not simply ending; you’ll be able to’t simply be prime 5 each time. You have to win races.

“That is one powerful staff and competitor proper there.

“It simply resets the bar on this collection, which is a really excessive bar already, which is fairly cool to see.”

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