With three wins and 5 different podium finishes – together with runner-up final weekend at Laguna Seca – Chip Ganassi Racing’s sequence Palou arrives on the finale with a 35-point margin over his nearest opposition, Arrow McLaren SP’s Pato O’Ward.
Even when O’Ward wins the race, and features the bonus level for pole, the bonus level for main a lap and the 2 bonus factors for main probably the most laps, the pair will finish the season on the identical factors tally.
Then, with three wins apiece, the tie-break could be selected variety of runner-up finishes – two for Palou, one for O’Ward.
Requested if he stored the religion that he might win the title regardless of three late-season races stricken by dangerous luck – engine-change grid penalty at Nashville, engine failure within the second race on the Indy street course, and being crashed out at Gateway by Rinus VeeKay – Palou replied: “I feel we did the work that I needed to do earlier than being right here at Lengthy Seaside.
“I knew that we had a chance at Portland [victory] and Laguna [second place] as a result of we examined there as a result of they have been street programs, and I am extra of a street course driver. However yeah, we did the work. We have to end it out.
“It is not going to be simple. It is 27 drivers. You stated I solely want to complete eleventh, however to complete eleventh in IndyCar just isn’t that simple these days.
“We’ll do our greatest. We’re not going to give attention to that eleventh place as a result of I noticed so many races, together with final weekend, the place any person that’s outdoors of prime 10 on the final stint can end within the prime three.
“We simply must do one of the best we will. Hopefully we will battle for the win. I strongly consider that we’re actually good on the races with methods, pitstops, gasoline and tire administration. Hopefully we will get a win there.
“Did I feel that we might be P1 with 35 factors lead after these three weekends? In all probability not!”
Alex Palou, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
Photograph by: Phillip Abbott / Motorsport Images
Palou joined Ganassi after a rookie season at Dale Coyne Racing, during which he landed his first podium end in solely his third race.
Reflecting on his second 12 months within the sequence, he stated he had “loved it loads because the first time I met all the blokes at Chip Ganassi Racing.
Palou believes that a part of the explanation he shone at Portland – the place he scored his first IndyCar pole place adopted by a 3rd race win – was as a result of the workforce had examined on the 1.964-mile course beforehand, however hasn’t had that luxurious for Lengthy Seaside.
“Coming right here there is not any strategy to take a look at,” he stated.
“I did numerous simulator [work] at house earlier than going to the HPD simulator, after which I noticed many onboard cameras and talked to Dario [Franchitti] and all the blokes on the workforce to only get as a lot ‘expertise’ as we will.
“As a result of yeah, we’ll have two practices – which looks as if loads this 12 months – but it surely’s not a lot in comparison with what they used to have in IndyCar…
“I feel it’ll be about getting up to the mark and having sufficient confidence throughout observe one and observe two.
“However yeah, I used to be proud of the efficiency we did at Detroit. I feel Detroit it is a bit tougher than what you get right here, extra corners and much more bumpy, and we did an excellent job there, so ought to be good right here.