Sun, 26 Sep 2021

Alex Palou rallies for win at Portland, recaptures points lead

Field Level Media
13 Sep 2021, 10:40 GMT+10

Alex Palou of Spain lost his pole position on the first lap before fighting all the way back to win the Grand Prix of Portland on Sunday in Portland, Ore., regaining the lead in the IndyCar Series championship standings in the process.

The driver of the No. 10 Honda for Chip Ganassi Racing, Palou led 29 laps of the 110-lap, 216-mile race at Portland International Raceway. He beat Alexander Rossi by 1.2895 seconds.

New Zealand's Scott Dixon placed third, 4.4406 seconds behind Palou. Jack Harvey of Great Britain and Josef Newgarden rounded out the top five.

Palou's third victory of the season moved him back into the points lead, 25 points clear of Mexico's Pato O'Ward with two races to go. Newgarden is third in points, 34 behind Palou.

On the first turn of the race, Palou and Dixon were among those who evaded a multi-car "melee" that sent several cars to the pits or the paddock for repairs. But per IndyCar regulations, because Palou left the racing surface to avoid a collision, he had to be moved back in the order upon restart, along with several other drivers.

Palou's nearly immediate drop from first to 16th made his comeback all the more impressive.

"I need to see what was at Turn 1," Palou said in a post-race TV interview. "I don't know what IndyCar was thinking about -- you avoid an accident and they put you in the back. But anyway, we kept our heads down. We knew that the race was really long and I cannot believe it, we made it. ... (Our) strategy was amazing."

Palou had to stave off Rossi on restarts on laps 89 and 92 to secure victory lane.

Graham Rahal led a race-high 36 laps but finished 10th.

--Field Level Media

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