Race Weekend Central

Alex Palou Takes Pole Again, This Time in Detroit

Alex Palou, the polesitter for the Indianapolis 500 last month, followed up his 500 pole with a pole in the Detroit Grand Prix.

This is the third pole of Palou’s IndyCar career. The 2021 series champion was able to out-game the rest of the field by using used option tires to advance from Round 2, allowing him to have fresher tires for his final hot lap.

“Didn’t really feel good” Palou said about his team’s tire strategy, “I was concerned as to if we would be able to make it two laps or not. Super happy, [this] is my first pole on a street course, it’s great to be back here on pole… I got off [track] a lot in practice, we were wanting to see where the limit was. I found it, it’s a crazy track.”

Scott McLaughlin qualified besides Palou in second. Romain Grosjean was fast enough to take third while Scott Dixon, using an alternate primary tire strategy from the rest of the Firestone Fast Six, qualified fourth.

Firestone Fast Six

Both Grosjean and Ericsson went into the run-off area out of turn eight on their first hot laps.

Indianapolis 500 winner Josef Newgarden qualified fifth, beating out Indianapolis 500 runner-up Marcus Ericsson once again, who will start besides him in sixth.

Round 2

Palou was the fastest of the session.

There were no on-track incidents in this round.

Eliminated from Round 2 were:

7. Will Power

8. Simon Pagenaud

9. Felix Rosenqvist

10. Pato O’Ward

11. Marcus Armstrong

12. Kyle Kirkwood

Round 1 Group 1

Armstrong paced this group, with Grosjean right behind in second. Palou ended up clocking in the third fastest time of this group.

Helio Castroneves spun exiting turn two with two and a half minutes to go. Castroneves didn’t hit anything and was able to turn back around without a red flag coming out.

Conor Daly also spun out into a run-off area after completing his fast lap but before getting back to pit road. He was able to get back to the pits without further incident.

Eliminated from Round 1 in Group 1 were:

13. Alexander Rossi

15. Daly

17. Devlin DeFrancesco

19. Benjamin Pederson

21. David Malukas

23. Castroneves

25. Jack Harvey

Round 1 Group 2

Kirkwood ended up outpacing McLaughlin to be the fastest of the group. O’Ward was half a second behind Kirkwood in third.

Newgarden was sixth in the session and the last to advance. The difference between him and seventh place Rinus Veekay was just 0.011 of a second.

Eliminated from Round 1 in Group 2 were:

14. Veekay

16. Callum Ilott

18. Christian Lundgaard

20. Agustin Canapino

22. Santino Ferrucci

24. Colton Herta

26. Sting Ray Robb

27. Graham Rahal

About the author

Michael has watched NASCAR for 20 years and regularly covered the sport from 2013-2021. He moved on to Formula 1, IndyCar, and SRX coverage for the site, while still putting a toe in the water from time-to-time back into the NASCAR pool.

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