Race Weekend Central

Alex Palou Steals Road America Win From Dominant Colton Herta

Alex Palou has been the talk of the town in IndyCar for some time and the Spaniard took the buzz to victory lane at Road America by winning the Sonsio Grand Prix on Sunday, June 18.

The win is seventh of Palou’s NTT IndyCar Series career and his third of the 2023 season. Palou took the lead from a dominant Colton Herta on lap 49 of the 55 lap race and promptly drove away into the proverbial sunset while Herta fell through the field as he attempted to hit a difficult fuel mileage mark to reach the end of the race.

“It’s been an amazing weekend, honestly,” Palou told NBC after the race.

“We started with a lot of speed. Big mistake by my part in practice two, but it was amazing, they had only an hour and a half to rebuild all the car. We went back on track and it was even better than practice two. So, super happy, they gave me the pit stop that gave us the win as well. So, yeah, can not thank them enough!”

This win – the 250th for Chip Ganassi Racing – increases Palou’s championship points lead to a whopping 74 points.

On the flip side of Palou’s joy at his third win in the last four races was Herta, who spent the majority of the day looking set to take a comfortable victory. The driver of Andretti Autosport’s No. 26 entry started on pole and led 33 of the race’s 55 laps.

Herta was called into the pits one lap earlier than those around him, leaving him to save a full lap of fuel on-track while Palou, Josef Newgarden, Pato O’Ward and Scott Dixon, among others, were free to push without major concerns regarding fuel mileage. By the race’s end, all of these drivers had jumped by Herta and he would finish in fifth place.

See also
Will Power and Scott Dixon to Start Deep in the Field at Sonsio GP After Practice Clash

Through the second half of the race, Will Power made an appearance at the front of the field after being made to tackle the day on an off-sequence pit strategy. Power had multiple run-ins with the Road America run-offs and ended the day with seven pit stops under his belt, including one from the lead with 10 laps to go. The two-time champion led seven laps on the day.

Dixon proved the biggest mover of the race, finishing fourth after a 23rd start. David Malukas was the only retirement of the race after stopping on track on lap 24 with a mechanical issue.

Romain Grosjean, Jack Harvey and Marcus Armstrong all finished one lap down after having their own series of one-car incidents throughout the day. Kyle Kirkwood and Felix Rosenqvist were also involved in incidents on track but managed lead-lap finishes of ninth and 20th, respectively.

2023 IndyCar at Road America Results

The next round of the 2023 NTT IndyCar Series season will be the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio from the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Coverage will begin at 1:30 p.m. ET on USA.

About the author

Alex is the IndyCar Content Director at Frontstretch, having initially joined as an entry-level contributor in 2021. He also serves as Managing Director of The Asia Cable, a publication focused on the international affairs and politics of the Asia-Pacific region which he co-founded in 2023. With previous experience in China, Japan and Poland, Alex is particularly passionate about the international realm of motorsport and the politics that make the wheels turn - literally - behind the scenes.

Sign up for the Frontstretch Newsletter

A daily email update (Monday through Friday) providing racing news, commentary, features, and information from Frontstretch.com
We hate spam. Your email address will not be sold or shared with anyone else.

1 Comment
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Steals? Poor headline and incorrect!

Share via