Race Weekend Central

IndyCar Points Leader Alex Palou Handed Grid Penalty for Engine Change

No matter where Alex Palou places his No. 10 Chip Ganassi Racing Honda during qualifying at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway, he’ll have a good amount of cars to pass.

The NTT IndyCar Series points leader was hit with a nine-place grid penalty early Sunday (Aug. 27) morning. According to IndyCar, the penalty is the result of an unapproved engine change. The team has reached their limit on approved engine changes according to the IndyCar rulebook, which stipulates that each team is allocated five engines for use in a single season.

Several other teams picked up the same penalty on Saturday, including the man trying to run down Palou for his seventh title, teammate Scott Dixon. However, Palou is in a position to clinch his second title when the green flag falls and any issues could open up the opportunity for the driver who’s been the most dominant on ovals in the series this season – Josef Newgarden.

Newgarden has been dominant on ovals this season, as he’s won every oval event of the 2023 season so far. He currently sits third in the standings, 105 points behind Palou.

Also, perhaps even scarier for the field and more specifically for Palou, Newgarden was the fastest car in practice yesterday. If Palou’s Honda finds trouble starting deep in the field, the reigning Indy 500 champion could be in a perfect position to make up the difference on the 2021 IndyCar Series champion and keep himself mathematically in the hunt for his third title.

See also
IndyCar Qualifying at Gateway Postponed Due to Weather

Coverage of the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 from Gateway begins today at 3:30 p.m. ET on NBC, with streaming also available on Peacock.

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