Alex Palou wins IndyCar REV Group GP at Road America

Alex Palou wins IndyCar REV Group GP at Road America

by June 21, 2021 0 comments

For what is now the third race in a row, a Team Penske driver had a chance to win a race. Once again, failed to find one of their four cars in victory lane, and again it was in soul-crushing fashion. Alex Palou would take advantage of this heartbreak to propel himself to his second win of the year and back into the points lead. Road America recap and more right here.

Pre Race Headlines

One of the more odd injuries of the motorsports calendar year happened earlier this week. Rinus VeeKay would end up having to miss Sunday’s race due to a clavicle injury in a cycling accident. While cycling is surprisingly very common among motorsports athletes, you can’t say an injury of this fashion comes around very often. A big hit for VeeKay nonetheless, as he was fifth place in points entering this weekend. Filling in for the young Dutchman would be Oliver Askew, who also filled in for Felix Rosenqvist at the second Detroit race.

And there would be a surprise fill-in for Rosenqvist with Askew already off the table. That would be former Haas F1 driver and the pride of Denmark Kevin Magnussen. KMag had been running with Chip Ganassi Racing in the Weather Tech Sports Car Series this year and seemed very eager for the opportunity to run in IndyCar. Of course, this brought along a lot of reminiscing of the old Hass F1 team structure with Magnussen and Romain Grosjean from fans which was nice to see. Magnussen even led some laps before an issue forced him to the rear of the field.

Newgarden Gut Punch

Josef Newgarden started off this weekend much as he did in Detroit a couple of weeks ago. He qualified on pole, and absolutely dominated the wide majority of the opening race. Well in this weekend’s case the only race. Then a late-race caution brought out by Ed Jones would force a two-lap shoutout. Palou, who had run behind Newgarden almost all race proved to be a worthy adversary, but he would not be the cause of Newgarden’s demise. Coming into turn one, Palou blasted by Newgarden to take the lead and cruise on to victory. But the pass seemed almost too easy. Like something was wrong with Newgarden’s car easy. That’s because there was something wrong.

Right around the start/finish line, pit reporter Dave Burns for NBC heard a loud pop from Newgarden’s car. This would make sense as Newgarden dropped like a rock down the long straight going into turn three. Newgarden would continue to fall down the running order, all the way down to 21st. Newgarden had this to say postrace on what caused his late-race freefall.

Palou Points Lead

Now to the other side of the coin. Palou only led five laps on the day, but two of those happened to be the final two and that is what really matters. Even more important is that it was an absolute monster points day for him to boot. He was on the right end of a 29 point swing against now-former points leader Pato O’Ward and now is up 28 on his title rival. I don’t think many if anyone at all thought that Palou would have more wins, top fives, and points than his teammate Scott Dixon in the second half of the season. But here we are nonetheless. Chip Ganassi always says that he likes winners, and he certainly has one in the 24-year-old Spaniard.

Grosjean Bounceback

The former F1 driver did not have the best weekend in Detroit. Scoring two finishes outside the top 20, and having to become a firefighter for all of about 10 seconds. His strong result on Sunday in Wisconsin was much more akin to what we saw on the Indy Road Course. He raced with a healthy amount of aggression and had no problem with mixing it up with guys, most notably with Alexander Rossi on a few occasions. Ultimately Grosjean was able to secure a top-five, the second of his short IndyCar Career. Hopefully next year he runs the whole schedule and can give himself a shot at a title. Nice to see F1 guys that were not one of the big three teams getting a chance to show how good they are.

Dixon Smooth But Steady

It was not a monster day for Dixon on Sunday by any means, but he did enough to nab a fourth-place result on the day. He also keeps himself right in the thick of the title hunt. Currently sitting a little over 50 points back of Palou. In terms of the IndyCar Points system, that is not relatively much, but it is not nothing either. Worth noting as well that in his iconic career, the Iceman has never won back-to-back titles. With seven races to go and having just one win, Dixon aims for some better results to keep up with the young guns in Palou and O’Ward.

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Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images

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