Palou already setting sights on retaining IndyCar title next year

Newly crowned IndyCar champion Alex Palou says he’s already setting his sights on retaining his title next year.

Palou already setting sights on retaining IndyCar title next year

A calm fourth place in the Grand Prix of Long Beach was enough for the Chip Ganassi Racing driver to seal the championship by 38 points ahead of two-time champion Josef Newgarden, whose runner-up finish was enough to push him well clear of Pato O’Ward in the final standings.

Despite three early engine-change penalties and misfortune at IMS’s August road course race (mechanical) and Gateway (crashed out by another driver), he clinched the title by 38 points.

The series sophomore scored three wins and five other podium finishes.

The 24-year-old graduated to IndyCar in 2020 initially with Dale Coyne Racing after finishing third in the 2019 Super Formula Championship.  

“What a race, what a year, what a season – this team is amazing,” exclaimed Palou to NBC, as he became the first Spanish driver to win the title. “I’m super proud to be a part of Chip Ganassi Racing, all our partners.

“Super happy, can’t thank everyone enough – Chip Ganassi, my family, my management team. Amazing! The opportunity that these guys gave to me.

“Let’s keep it going. Let's get another one now.”

Alex Palou, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda takes the checkered flag

Alex Palou, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda takes the checkered flag

Photo by: Chris Owens

It was the 14th time Chip Ganassi has guided a driver to the IndyCar title with the first coming in 1996 when Jimmy Vasser clinched the crown. Since then Alex Zanardi (1997-1998) Juan Pablo Montoya (1999), Scott Dixon (2003, 2008, 2013, 2015, 2018, 2020) and Dario Franchitti (2009, 2010, 2011) have won championships with the outfit.  

Reflecting on his latest winner, Ganassi expects Palou to achieve more success in IndyCar in the future.  

“You’re seeing a young man who’s going to be setting a lot of new records in this business and he’s already starting," said Ganassi. 

Read Also:

“What a great year we’ve had, and I’ve got to be honest with you, he’s surprised us, when he came in the door and the job he’s done. My hat’s off [to him].”

shares
comments

Related video

IndyCar Long Beach: Palou secures maiden title as Herta beats Newgarden

Previous article

IndyCar Long Beach: Palou secures maiden title as Herta beats Newgarden

Next article

Herta "didn't think we had a shot at winning" Long Beach from 14th

Herta "didn't think we had a shot at winning" Long Beach from 14th
Load comments
Have Harvey and RLL formed IndyCar’s next winning match-up? Plus

Have Harvey and RLL formed IndyCar’s next winning match-up?

Despite appearing to have an IndyCar job for life with Meyer Shank Racing, Jack Harvey’s departure and move to Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing sparked plenty of debate. However, Harvey's and RLL's combined strengths could prove to be a winning combination - if they get the balance right

IndyCar
Oct 17, 2021
Remembering Dan Wheldon and his last and most amazing IndyCar win Plus

Remembering Dan Wheldon and his last and most amazing IndyCar win

Saturday 16 October marks the 10th anniversary of Dan Wheldon’s death. David Malsher-Lopez pays tribute, then asks Wheldon’s race engineer from 2011, Todd Malloy, to recall that magical second victory at the Indianapolis 500

IndyCar
Oct 16, 2021
Why Kyle Kirkwood is America's new IndyCar ace-in-waiting Plus

Why Kyle Kirkwood is America's new IndyCar ace-in-waiting

Kyle Kirkwood, the record-setting junior formula driver, sealed the Indy Lights championship last weekend. But despite an absurdly strong junior career and scholarship money, his next move is far from clear

IndyCar
Oct 6, 2021
Why IndyCar title glory is just the start for Ganassi's new star Plus

Why IndyCar title glory is just the start for Ganassi's new star

Newly-crowned IndyCar champion Alex Palou has been lauded as a complete driver and veteran-like in only his second season. The 24-year-old is still in the early days of his career, but the parallels are there for all to see with his six-time champion Chip Ganassi Racing team-mate who has been CGR's team leader since 2014

IndyCar
Sep 28, 2021
Why Grosjean's oval commitment shows he's serious about IndyCar Plus

Why Grosjean's oval commitment shows he's serious about IndyCar

One of motorsport’s worst-kept secrets is now out in the open, and Romain Grosjean has been confirmed as an Andretti Autosport IndyCar driver in 2022. It marks a remarkable turnaround after the abrupt end to his Formula 1 career, and is a firm indication of his commitment to challenge for the IndyCar Series title  

IndyCar
Sep 24, 2021
Why IndyCar’s longest silly-season is still far from over Plus

Why IndyCar’s longest silly-season is still far from over

OPINION: The 2021 IndyCar silly season has been one of the silliest for many years, as many talented drivers remain in play – with new pieces to the puzzle being added all the time. Here's what we know so far about who will end up where in 2022

IndyCar
Sep 15, 2021
Why IndyCar's generational shift isn't as stark as it appears Plus

Why IndyCar's generational shift isn't as stark as it appears

OPINION: The rise of two drivers racing only their second full-season IndyCar campaigns to head the points with four races to go has led to some observers doubting the credentials of the old guard. But they haven't faded away, there's merely a deeper talent pool that is helping to make this season one of the best in recent years

IndyCar
Aug 20, 2021
The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career Plus

The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career

Emerson Fittipaldi’s decision to go racing with his brother led to him falling out of F1, but he bloomed again on the IndyCar scene. NIGEL ROEBUCK considers a career of two halves

Formula 1
Jul 31, 2021