Alex Palou scores first NTT INDYCAR SERIES win at Barber Motorsports Park
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing win Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Imola
Jeff Procter, Honda Off-Road Racing Team score win in San Felipe 250
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (April 18, 2021) – Alex Palou completed a “Hat Trick” of international racing victories for Honda today by claiming his first NTT INDYCAR SERIES victory at the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama.
Palou’s win at Barber Motorsports Park completed the weekend sweep for Honda, which included wins by Max Verstappen in his Red Bull Racing Honda in the Formula One race at Imola, Italy; and the Jeff Procter-led Honda Off-Road Racing Team claiming the Class 7 victory in the SCORE International San Felipe 250 in Baja, Mexico.
Starting third in today’s season-opening, 90-lap contest, Palou was flawless in claiming victory in just his 15th INDYCAR start, and his first with Chip Ganassi Racing. At the checkers, Palou held off former series champion Will Power by four-tenths of a second to claim the win, with his Ganassi teammate and defending series champion Scott Dixon, third.
Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama Results
1st Alex Palou Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
3rd Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
7th Graham Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda
8th Marcus Ericsson Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
9th Alexander Rossi Andretti Autosport Honda
10th Romain Grosjean-R Dale Coyne Racing with RWR Honda
11th Jack Harvey Meyer Shank Racing Honda
13th Takuma Sato Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda
15th Ed Jones Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan Honda
19th Jimmie Johnson-R Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
17th James Hinchcliffe Andretti Autosport Honda
22nd Colton Herta Andretti Autosport Honda
24th Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport Honda
NTT INDYCAR SERIES Manufacturers’ Championship (unofficial, after 1 of 17 rounds)
Honda 90 pts
NTT INDYCAR SERIES Drivers’ Championship (unofficial, after 1 of 17 rounds)
- Alex Palou, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda 53 pts.
- Will Power, Team Penske Chevrolet 41
- Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda 35
- Pato O’Ward, Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet 34
- Sebastien Bourdais, A.J. Foyt Racing Chevrolet 31
Alex Palou (Chip Ganassi Racing Honda) started 3rd, finished 1st, first career NTT INDYCAR SERIES win in his 15th race start. “We knew we’re with the best team, and had a great car today. So we knew a win was possible. Everyone on the team did an amazing job. The team was telling me on the radio ‘keep doing what you’re doing’. It was one of those days when everything went well. We had good fuel mileage, good tire management and good pace. This team is amazing. Honda gave us a great engine. Honda and Chip Ganassi Racing, what else can I ask for?”
Romain Grosjean (Dale Coyne Racing with RWR Honda) started 7th, finished 10th in his INDYCAR debut, top rookie race finish: “What a day! My first race in INDYCAR, and my first top-10 result. We can be very happy with that. We fought for a long time with the top four, and we did our best. There’s a lot that we learned today, so we’ll move on to St. Pete and keep working to improve. I still need to get used to rolling starts [as used in INDYCAR, Formula One uses a standing start], but it was a lot of fun!”
David Salters (President, Honda Performance Development) on today’s season-opening Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama: “It was a good day for Honda Power here in Alabama. A big ‘thank you’ to the amazing team at HPD, who worked tirelessly to provide the best possible performance for our teams. It was particularly rewarding to see our colleagues here from Alabama, who manufacturer rugged vehicles such as the Pilot, Passport and HPD Ridgeline. A big thanks to our teams, who all raced well, and a big hug to race winner Alex Palou, who drove simply outstanding all day to record his first INDYCAR victory. We all extremely proud to represent Honda in what was a great weekend of racing for the company.”
Honda takes the initial lead in the 2021 INDYCAR Manufacturers’ Championship with an unofficial total of 90 points to 73 for rival Chevrolet. Honda is seeking the company’s fourth consecutive NTT INDYCAR SERIES Manufacturers’ Championship in 2021.
Alex Palou also takes the early-season lead in the Drivers’ Championship standings, with 53 points to 41 for Team Penske’s Will Power. Palou’s Chip Ganassi Racing teammate, defending and six-time INDYCAR champion Scott Dixon, is third with 35 points.
Seven wins in 2020 brought Honda the company’s ninth INDYCAR Manufacturers’ Championship, and third consecutive title, with Honda driver Scott Dixon prevailing to win his sixth Drivers’ Championship, highest among all active drivers in the series.
The NTT INDYCAR SERIES now heads southeast to Florida for next weekend’s Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, April 23-25.
Honda Racing social media content and video links from Barber Motorsports Park can be found on Instagram (www.instagram.com/hondaracing_hpd), Twitter (twitter.com/HondaRacing_HPD) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/HondaRacingHPD). Additional features and long-form videos can be found on the Honda Racing/HPD YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/HondaRacingHPDTV).