Photo: Luis Torres/Motorsports Tribune

Heavy Shunt by Alex Palou During Qualifying at Indianapolis

By Luis Torres, Staff Writer

INDIANAPOLIS – Risk vs. reward is one of those deals where people have to put up with in life. Alex Palou was no exception after an attempt for a better qualifying run went totally awry Saturday.

Palou was already seventh fastest with a four-lap average of 231.145 mph, but wanted to see if a better run can be achieved. Motorsports Tribune asked the Barber winner about the confidence levels on making Sunday’s Fast Nine.

“We don’t want to risk a really good car that we have,” said Palou after his first qualifying run. “But I think we will go out again. Try to put it in the Fast Nine. The entire team has done a good job and hope to get all four cars in.”

The third lap of his second attempt was went it began going south for the Spaniard. He got wicked sideways at the exit of Turn 1 before slapping the wall at the entrance of Turn 2. Thus, the bid for a better performance was done for and a long rest of the day ahead for his Chip Ganassi Racing team.

While the right side of Palou’s No. 10 NTT Data Honda was destroyed, the failed attempt commenced in the “normal” lane. Therefore, Palou kept his original four-lap average and was cleared to drive after being released from the infield medical center.

Visibly frustrated, Palou described his viewpoint on what was the second crash in the buildup for the 105th Indianapolis 500.

“Just a bit frustrated. CGR gave me a fast car and I was pushing to be faster. I lost the rear at entry and it’s a big shame. That’s what happens when you go fast and try to put everything to the limit,” said Palou.

“Going to be a long night, but I’m going to be with them. We’re going to try and fix it for tomorrow and go back out. That’s what we do, but I’m sorry for the team. We have the best cars here and I lost it.”

Palou added that his own doing wasn’t just because he wanted to push harder. He’d hope that with the everchanging conditions would favor him compared to earlier in the day.

“I just pushed to go out now in the heat with less downforce and be faster. Totally me this time,” said Palou. “We’ll get back on and be fast tomorrow or whenever we go back.”

UPDATE: Palou won’t be needing a backup car, thus he’ll get an opportunity to compete in the Fast Nine Shootout. He’ll be one of four Ganassi drivers fighting for pole position.

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From the Pacific Northwest, Luis is a University of Idaho graduate with a Bachelor's degree in Broadcasting and Digital Media and a four-time National Motorsports Press Association award winner in photography. Ever since watching the 2003 Daytona 500, being involved in auto racing is all he's ever dreamed of doing. Over the years, Luis has focused on writing, video and photography with ambitions of having his work recognized.