Photo: Action Sports Photography, Inc.

Palou Qualifies Sixth for 105th Indy 500

By Luis Torres, Staff Writer

INDIANAPOLIS – A day removed from a risk gone wrong crash during yesterday’s qualifying session, Alex Palou will roll off sixth (230.616 mph) for the 105th Indianapolis 500.

The Spaniard had an opportunity of bringing Chip Ganassi Racing home the NTT P1 Pole Award. In fact, his three other teammates also had a shot at pole. However, the aforementioned accident could’ve possibly prevented him from fighting for the top spot. In a blessing in disguise, Palou didn’t need a backup car and was able to partake in his second Fast Nine Shootout appearance.

While that was a huge sigh of relief, the team kept on repairing the No. 10 NTT Data Honda throughout Saturday. According to Motorsports Tribune’s Kirby Arnold, he tweeted that Palou’s car was repaired by 8 p.m. ET. A complete contrary to the notion it took them all night to fix the entry.

During Sunday’s practice session, Palou was one of only three (Ryan Hunter-Reay and Helio Castroneves being the others) that took part of the 30-minute session. He was third with an average of 230.282 mph.

When Palou rolled off pit lane to put his best four-lap run he could perform, it was cloudy compared to the sun peaking out later in the Shootout. By the time he was done with his qualifying effort, he was quickest for a brief time. Helio Castroneves couldn’t knock Palou out of the top spot, but Rinus VeeKay certainly did.

Despite not securing pole and will start on the outside of Row 2, it was all smiles for Palou. Complete opposite from yesterday when he was frustrated about the accident.

“I’m really happy and pleased,” said Palou. “This was not (just) me, but all the partners and team that made these four laps possible. I can’t thank them enough. The No. 10 NTT Data was strong all weekend and we proved them.”

Palou added that he’d hope CGR could take pole position which they certainly did by none other than Scott Dixon. In fact, Palou celebrated with Dixon’s crew on pit road and congratulated him for a job well done.

Now, the focus shifts to the 200-lap odyssey that lies ahead, hoping to be the first Spaniard to win the 500-mile classic.

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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. 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 ranging from Idaho athletics to auto racing with ambitions of having his work recognized.