Alex Palou wins Portland for early clinch of IndyCar championship. Spaniard has 2 titles in 3 years

Alex Palou prepares before the start an IndyCar auto race at World Wide Technology Raceway, Sunday, Aug. 27, 2023, in Madison, Ill. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

PORTLAND, Ore. — Chip Ganassi stopped Alex Palou before Sunday’s race at Portland International Raceway and encouraged his driver to use the race to close out the IndyCar championship.

Palou told the boss he planned to do it with a walk-off win.


And he delivered.

Palou is now a two-time IndyCar champion with Ganassi following a dominant run Sunday that gave him his series-leading fifth win of the season.

“He likes to win, he told me that. He told me before the race, I said ‘Let’s go wrap this up today,’ he looked at me and said, ‘I’m going to wrap it up with a win,’” Ganassi said. “I said ‘OK, great.’ He called his shot today.”

Ganassi then at last addressed Palou’s future with the team, which has been uncertain and at times contentious the last 14 months.

“Alex Palou is going to be in our car, I can tell you that, for sure,” Ganassi said.

That wasn’t so clear even last month, with Palou scheduled to join Arrow McLaren Racing in 2024 as an IndyCar driver. He already spent this year as McLaren’s test and reserve driver in Formula One, but has had an apparent change of heart regarding his future.

“I am going to enjoy it as much as possible, the win from today, the championship,” Palou said.

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