Palou takes IndyCar championship lead after Laguna Seca win


Chip Ganassi Racing’s Alex Palou emerged victorious from a strategic chess match at Laguna Seca to win Sunday’s NTT IndyCar Series’ Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey.

The Spaniard is a familiar face on the top step of the podium at Laguna, having won at the venue in 2022.

But Palou showcased his mastery of the track as he held off a strong challenge from Andretti’s Colton Herta in the closing laps, the CGR driver crossing the checkered flag a mere 1.9s ahead of his rival, while Arrow McLaren’s Alex Rossi completed the podium.

“It was a chaotic race, man,” Palou said. “We didn’t do a very good job on the starts and those restarts at the beginning.

“The strategy was a bit risky for the position we were in, but we knew we had the pace, and we just had to execute.”

The performance wasn't just a win on the day for Palou, it propelled him to the top of the NTT IndyCar Series’ championship standings.

Thanks to his second victory of the season, the 27-year-old now holds a comfortable 23-point lead over his closest competitor, Will Power.