Alex Palou refused to acknowledge his IndyCar dominance in the days leading up to Sunday’s race at Mid-Ohio.
He found it difficult to stick with that refrain after a third straight win.
Palou executed a perfect strategy with a fast car to beat Chip Ganassi Racing teammate Scott Dixon by a wide margin, giving him four wins in his last five races and a huge points lead as he chases a second title at three seasons.
CLICK HERE FOR MORE SPORTS COVERAGE ON FOXNEWS.COM
Palou began his dominant career at the Indianapolis speedway, capturing the pole at the Indianapolis 500 and was in contention there until a pit road problem led to a fourth-place finish. He followed that up with victories on the streets of Detroit and at Road America before giving the Ganassi team its 12th win at Mid-Ohio.
«I think maybe we’re starting to get honest,» Palou said of his dominance. «But it’s very tight. It’s all about pulling everything together. We’ve been able to do this quite often this year. Hopefully, we’ll be able to stick together. We haven’t been the fastest in practice or qualifying, but we’ve been in the races and that’s it. where it matters.»
Dixon, the last driver to win three consecutive IndyCar races, finished second to move up to second in the title hunt, albeit 110 points behind. Will Power was surprised to finish third because he lost track of where he was in the running order, while Christian Lundgaard finished fourth and Scott McLaughlin completed the top five.
«Second place is great, but unfortunately the guy we’re chasing finished first,» said Dixon, the six-time series champion who opened the 2020 season with three straight wins. «But congratulations to Alex and the team of 10. They are doing a great job this year.»
SHANE VAN GISBERGEN CAPTURES HISTORIC FIRST WIN ON CHICAGO STREET FIELD IN DEBUT
Palou’s toughest competition at Lexington Speedway, Ohio, came from polesitter Colton Herta, who led after a first-lap caution during the first round of pit stops in an otherwise slow race. turned green the rest of the way.
However, Herta ran into problems at her last stop and crossed herself as she entered. He looked as if he tried to hit the speed control button and failed to activate, but regardless, the step penalty put him out of contention. He finished 11th.
Graham Rahal, who started alongside Herta on the front row, has struggled this season, but he was set to have a big day for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing. He then also had a problem during a pit stop, where the left rear of him didn’t go in cleanly, and it cost him several seconds and ultimately relegated him to seventh.
NASCAR CONTRACTOR DIES BY ELECTROCUTION PREPARING FOR CHICAGO STREET RACE
«We win as a team, we lose as a team. I thought the car should have been up front today, but it’s a quick reminder that we have to be better at every phase of the program,» said Rahal, who won at Mid-Ohio in 2015 and considers it your local circuit.
«Look,» he said, «I’m disappointed. That’s a given. It’s going to hurt to think about it for the next two weeks, but we have to keep improving in every aspect of the game, and that’s it.» what it is.»
O’WARD’S GREAT RACE
Duck O’Ward was the biggest charger during a career that almost turned into checkers. He spun in qualifying and had to start 25th, but his Arrow McLaren car made its way through the field and he finished eighth.
«We didn’t get any help from anybody, no yellows or anything,» O’Ward said, «and I saw the leaders were struggling with the lappers a little bit. I was like, ‘Dude, it’s not your day. Get out of the way.’ That has to be seen by IndyCar.»
DRIVERS MAKE SOUND IN FIELD CONDITIONS AFTER FATAL ACCIDENT IN FORMULA CHAMPIONSHIPS: ‘IT HAS TO CHANGE’
ABOUT THAT TRAFFIC
Several drivers took offense to rookie Benjamin Pedersen, who was not on the lead lap but refused to let anyone get around him cleanly. That included McLaughlin and Alexander Rossi, who lost valuable time trapped behind him.
«Yeah, I just said you’re not going to make any friends if you stop people,» said McLaughlin, who later spoke to Pedersen on pit road. «He’s not even in our race. He’s in a race of his own. But it is what it is.»
ERICSSON’S ROUGH JOURNEY
Marcus Ericsson, who started the day second in the points, didn’t even make it through the first lap before a collision with Felix Rosenqvist sent him to the pits with damage. Rosenqvist appeared to give Ericsson plenty of room in one of the opening corners, but the Chip Ganassi Racing driver went wide and just over the right hand side of his Arrow McLaren.
«I just couldn’t stop the car and obviously I collided with Felix,» said Ericsson. «I feel really bad for ruining Felix’s day. That was definitely not my intention and I feel bad for the team. But that was definitely not my intention.»
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
DALY’S AMAZING DRIVE
Conor Daly was hanging around Mid-Ohio this weekend when he got a call from Meyer Shank Racing to drive for Simon Pagenaud, who was not cleared to race on Sunday after a horrific crash the day before. Pagenaud’s brakes failed and he rolled seven times through a gravel trap, though he made it out of the car uninjured.
Daly, who parted ways with Ed Carpenter Racing a few weeks ago, started last on the 27-car field and finished 20th.