Spain’s Alex Palou regrouped after a chaotic opening lap to win the IndyCar Portland Grand Prix on Sunday and regain the series lead with two races remaining in the season.
The 24-year-old Chip Ganassi team driver was on pole position at the 12-turn 1.964-mile Portland International Raceway, but that didn’t prevent him from getting caught up in a mess at turn one on lap one, where Arrow McLaren SP’s Felix Rosenqvist appeared to get into the back of New Zealand’s Scott Dixon then drive through the runoff area marked with cones to slow down cars that missed the turn.
Chip Ganassi’s Dixon and Palou as well as Andretti driver Alexander Rossi ran straight through the turn to stay out of the way of any cars coming behind them they might have hit if they tried to regain the racing line.
Amid the spins and dings that sent a string of cars back to the pits for repairs, the first- and second-row starters who missed the racing line and went through the run-off were re-ordered for the restart, which saw Mexico’s Pato O’Ward given the lead.
“I need to see what was at turn one,” Palou said. “I don’t know what IndyCar was thinking about — you avoid an accident and they put you at the back—AFp