The Spaniard won the Indianapolis Grand Prixled 74 of 100 laps on Detroit’s new street circuit and led for the last time on lap 77. He stayed in the lead after Will Power made an attempt on lap 91 that didn’t work when he touched Scott Dixon.
After a seventh yellow flag, Palou pulled away in his Honda with five laps to go, beating Power’s Chevrolet by 1.1843s. Flex Rosenqvist was third, followed by Scott Dixon and Alexander Rossi.
The race got off to a rough start, a day after Palou said there would be excessive traffic on the track, which was too narrow and short for IndyCar.
The start was canceled because there was not enough space between the cars. As the racing resumed on the second lap before Turn 3, Callum Ilott damaged Kyle Kirkwood’s wing as he drove into the middle of the 27-strong field.
Palou, who won his second straight pole and third of his career on Saturday, said his plan was to stay ahead with clean air as much as possible before the chaos.
The Chip Ganassi Racing driver led the race from the start until he pitted on lap 29, handing the lead to Power.
When Power pulled into the split box five laps later, Pato O’Ward had an advantage that didn’t last long. Shortly after exiting a pit stop, his Honda stalled due to a mechanical issue and his Chip Ganassi Racing team had to push him back to fix the problem.
Trying to gain ground, O’Ward made an aggressive attempt to get to Santino Ferrucci, crashed into a barrier and ended his day after 41 laps of the 100-lap race.
Palou, meanwhile, was fast and stable enough to lead the race for most of the afternoon.
While he complained about the short, narrow and bumpy track, fans seemed to be enjoying the day away from the hustle and bustle and some watched for free. More than half of the circuit was accessible with no admission fee, and some had views of the Detroit River, which separates the United States from Canada, from boats and jet skis.
The Detroit Grand Prix returned downtown for the first time since 1991, when it was held at a 2.5-mile track in the same area after going upriver at Belle Isle.
NEXT: After back-to-back weeks of Indy 500 and Detroit Grand Prix, the series is giving its drivers and teams a much-needed rest before kicking off at Road America in Wisconsin on June 18.
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