INDY 2021
Round 14

Palou Takes Honda to the Pole in Portland

us Portland International Raceway

Alex Palou claims his career-first INDYCAR pole in qualifying for the Grand Prix of Portland. Alexander Rossi and Scott Dixon complete Honda sweep of top three starting positions

Palou Takes Honda to the Pole in Portland

In the first half of a Saturday afternoon qualifying sweep for Honda and Acura, championship contender Alex Palou led a 1-2-3 NTT INDYCAR SERIES qualifying effort for Honda at the Grand Prix of Portland.  Further down the Pacific coast in Monterey, California, Filipe Albuquerque led a 1-2 Acura lockout of the front row for Sunday’s Monterey Sports Car Championship round of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

The pole was the first for Palou in his second season of INDYCAR competition, and the fifth for Honda in 2021.  Since winning the season-opening Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama, Palou has either led or run second in the championship points standings, and is currently second, nine points out of first, with three races remaining. 

In his best qualifying performance of the season, Alexander Rossi will start his Honda Dallara from the outside of the front row, second, for Andretti Autosport.  Palou’s Chip Ganassi Racing teammate, defending and six-time series champion Scott Dixon, completed the 1-2-3 qualifying sweep for Honda in Portland.  Graham Rahal and Colton Herta also advanced to the final “fast six” qualifying round, as Honda drivers and teams claimed five of the top six qualifying positions for Sunday’s 110-lap race.

Alex Palou
Alex Palou 10
Chip Ganassi Racing
“It’s amazing [to be on the pole], I’m super happy.  My first pole in INDYCAR, it’s the best start to the weekend we could possibly have.  The #10 PNC Bank Honda was really good.  We’re starting from the best position, and we have a really fast car, I can’t wait for tomorrow’s race.  We’re fully laser focused for these final three races and to bring the championship home.” 

Oliver Askew
Oliver Askew 45
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
“It’s fantastic to be back in an Indy car and running with the Rahal Letterman Lanigan organization.  I also had a lot of help from HPD getting on the simulator, they moved their schedule around so I get run on the sim prior to coming here.  I feel pretty good about qualifying in the top 10 [ninth], and we’ll see what happens tomorrow.” 

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