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Alex Palou Wins Portland, Clinches 2023 INDYCAR Championship


Alex Palou celebrates in Victory Lane.
Alex Palou became a two-time NTT IndyCar Series champion. (Photo: James Black | Penske Entertainment)

PORTLAND, Ore. - With one race to go in the 2023 NTT IndyCar Series season, Alex Palou clinched the championship a week early, following a dominant win over Felix Rosenqvist in the BitNile.com Grand Prix of Portland at Portland International Raceway.


This is the fifth win of the year for the Chip Ganassi Racing driver and the ninth of his career. After leading 69 laps at Portland, Palou celebrated with his No. 10 team as the newest two-time INDYCAR champion, picking up Ganassi’s 15th INDYCAR title.

“That’s what we wanted,” Palou said. “It was an amazing weekend overall. We had really fast cars. We knew we had to go for it, and we just raced how we’ve been doing all season. Super proud to be here in Victory Lane and super proud of the second championship.

“I never thought that I would be an INDYCAR champion, and to be a two-time INDYCAR champion feels amazing, like a dream.”

During a post-race interview with NBC Sports, team owner Chip Ganassi said he expects Palou to continue driving the No. 10 Honda in 2024, despite the legal issues surrounding his ongoing contract dispute with McLaren.

Palou's teammate Scott Dixon finished third and did everything he could to make the championship go down to the wire. The quest for his seventh championship will have to wait until next year but he congratulated Palou on claiming the Astor Cup.


“I think he kind of does everything right,” Dixon said. “Yes, of course, you have seasons when things kind of roll your way. Sometimes, I’ve been a part of those and those are pretty special.


“But he’s a helluva competitor. A huge talent and obviously we knew that right out of the gate. He’s got a great group that works with him.”


Palou’s championship also holds sentimental value as his lead strategist Barry Wanser is missing the final two races of the season, due to a battle with cancer. Throughout the weekend, Chip Ganassi Racing and the entire NTT IndyCar Series paddock have shown their support for Wanser as he begins his recovery.

Entering the final 20 laps, Alexander Rossi got into the left-rear tire of Marcus Ericsson’s No. 8 Huski Ice Spritz Honda. The Arrow McLaren driver pitted shortly after the fact with a broken front wing.


Agustin Canapino went sliding through the grass and stalled in Turn 11, causing a full-course caution with 26 laps to go. This set up the field for a sprint to the finish, which saw Palou pull away from Rosenqvist and Dixon at the end.


The first few laps were quite eventful with three separate incidents occuring. At the start, Josef Newgarden and Kyle Kirkwood made contact entering the Shelton Chicane.


This forced both drivers to take the escape route but they continued. However, later on the opening lap, Romain Grosjean got wheel-checked by Rinus VeeKay.


Then, Grosjean hit Callum Ilott, who was coming back onto the track after going off. The No. 28 DHL Honda went behind the wall for a little while to repair suspension damage but ended up retiring from the race.


Grosjean finished 27th after it was officially announced during the Portland weekend that he would depart Andretti Autosport at the end of the year.

Romain Grosjean looks on.
Romain Grosjean's miserable season continued in Portland. (Photo: GRID Network)

Will Power brought out the first caution of the race when the Team Penske driver spun in Turn 4 and stalled.


Next weekend, the 2023 NTT IndyCar Series will host the season finale at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca on Sunday, Sept. 10. Coverage begins on NBC at 2:30 p.m. ET.


GRID Ranking

The 2023 GRID Ranking is the seventh year of the world's premier motorsport ranking and was initially released on Sunday, April 2.


Drivers in the seven racing series participating in the ranking (NASCAR, IndyCar, Formula 1, Formula E, World Rally Championship, Repco Supercars, MotoGP) have earned GRID Ratings, which help determine their seeding each week in the 2023 GRID Ranking.


GRID Ranking Week 23 INDYCAR Drivers:

DRIVER

OLD RATING

PREVIOUS RANKING

MOST RECENT FINISH

NEW RATING

NEW RANKING

Alex Palou

18.14

2nd

1st

18.50

2nd

Scott Dixon

14.98

5th

3rd

15.12

5th

Josef Newgarden

12.38

12th

5th

12.56

12th

Pato O'Ward

11.23

18th

4th

11.41

18th

Scott McLaughlin

10.01

24th

9th

9.52

26th

Results: 2023 BitNile.com Grand Prix of Portland at Portland International Raceway

  1. (10) Alex Palou, Chip Ganassi Racing/The American Legion-Honda, Running

  2. (6) Felix Rosenqvist, Arrow McLaren-Chevrolet, Running

  3. (9) Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing/PNC Bank-Honda, Running

  4. (5) Pato O'Ward, Arrow McLaren-Chevrolet, Running

  5. (2) Josef Newgarden, Team Penske/Hitachi-Chevrolet, Running

  6. (21) Rinus VeeKay, Ed Carpenter Racing/BitNile-Chevrolet, Running

  7. (8) Marcus Ericsson, Chip Ganassi Racing/Huski Ice Spritz-Honda, Running

  8. (18) David Malukas, Dale Coyne Racing with HMD/HMD Trucking-Honda, Running

  9. (3) Scott McLaughlin, Team Penske/Freightliner-Chevrolet, Running

  10. (27) Kyle Kirkwood, Andretti Autosport/AutoNation-Honda, Running

  11. (45) Christian Lundgaard, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing/Hy-Vee-Honda, Running

  12. (15) Graham Rahal, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing/PeopleReady-Honda, Running

  13. (26) Colton Herta, Andretti Autosport with Curb-Agajanian/Gainbridge-Honda, Running

  14. (06) Helio Castroneves, Meyer Shank Racing/AutoNation/SiriusXM-Honda, Running

  15. (77) Callum Ilott, Juncos Hollinger Racing-Chevrolet, Running

  16. (14) Santino Ferrucci, AJ Foyt Racing/Sexton Properties-Chevrolet, Running

  17. (29) Devlin DeFrancesco, Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport/Sapphire Gas Solutions-Honda, Running

  18. (30) Juri Vips (R), Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing/Kustom Entertainment-Honda, Running

  19. (11) Marcus Armstrong (R), Chip Ganassi Racing/Ridgeline Lubricants-Honda, Running

  20. (7) Alexander Rossi, Arrow McLaren-Chevrolet, Running

  21. (20) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Ed Carpenter Racing/BitNile-Chevrolet, Running

  22. (55) Benjamin Pedersen (R), AJ Foyt Racing/Sexton Properties-Chevrolet, Running

  23. (51) Sting Ray Robb (R), Dale Coyne Racing with RWR/Biohaven-Honda, Running

  24. (60) Tom Blomqvist (R), Meyer Shank Racing/AutoNation/SiriusXM-Honda, Running

  25. (12) Will Power, Team Penske/Verizon-Chevrolet, Running

  26. (78) Agustin Canapino (R), Juncos Hollinger Racing-Chevrolet, Mechanical

  27. (28) Romain Grosjean, Andretti Autosport/DHL-Honda, Contact

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