Palou Paces Opening Practice at Barber

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By the Numbers: Practice 1 Results

Alex Palou started his tenure at Chip Ganassi Racing just like his boss, Chip Ganassi, likes it – on top of the speed chart.

Second-year NTT INDYCAR SERIES driver Palou led the opening practice of the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama presented by AmFirst this morning at Barber Motorsports Park with a top lap of 1 minute, 6.4721 seconds in the No. 10 SEGI.TV Honda. He was one of four drivers quicker than the lap record of 1:06.6001 set by Sebastien Bourdais in qualifying in 2016.

“It’s amazing,” Palou said. “I love this place, Barber. It’s the best way to start, P1. I’m happy.”

Colton Herta was second in the 45-minute session at 1:06.4897 in the No. 26 Gainbridge Honda, followed by three-time Barber race winner Josef Newgarden at 1:06.4957 in the No. 2 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet.

Reigning and six-time NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion Scott Dixon was fourth at 1:06.5524 in the No. 9 PNC Bank Grow Up Great Honda, while Pato O’Ward rounded out the top five at 1:06.6281 in the No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet.

O’Ward’s teammate, Felix Rosenqvist, was involved in the only incident of the session on the 17-turn, 2.3-mile circuit. He lost control of his No. 7 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet entering pit lane and nudged the outside barrier, damaging the right front wing and right wheel-suspension assembly. He was unhurt and expects to be back on track for the next practice, at 2:40 p.m. (ET, live on Peacock).

NTT P1 Pole Award qualifying starts at 5:55 p.m. today.

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