Palou to drive No. 10 American Legion Honda in GMR Grand Prix
(Photo by Ben Mikesell)

Palou to drive No. 10 American Legion Honda in GMR Grand Prix

The “Month of May” has arrived at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and that signals the biggest racing month of the year for The American Legion and its INDYCAR program.

It begins with Saturday’s GMR Grand Prix on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course. Defending NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion Alex Palou will once again carry The American Legion colors on his No. 10 Honda at Chip Ganassi Racing.

Saturday’s GMR Grand Prix is on the 2.439-mile, 14-turn road course that incorporates part of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval. The race can be seen on NBC with the telecast beginning at 3 p.m.

Practice and qualifications are set for Friday. First practice runs from 9:30-10:30 a.m. A second practice is from 12:45-1:45 p.m. with qualifications beginning at 4 p.m. All times are Eastern Time.

Palou drove The American Legion Honda to a second-place finish in the May 1 Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama. That gave him the NTT INDYCAR SERIES points lead as he arrives at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the busy month of racing.

This is the second of three races that Palou will have The American Legion as the sponsor of his No. 10 Honda; he will also drive The American Legion entry in the July 30 Gallagher Grand Prix on the IMS road course.

“It’s a big honor to represent The American Legion,” Palou said. “It makes it more special I’m not from the United States, so I need to understand it even more. But I met so many people that made me proud to represent The American Legion and be proud of it.

“I cannot wait to get to the next race and meet more people from The American Legion.”

Jimmie Johnson is the cornerstone of The American Legion’s INDYCAR effort at Chip Ganassi Racing. The seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion will carry Carvana as his primary sponsor in both Saturday’s GMR Grand Prix and in the 106th Indianapolis 500 on May 29.

Johnson will make his rookie debut in the Indy 500 this year and so far, as shown dramatic improvement on the ovals. He finished sixth in the March 20 XPEL 375 at Texas Motor Speedway and was eighth fastest in the two-day Indy 500 Open test in April.

His lap of 227.900 miles per hour is the fastest lap the seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion has ever had.

After Saturday’s GMR Grand Prix of Indianapolis, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is shut down Sunday and Monday. When practice begins on Tuesday, May 17, popular driver Tony Kanaan will be in The American Legion No. 1 Honda for the rest of the month. His paint scheme is helping to promote The Legion’s “Be the One” campaign to help reduce veteran suicide, “one at a time.”

Kanaan had The American Legion on his car in last year’s 105th Indianapolis 500 when he split the No. 48 with Johnson. Kanaan drove that car on the ovals and Johnson on the street and road courses.

This year, the 2013 Indianapolis 500 winner and 2004 INDYCAR SERIES champion will be racing against Johnson in the No. 48.

In last April’s test at Indianapolis, Kanaan was the third fastest driver with a lap at 228.767 mph.

This will be Kanaan’s 21st Indianapolis 500.

Practice for the Indianapolis 500 runs Tuesday through Friday. First round of qualifications is May 21 with final round of qualifications set for May 22, culminating with the run for the Indy 500 Pole.

Carb Day is May 27 and the 106th Indianapolis 500 May 29.

May is the biggest month of the year in racing, with the fabled Indianapolis 500 as the cornerstone event on Memorial Day Sunday. It’s also a big month for The American Legion, which will play at big role at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway all month.

The month concludes with Memorial Day Services throughout the United States as The American Legion honors those veterans who lost their lives defending our country.