Chip Ganassi Racing bounces back with two top-five Indy 500 finishes
Photo by Hilary Ott/ The American Legion

Chip Ganassi Racing bounces back with two top-five Indy 500 finishes

After a disappointing Indianapolis 500 qualifications weekend – one that saw Chip Ganassi Racing (CGR) not put at least one car in the Fast 12 for the first time since 2019 – the organization once against showed why it is one of the elite teams in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES year in and year out.

Ganassi was able to put two cars in the top five of Sunday’s race, including one on the podium at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Delayed by four hours because of stormy weather, the 108th running of the 500 featured eight cautions and saw 11 cars get knocked out.  

Scott Dixon, despite starting just 21st, led 12 laps on his way to a third-place finish. He added to his record of laps led in the Indy 500 (677) and now holds the records for the most Indy 500s with at least one lap led (16).

Teammate Alex Palou, driving the No. 10 DHL Honda with American Legion branding, was 14th on the starting grid but managed to move up in the field and run in the top 10 – and then the top 5 – the majority of the race. He finished fifth and maintained the lead in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES points race. Palou now has three top-five finishes in five Indy 500 starts.

”Yeah, a bit frustrating,” Palou said. “I think we did a really good job on strategies, and we were there at the end, we just didn’t really have that top speed we needed. I’m happier than where I started today, it was just a bit difficult to fight for the win. But still, I’m happy we made it to the top five.”

CGR rookie Linus Lundqvist, driving the No. 8 American Legion Honda featuring the Be the One veteran suicide prevention program, started the race 27th and was maintaining that spot or just a few positions above before lap 28. But on that lap, he was part of a crowded, four-wide group in Turn 1 and lost control of the car, hitting the outside wall and then spinning across the track before ending up against the inside wall. It ended his day after 27 completed laps; he was one of six drivers already out at that time.

“I’m ok, and I’m not entirely sure what happened,” Lundqvist said. “But it doesn’t really matter. I feel so bad for the No. 8 American Legion Honda team. We’ve had a tough couple of weeks, and it sucks to end it this way. Going through this whole experience has been an absolute pleasure. I just wish I could have completed the race.”

Lundqvist still maintains an eight-point lead in the INDYCAR rookie standings over teammate Kyffin Simpson, who led three late laps on Sunday and finished 21st.

Josef Newgarden made it back-to-back Indy 500 wins – the first time the feat has been pulled off since 2002 – when he passed Pato O’Ward on Turn 3 of the final lap and held off O’Ward to the checkered flag.

It’s another quick turnaround for the INDYCAR SERIES, which heads north to the streets of Detroit for the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear on June 2.

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