Palou continues dominance at Laguna Seca 
(CoForce photo)

Palou continues dominance at Laguna Seca 

Sunday’s NTT INDYCAR SERIES’ Grand Prix of Monterey was just another affirmation of how Chip Ganassi Racing’s Alex Palou has mastered the WeatherTech Raceway at Laguna Seca.

Palou’s win was his second on the road course in three years. Add in a second-place finish in 2021 and a third last year, and it’s been an impressive four-year run for Palou.

“I love it. I love this place. I wish we could race here more often,” said Palou after picking up his second points race win of the season. “When you love a track so much, I think you get an extra that helps everything. The fact that we had really good cars here helps a lot.

“I would say it's a proper track. You cannot really do any mistakes. It allows you to push really hard. It's not a fuel-save race. You start by pushing. Having these medium- to high-speed corners, yeah, it's been good for us.”

Palou put the No. 10 DHL Honda featuring American Legion branding on the pole on Saturday and then led 48 of Sunday’s 95 laps. He took his final lead on lap 75 and then maintained the lead on three restarts coming off yellow flags the rest of the way.

”It was a chaotic race, man,” Palou said. “I didn’t do a really good job on the start and those restarts at the beginning. I lost what we’ve been working so hard in qualifying to get, that first position. But the team did a tremendous job.

“Too much intensity at the end with those restarts. Overall, an amazing win for the No. 10 DHL car.”

With the win, the defending INDYCAR SERIES champ took over the points, building a 23-point lead over second-place Will Power.

Meanwhile, Chip Ganassi Racing rookie Linus Lundqvist, driving the No. 8 American Legion Honda featuring the Be the One livery, qualified 17th on Saturday and had moved up two spots by lap 27. But after an issue on pit road dropped Lundqvist down to 26th, the rookie was able to battle back to a 17th-place finish.

Lundqvist built on his Rookie of the Year lead over teammate Kyffin Simpson, holding a 113-88 lead as the series approaches its halfway point.

“A bit of a rough Sunday for the No. 8 American Legion team, honestly,” Lundqvist said. “I had higher hopes going into the race that we would be able to move forward, but it was tough from the start.

“I lost a couple of positions on lap one, and then I made a mistake in the pits. I came in a little bit too hot which gave us a drive through penalty. That put us on the back foot. And then I never really got into the groove, and ultimately not a great Sunday. But I learned a lot. We’re going to analyze it and come back stronger.”

The NTT INDYCAR SERIES has this weekend off and then heads to Lexington, Ohio for The Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio Presented by the 2025 Civic Hybrid on Sunday, July 7, at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. It will be a historical weekend for INDYCAR, which debuts its hybrid power unit after months of extensive, successful testing.

To learn about The American Legion’s Be the One veteran suicide prevention program, click here.