IndyCar points leader Palou to suffer grid penalty in Nashville

Chip Ganassi Racing-Honda’s championship leader Alex Palou will take a six-place grid penalty at IndyCar’s inaugural Music City Grand Prix in Nashville.

The penalty is for an unapproved engine change following the 10-car test at Portland International Raceway last week.

IndyCar revealed that the team was in violation of Rule 16.2.3.2 – “A fifth (5th) Engine is eligible to earn Engine Manufacturer points if a Full Season Entrant has completed the Full Season Entrant Engine Mileage with its first four (4) Engines. Otherwise, a fifth (5th) or more Engine does not earn Engine Manufacturer points and will be considered an Unapproved Engine change-out."

According to the rulebook, the penalty for such a change comes at the series’ next event.

This is the second such penalty for the #10 Ganassi-Honda. His car required a new engine after Carb Day’s final practice for the Indianapolis 500 – by which time all race engines for the 500 had been fitted – when Honda Performance Development spotted an unspecified problem.

That meant for Race 1 at Belle Isle, Detroit, he lost six places on the grid, and after a qualifying session where he struggled anyway, that left him starting 25th. He went on to finish 15th in the race.

Palou currently heads the NTT IndyCar Series table by 39 points, ahead of Pato O’Ward of Arrow McLaren SP-Chevrolet. These are the only drivers in 2021 to rack up two wins over the course of the first 10 races.

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