Hi Palou: IndyCar’s New Champion A Breath Of Fresh Air

It was all meant to be, Palou will certainly tell you, since IndyCar’s earnest brand-new champion genuinely believes whatever occurs for a factor. He worked hard, adhered to a renegade auto racing course as well as, with absolutely nothing to shed, he visualized his greatest desires.

Ok, so possibly he really did not envision himself driving a brilliant yellow “Poultry Limousine” decorated with a large phony hen head as well as tail around Indianapolis Electric motor Speedway. Yet that was the perk Wednesday for the fried chicken-loving champ throughout his weeklong success trip.

It was August 2020 at empty Indianapolis when Palou initially presented himself to Ganassi. Now, he’s the sixth champion for IndyCar’s giant team, providing Ganassi his 14th title as well as on the 25th anniversary of its first champion with Jimmy Vasser.

Palou on Sunday ended up being the first Spaniard to win the IndyCar championship, the youngest champion considering that 2003 as well as the initial Ganassi champ since Juan Pablo Montoya in 1999 not named Franchitti or Dixon. That duo won nine titles from 2008 via last period.

So who is this Catalan that showed up in IndyCar via Japan just in advance of in 2015’s pandemic-challenged season? As well as how did he parlay one period with an underfunded group right into the work he desired so badly that he left a note to himself each early morning?


Palou is 24 and simply completed his 2nd year competing IndyCar, however brings himself with the grace and also expert of a cold-blooded professional. On a team stacked with Scott Dixon, Marcus Ericsson, Jimmie Johnson and also Tony Kanaan, he’s their pleased youngster sibling so delighted to be component of the gang. Whatever “is fantastic” to Palou and also every day is a great day, and also the sponge for details has a concern for every person.

As he beat Dixon all season long – Palou is the first Ganassi chauffeur to outrun the six-time champion in a years – Dixon might have made life challenging on his brand-new colleague down the stretch. However Dixon has been thrilled with him, as well as Johnson, a seven-time NASCAR champ, couldn’t call an additional chauffeur he ‘d ever seen at such a high level this very early in his occupation.

“The development was strong from the get-go. It’s been veteran-like,” Dixon claimed of Palou. “He definitely asks a great deal of concerns. He’s not timid to ask concerns. He soaks it up. He refines it quite possibly. The rate is what you need most. In some cases you need to have that and also ensure it becomes results and not collisions. He does that quite possibly.”


At 24 years old, Palou is the oldest in a quartet of young new IndyCar motorists who won races this season. All 4 are very various, however from the beginning two-time champ Josef Newgarden found Palou to be the treasure in the rough.

Newgarden credits Palou’s offseason relocation from Dale Coyne Competing right into a treasured Ganassi seat – the No. 10 opened when Felix Rosenqvist left to drive for Arrow McLaren SP – for offering Palou the sources needed to win 3 races and also rack up eight podium surfaces, both IndyCar highs. However Palou was brightened after racing in numerous European collection, along with two years of Super Formula in Japan.

“He’s done the work, plainly. He’s been strong all year,” Newgarden stated. “I said earlier in the year, I assume from the young plant of motorists he looks the most complete. Seems to be really Dixon-esque in a great deal of ways. Scott has actually been sort of the procedure over the last couple decades of how you be a champ. Alex appears to symbolize that pretty well.”

Palou was born in Spain to teenage parents, and his papa, Ramon, is more youthful than 46-year-old teammates Johnson as well as Kanaan. His family members is close and his hoodie-clad daddy could perhaps masquerade an older bro when Palou is in street clothes together with his papa.

Palou’s Spanish sweetheart says she’s 11 years younger than his dad, and also both have actually been dating given that he was 17. When her buddies expressed shock at her new boyfriend’s age, Esther Valle ensured them Palou was sensible past his years. As well as on a trip with each other in Girona, Spain, the coffee fans found a gap of fashionable stores as well as have actually possessed and run “Coffee & Greens” with each other the last 3 years.

Well, Valle has run it while Palou has competed, however his occupation took off this year and during IndyCar’s summer break she packed all their items in Spain and also officially relocated them fulltime to Indiana. They close on the sale of the coffee bar next week.

“I created this note on a dollar expense that claimed, ‘One day we will certainly relocate to the UNITED STATE,’ which resembled five years earlier,” Valle claimed. “I created it and also he maintained it in his purse forever.”


Palou is the initial IndyCar champion from Spain, however the nation has actually created competing greats before, most recently former Solution One champion Fernando Alonso and also present Ferrari motorist Carlos Sainz.

However he never applauded for Alonso, he claimed. He rather favored the great Michael Schumacher as well as has actually already eaten the Netflix documentary on the German champ that was launched with 2 races staying in his IndyCar title quest.

“It was a little bit depressing,” Palou states, his favorable and perma-smile attitude reserve for a quick moment. “That’s the tail end of him that we’re going to get, right? They could have done 10 phases on him and it’s all simply a little bit depressing.”


Palou, as it ended up following his very first profession triumph in the IndyCar season-opener, celebrates his success by eating fried hen. He adheres to a stringent professional athlete’s routine of diet regimen and workout, as well as the buddy poultry is treated as a really unique treat.

Where did it begin? When he was racing with his father as a child, he won, and also the 2 literally followed the “Winner, Champion, Chicken Dinner,” mantra. Now it’s his point as well as he’s had it twice considering that winning the championship on Sunday.