Quick Thoughts- Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama

Photo: A very happy Alex Palou. Joe Skibinski, Indycar

Maybe this is the year for the kids after all. Pato O’Ward won the pole and Alex Palou won the race after being in his first Fast Six yesterday.

I was not shocked by Palou’s victory. He was fast all weekend. Watching him yesterday just gave me a feeling that he was in for a big day.

Josef Newgarden didn’t kill his chances for another title, but he certainly made it more difficult. Barber is ne of his better tracks, so seeing him cause an accident was a surprise.

Nice Top Tens:

Sebastien Bourdais 5th , Rinus VeeKay 6th, and romain Grosjean 10th.

Bourdais led four laps as well. A good start for his time at A. J. Foyt Racing. The team improved every session.

VeeKay recovered from spinning in the first lap melee and a penalty for service in a closed pit.

Grosjean has impressed all weekend with his seventh place qualifying and a top ten finish. A very nice Indycar debut. Maybe the driver wasn’t the problem in F1 his last few years.

Chip Ganassi Racing had three drivers in the Fast Six Saturday and three drivers in the top 10 today. Along with Palou’s win, Scott Dixon finished third and Marcus Ericsson ended the day in eighth. This team could be the power this season.

Simon Pagenaud is starting 2021 the same 2020 went for him- poor qualifying result and a climb through the field. He didn’t get very far today, ending 12th after starting 15th.

Ryan Hunter-Reay begins the season with a DNF again. He has had awful luck in season openers the last few seasons.

Graham Rahal’s seventh place finish from an 18th starting spot must seem like a win for the team. Takuma Sato came home 13th from staring 19th. Both Rahal drivers struggled all weekend.

It felt great to get the season underway and to return to a track whose race was cancelled in 2020; The crowd was as large as it could be. The fans in Birmingham still love this race. They were happy to see it return.

I will have another story about Barber up tomorrow or Tuesday. Then it’s on to St. Pete. Thanks for reading this weekend.

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