IndyCar points leader penalized before Belle Isle race

Alex Palou, Chip Ganassi Racing, IndyCar (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Alex Palou, Chip Ganassi Racing, IndyCar (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

IndyCar championship leader Alex Palou was issued a grid penalty ahead of the first of two races of the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix.

Due to an an unapproved engine change prior to the 105th running of the Indy 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway two weekends ago, Chip Ganassi Racing’s Alex Palou has been penalized ahead of today’s race at Belle Isle Street Circuit.

Rule 16.5.4 states the following: “Once an Indianapolis 500 Engine is fitted to the Car, removal of the Engine prior to the Indianapolis 500 Race is an Unapproved Engine Change-Out, unless it is for Repair.”

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Palou, who finished in second place in the Indy 500 behind the wheel of his #10 Honda to take the lead in the IndyCar championship standings, was issued a six-position grid penalty for this afternoon’s race as a result of this infraction.

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Unfortunately for the 24-year-old Spaniard, he qualified so far back in the pack for this 70-lap race around the 14-turn, 2.35-mile (3.782-kilometer) temporary street circuit on the streets of Belle Isle in Detroit, Michigan that his penalty won’t even take full effect.

He was 11th quickest in his qualifying group of 13 drivers, landing him a 21st place starting spot. With 25 drivers on the grid, his penalty drops him to 25th (last) for the start of the race.

Here is the updated starting lineup for the first race of the 2021 Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix at Belle Isle Street Circuit.

Starting Lineup
1st – Pato O’Ward
2nd – Alexander Rossi
3rd – Romain Grosjean
4th – Ed Jones
5th – Josef Newgarden
6th – Colton Herta
7th – Will Power
8th – Ryan Hunter-Reay
9th – Simon Pagenaud
10th – Sebastien Bourdais
11th – Scott Dixon
12th – Rinus VeeKay
13th – James Hinchcliffe
14th – Felix Rosenqvist
15th – Marcus Ericsson
16th – Takuma Sato
17th – Conor Daly
18th – Max Chilton
19th – Jack Harvey
20th – Graham Rahal
21st – Santino Ferrucci
22nd – Jimmie Johnson
23rd – Scott McLaughlin
24th – Dalton Kellett
25th – Alex Palou

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Tune in to NBC at 2:00 p.m. ET this afternoon for the live broadcast of the first race of the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix from Belle Isle Street Circuit.