IndyCar has another new winningest non-Indy 500 champion

Alex Palou, Chip Ganassi Racing, IndyCar (Photo Credit: Sheboygan Press)
Alex Palou, Chip Ganassi Racing, IndyCar (Photo Credit: Sheboygan Press) /

Alex Palou has now matched Colton Herta’s career IndyCar win total, making him one of the two winningest active drivers without an Indy 500 win.

In the last month alone, IndyCar has now had three different drivers sit atop the wins list among active drivers who have never won the Indy 500.

Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden entered the month of May with that “honor”, having won 26 races without ever drinking the milk. But with the third ever last-lap pass for the win in the history of the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing”, he erased his name from that list.

With that, Andretti Autosport’s Colton Herta took over the top spot. Herta has seven wins to his name, including at least one in each season from 2019 to 2022. His top Indy 500 finish in five starts is eighth place. An almost certain top five effort slipped away this year due to a pit penalty. He still rallied from 28th to finish in ninth.

Two races later, however, a new driver has joined Herta atop the wins list among active IndyCar drivers who have never won the Indy 500.

Chip Ganassi Racing’s Alex Palou, who started on pole for the 107th running of the Indy 500, has scored back-to-back wins on the streets of Detroit and at Road America after settling for a fourth place finish at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He too was forced to rally after a pit lane issue, climbing from 30th after being hit by Ed Carpenter Racing’s Rinus VeeKay.

Palou has now won four of the last nine races going back to last year, while Herta is riding a 20-race win drought.

Palou now has seven career wins to his name, and given the roll he has been on over the last month and a half, it wouldn’t be surprising to see him take sole possession of first place on this list, one from which he would like to erase himself next May.

Newgarden himself recently spoke to Beyond the Flag about who he thinks will be the next “Josef Newgarden” in terms of being constantly asked about when he will finally win the Indy 500.

He named Palou and Arrow McLaren’s Pato O’Ward. O’Ward, last year’s Indy 500 runner-up and the leader of the most laps in this year’s race, has won four races in his IndyCar career.

“I think [Pato] O’Ward is definitely someone who I could easily say is going to be in the fight,” Newgarden said. “He always is every year, so I wouldn’t be surprised for him to contend and win the race. But there are so many people who you can list.

“There are just not a lot of weak links in the field anymore. I think Alex Palou has been incredible at the speedway, and provided he’s got the car, he should be in the fight too. So it’s just so hard for me to list off just one person.”

Before the 108th running of the most attended single-day sporting event in the world, however, Palou has his sights set on a second championship.

Through eight races on the 17-race schedule, the 2021 series champion owns a 74-point lead over teammate Marcus Ericsson in the standings, with Newgarden a further seven points back.

Palou is the -300 betting favorite to win the title at DraftKings Sportsbook, where you can currently get $150 just for signing up and betting $5.

Next. All-time IndyCar wins list. dark

The next race on the 2023 IndyCar schedule is the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio presented by the all new 2023 Civic Type R, which is set to be broadcast live on USA Network from Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course starting at 1:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, July 2. Take advantage of FuboTV’s free trial offer today and don’t miss it!