Palou WWTR Notes

Alex Palou
No. 10 American Legion Honda

“Excited to build on the great performance and effort we all put into Iowa. I feel like I can improve from there and have a shot at the podium, if not better. It’s been a lot of years since I’ve been to the racetrack in St. Louis; I’d say probably late ‘90’s. I have been there a couple of times in Cup car testing, but I’m really excited to get back there, see the fans and return to an oval in my Carvana Honda.”

Six-time champion Scott Dixon has kicked things into high gear in the second half of the 2022 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season and sits six points behind the leader with just three races remaining.

Dixon was undoubtedly strong in the first half, but he has recently dialed into the pace, expertise and consistency that helped propel him to those six previous titles. Since the start of July, Dixon has led the field in wins, average finish, top-5’s and positions gained from the start to finish of those six races.

In that time, Dixon has vaulted from 6th to 2nd on the points leaderboard and moved past Mario Andretti for the 2nd-most wins in INDYCAR SERIES history. If he can capitalize on his current climb and win a 7th series championship, he would make history again by matching A.J. Foyt for the most titles in the sport’s history.

The 260-lap contest will feature two fresh looks across the Ganassi Hondas. Marcus Ericsson and the No. 8 team will don a new Bryant red, while Alex Palou will make his return to The American Legion’s red, white and blue livery. Ericsson boasts a 100% win rate in the Bryant scheme thanks to his debut with the partner on the Streets of Nashville in 2021.

Get Up To Speed

Dixon has led 6,520 laps in his career, the 4th-most in INDYCAR SERIES history (Mario Andretti: 7,595; Michael Andretti: 6,692; A.J. Foyt: 6,621).

Dixon boasts 191 all-time top-5 finishes, 2nd-most in INDYCAR SERIES history (Mario Andretti: 193).
Dixon is the sole CGR driver to win at WWTR (2020) since the series returned to the track in the 2017 season. Dixon’s 2020 win featured the most drivers on the lead lap (16) and the fewest caution laps (4) among INDYCAR SERIES track history. Alex Zanardi and Juan Pablo Montoya are the only other CGR drivers to win an INDYCAR SERIES race at WWTR, doing so in the CART series during the 1998 and 2000 seasons.

Ericsson will look to re-gain the points lead and become the first driver to win both the Indianapolis 500 and the series championship in the same season since Dario Franchitti in 2010.

Ericsson has recorded the most on-track passes (240) and the most position passes (158) of any driver in the 2022 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season.

Ericsson and the No. 8 crew have improved on ovals each year he’s been with the team, thanks to an increased emphasis on oval improvement this past offseason, working closely with Dario Franchitti and watching hours of on-board footage of Scott Dixon. Ericsson’s boasts a field-leading average oval finish with of 4.5 this season after posting averages of 12.8 in 2021 and 16.2 in 2020.

Ericsson has gained the most positions among the field over the course of the 4 oval races this season (+28).

Alex Palou earned a podium finish (P3) last race on the Streets of Nashville, his fifth of the season. Palou has impressively secured a podium finish in 13-of-30 (43%) with Chip Ganassi Racing.

Jimmie Johnson returns to an oval for the first time since the Iowa doubleheader. In Iowa Race 1, Johnson executed 57 on-track passes, the most among all drivers in the race and the 3rd-most by anyone this season in a single race (O’Ward/Newgarden).

Chip Ganassi Racing drivers rank 2-3-4 in terms of average finishing position this season (Power: 6.4; Dixon: 6.5; Ericsson: 7.9; Palou: 8.1).


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