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IndyCar series leader Alex Palou ready for Detroit Grand Prix after close loss at Indy 500

By JENNA FRYER

AP Auto Racing Writer

DETROIT — Alex Palou still felt the sting from his second-place finish in the Indianapolis 500 when he saw Helio Castroneves at the victory dinner and begged the winner to tell him how he made the decisive final pass.

“I asked him a couple of questions because I was in doubt if he was actually managing that pass or not, and he didn’t answer me, he just said ‘Hey, I have more experience than you,'” Palou said. “And I was ‘Like, man, just answer me, I just want to know.'”

He never got an answer and has since moved on to Detroit for a weekend doubleheader with a consolation prize: Palou is the current IndyCar points leader. He’s got a 36-point advantage over his teammate, six-time and reigning champion Scott Dixon, behind a win and three podium finishes through six races.

The Spaniard opened his first season with Chip Ganassi Racing — it is his second season in IndyCar — with his first career victory. The win at Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama ignited a youth movement in IndyCar, which has four winners aged 24 (Palou) or younger and three first-time winners.

His move this year from Dale Coyne Racing to Ganassi placed Palou in a lineup of champions. His teammates are Dixon, Indianapolis 500 winner Tony Kanaan, seven-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson and former Formula One driver Marcus Ericsson.