Alex Palou crashes heavily during second qualifying attempt for the Indy 500
While making a second run to better his time in qualifying for the 105th Indy 500, Alex Palou got loose in Turn 2 on his third lap and crashed heavily with two hours remaining in Day 1 of time trials.
His No. 10 NTT Data car sustained heavy damage. The team confirmed shortly after 5 p.m. that Palou’s primary car would be repairable, so the Spaniard presumably could return for the Fast Nine with the car that he crashed.
Palou climbed from the car without assistance from the AMR IndyCar safety team.
“Just a bit frustrated,” Palou told NBC Sports pit reporter Dave Burns. “Chip Ganassi Racing gave me the fastest car today and during the week. It was on me - pushing to try and be faster. I just lost the rear on entry. It was a big shame.
“Things happen. It’s what happens when you’re trying to go fast and put everything to the limit. It’s going to be a long night, but I’m going to be with them. We’re going to try and fix it for tomorrow and go back out. That’s what we do.”
Palou had the seventh-fastest speed (231.145 mph) when he went back on track and keeps his speed despite the crash because he came from the “no-risk” line of qualifiers.
Palou was attempting to improve his speed to stay in the Fast Nine, which has been led since the opening qualifying attempt by teammate Scott Dixon.
His gamble was paying dividends as he climbed to fourth on the chart on Lap 3. Palou got loose twice on that lap. He was loose in Turn 1, caught the car, and then finally lost control entering Lap 2.
With air temperatures rising, the driver kept the car from spinning completely on the slippery surface and slapped the wall with heavy side contact.
Palou is attempting to make his second Indy 500. Last year he qualified seventh before crashing out of the race on Lap 121. He finished 28th in that race.