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AUTO: MAY 10 NTT IndyCar Series Sonsio Grand Prix

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SPEEDWAY, Ind. — It had been a tough day for many drivers as they went through the paces of two practice sessions leading into qualifying. Alex Palou had not been on the radar all day long but was able to find the right amount of speed at the right time as he took the pole position in qualifying for the Sonsio Grand Prix.

It was a result that even surprised Palou.

“It was a tough day. Practice 1 and Practice 2 wasn’t amazing. I’ll take it! It’s the best starting position,” Palou said. “It’s a tricky place. Anytime you can start on pole in IndyCar it makes a difference. Looking forward to tomorrow!”

The dominant driver of the day had been Will Power, who was among the fastest drivers in practice and led each of his respective early rounds of qualifying. However, in the final session, he struggled to get his alternate tires to behave.

“We were just a little down so I pushed the extreme a bit there,” Power said of his final run. “We were super quick through the rounds, but those tires just never came in. That first lap I looked after them, but they just never came up. Still, P3 is super good. I love battling for poles.”

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It was a resilient round for the Rahal Letterman Lanigan cars. Christian Lundgaard was able to take advantage of Power’s struggles to steal the second spot on the grid up front. Graham Rahal overcame clutch issues to muscle out ninth. Pietro Fittipaldi advanced out of Q1 for the first time in his career and will start 11th.

It was a forgettable day all around for Andretti Global which failed to get a single car, including the season points leader Colton Herta, out of the first round. Herta’s crew misjudged how much fuel he would need and he ended up running out of fuel on his final flyer.

He furiously walked away from his car that came to a stop at the end of Hulman Blvd, hitching a ride with Conor Daly back to the pits.

The pole for Palou is his first since starting P1 at Detroit last season. It’s the first time he has ever won pole on the IMS road course where he won in 2023. Palou also managed to snag the top spot while saving an extra set of alternate tires for the race.

The red alternate tires are proving to be the quickest and most reliable tire to get around the IMS road course this season. An extra set will certainly give Palou an edge on race day.

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