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From my (Jake Query) IMS Radio perch atop the Northeast Vista, I’ve seen ya. I’ve seen ya pulling names from a hat and the driver’s name you  pull end up being your favorite for the next 500 miles.

So, for the 33 days leading up to the race, I figured I’d let ya know more about the PEOPLE in the cockpit or the people you may end up rooting for when you pull a name out of a hat. A couple things you might want to know about these drivers is…

  • Who shares YOUR passion?
  • Who likes YOUR favorite musician?
  • Whose story strikes a chord that connects beyond the strip of paper you pulled from the hat?

Strap in. Ride along for 33 days of “Get to know”.

Alex Palou – Chip Ganassi Racing – Car #10

All You Need To Know About Alex Palou.

It was late in Alex Palou’s rookie IndyCar season that he wondered if he’d get a secomd year. “I need a good weekend”, he said. “I have nothing for next year.”

He finished 12th, then last (23rd) in the two races of that September 2020 double header. Not good for a guy without money.

 

That’s the thing about racing. A driver can offset lackluster results if they bring some sponsorship money. Palou didn’t even have chicken feed.

 

Alex Palou Montalbo was born on April Fool’s Day of 1997 in Sant Anoni de Vilamajor, a small village near Barcelona, Spain. His father would walk him to school each day, and that’s where Alex first heard the sounds of go karts. By the age of 6 he was racing them competitively.

 

The chicken feed. He didn’t have any of it, couldn’t see a way he’d be able to find a ride that could consistently land him a chicken dinner.

 

That’s what Alex Palou has always enjoyed after a win, going back to his childhood days. A plate of fried chicken. Winner, winner. Chicken dinner.

 

By the time that 2020 season came to an end, he wasn’t sure there’d ever be 11 herbs & spices in his IndyCar future.

 

There was a chicken dinner in Japan. There, in 2019, Palou was running Super Formula. It’s a technically sound series Mike Hull, Chip Ganassi Racing Managing Director, felt was a good comparison to IndyCar.

 

Palou contended for a championship in Japan. It was impressive enough to offset a 2020 IndyCar season that ended with a paltry 16th place championship finish.

 

He landed a 2021 ride with one of IndyCar’s preeminent teams: Chip Ganassi Racing.

 

Palou picked up 3 wins last season en route to becoming the first Spaniard to win an IndyCar season championship. He found himself a racing home.

 

He found a home in Indianapolis, as well. The kid from Spain’s Catalonia region can occasionally be found courtside at a Pacers game- so long as it’s not around Christmas time.

 

He’s sure to be in Spain during that time, because, as he says, “Christmas is not just my favorite holiday- I love it enough to be my favorite and 2nd favorite.”

 

You might see him at a local coffee house- he may be just getting ideas for the coffee store be owns back home. If you say Hi and he doesn’t respond, don’t fret. He may just have his favorite band Green Day pumping in his airpods.

 

Last year’s Indy 500 runner up was born on April Fool’s Day of 1997. But if you think he may never get milk to go with his fried chicken…the joke may be on you.

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