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IndyCar series leader Alex Palou ready for today’s Detroit Grand Prix after close loss at Indianapolis 500

Alex Palou prepares to drive during practice for the Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on May 20. (AP file photo)
Romain Grosjean celebrates after finishing second in an IndyCar race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis on May 15. Grosjean turned in his key to Indianapolis Motor Speedway — yes, he had his own key to the place — packed up his motorhome and headed out Tuesday toward Detroit for his next United States adventure. The man who walked through fire and lived to tell about has fully embraced his move from Formula One to IndyCar, where he won the pole in his third career start then led 44 laps on the road course at Indianapolis before finishing second. (AP file photo)

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.

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