The current NTT IndyCar Series champion and perennial favorite Scott Dixon has some new competition in the form of his sophomore team-mate Alex Palou.
Palou joined Chip Ganassi Racing this year, earning a promotion to the top-tier IndyCar team in just his second season in the series.
The young Spanish driver came over to America and landed a full time ride with Dale Coyne Racing after spending a few years bouncing between the Formula 3, Super GT and Super Formula series.
His rookie performance earned him the opportunity to join some immense talent at Chip Ganassi, and now counts the veterans of Tony Kanaan and the six-time champion Dixon as his team-mates.
Dixon in particular has taken note of Palou’s skill in the past few weeks, revealing that the 24-year-old is already making a name for himself as a smart racer and is forcing the entire team to keep up.
“He’s definitely a smart racer, driver, and a huge talent,” said Dixon. “Definitely pushing all of us on the team, which is what you want.
“He’s done a tremendous job. He takes his time, can be kind of cautious out of the box, especially in some of these first practices, but really works hard on understanding and making sure he doesn’t overstep the mark.
“I think it’s really helping in the development side of the team and making sure that we’ve had some fantastic results, which we have.”
Palou had his breakout win in this year’s season opener from Barber Motorsports Park, where he led the most laps and took the points lead right out of the gates.
Even four races into the season, Palou still holds the third spot in the championship and shows no signs of slowing down.
In this past weekend’s double-header from Texas Motor Speedway, Palou logged a pair of top-10 finishes, and was a serious threat to Dixon in his otherwise dominant victory on Saturday night.
“I think it was so great to see the success of the #10 car right out of the box,” continued Dixon. I saw a lot of smiling faces that maybe haven’t had a smooth roll in the past few years.
“They had glimpses of it, but to have a strong start, what Palou has done…
“It’s definitely great to have strong teammates at the moment. Hopefully we can keep working on that and making sure all of us are in the fight come towards the end of the championship.”