After he pulled into the pits, he climbed out of his car and waited nervously as others completed their own runs.
Scott Dixon was the second to run, and completed his laps just a fraction slower than O’Ward, leaving the Mexican driver to continue to wait and watch.
Alex Palou went next, and put in a blistering first lap at an average of 235.131 MPH. His next three were fast as well, and he unseated O’Ward from the provisional pole.
It was Palou’s turn to watch nervously as the remaining three drivers completed their own runs.
Rinus VeeKay, Santino Ferrucci, and Felix Rosenqvist all went out in turn, but none were able to average a speed faster than the ones Palou had set.
After many minutes of cameras in his face, Palou was finally able to celebrate with his crew on pit lane, certain that his average speed of 234.317 MPH was not going to be topped.
He was congratulated by dozens of people, including other drivers, members of his Chip Ganassi crew, and the boss Chip Ganassi himself.
Palou started from the second position in the 2022 Indy 500, and was able to convert that into a top 10 finish. The year before he just missed out on winning the famous race, crossing the line second after 500 miles.
Palou will be inside of the first row, with Rinus VeeKay alongside and Felix Rosenqvist on the outside. Three different teams will be flying down the front stretch ahead of the rest of the field.
Santino Ferrucci will start inside the second row, with Pato O’Ward and Scott Dixon alongside.
Starting from pole gives Palou the best opportunity to control the race next weekend, and also gives him a healthy 12 point bonus in the championship.