Alex Palou quickly shifted his focus from winning the Sonsio Grand Prix to the Indy 500

INDIANAPOLIS – Álex Palou thinks about winning as soon as he wakes up each morning.

Even through recently splitting his focus toward helping get his six-month-old daughter back to sleep in the middle of the night, he thinks about victory.

Triumph and Palou have been practically inseparable since 2021.

Since then, he has won two IndyCar Series Championships and secured his 10th points-paying race win at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Saturday by finishing more than six-seconds ahead of Team Penske’s Will Power at the Sonsio Grand Prix.

Andretti Global’s Colton Herta led the IndyCar Series standings going into the race, however, Palou jumped from third to first place after his second-straight victory in the grand prix. Power remains in second place after his second place finish in the grand prix while Herta moved to third place in the standings despite finishing seventh on the road course.

Yet the Indianapolis 500 has eluded Palou through it all.

“It separates the drivers from normal drivers to legends,” Palou said.

The Chip Ganassi Racing member won the pole last season, but finished in fourth place after an accident during a pit stop. However, Palou said he doesn’t have bad memories from the race.

Palou did get a taste of the podium in 2021 when he finished second in his second Indianapolis 500 of his young career, securing his highest finish in the biggest race on the calendar to date.

Although Christian Lundgaard of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, who finished third in the Sonsio Grand Prix, acknowledged the amount of luck it takes to win an IndyCar Series race, he knows that isn’t the deciding factor.

“I think you create your own luck,” Lundgaard said.

The Denmark native said everything changes as he looks ahead to the 108th annual Indianapolis 500.

“We’re going about 80-100 miles per hour faster,” Lundgaard said of the move to the legendary oval. “I am going in this year, especially to the ovals, with the mindset of, ‘Let's take what we can get.’”

Power is one of only five (of the 27 who competed in the Sonsio Grand Prix) drivers who has won the Indianapolis 500 before, but he knows doing so requires no mistakes.

“It's gotta be a perfect day, man,” Power said. “I remember the day I won the 500, it was a perfect day with strategy, pitstops, everything.”

Palou agreed, citing the 72-hour turnaround before practice begins as proof that there is no time to celebrate with his traditional fried chicken dinner

​​”As soon as something goes wrong, you're out,” Palou said. “I think nowadays in IndyCar with the competition you have you need to be 99% perfect.

“It's completely different. It’s a different car for us, obviously the way you drive and you really need to respect this place a lot, otherwise it bites you.”

While displaying his admiration for IMS throughout practices, qualifying and the grand prix itself, Palou has also shown great pride for his home country throughout his entire career. Prominently displaying Spain’s flag on his uniform and answering post-race questions in Spanish at times, the 27-year-old said he wants to help open the door to a future in IndyCar racing for other Spanish drivers.

If Palou secures victory in the upcoming Indianapolis 500, he would be the first Spaniard to do so.

“That would make it extra special,” he said. “Same as when we first won the IndyCar Championship, it made it extra special to be the first Spanish driver to do so.”

Joined by his newborn daughter and his wife on victory lane after winning the Sonsio Grand Prix, Palou pulled out his phone for a video call to his mother and father in Spain. Palou said his parents will be in Speedway, Indiana, for the Indianapolis 500, so he hopes to cap off what would be a historic win by granting them the experience of what it’s like to be in victory lane in person.

Contact Kyle Smedley with comments via email at or on X @KyleSmedley_.

This article originally appeared on Indianapolis Star: Alex Palou is now focused on one thing: Winning the Indy 500