Dixon and Palou Claim Third Row Starting Spots for Grand Prix of Monterey

Both Scott Dixon and Alex Palou advanced to the Firestone Fast 6 today and secured third row starting positions alongside one another for the Grand Prix of Monterey.

Dixon will pilot the No. 9 PNC Bank Honda from P5 (1:07.0171), while Palou will begin the race from P6 (1:07.2846) in the No. 10 American Legion Honda. The to-be-crowned two-time champion has now advanced to the Firestone Fast 6 in six out of this season’s seven road course races.

Marcus Armstrong and Marcus Ericsson did not transfer past the opening qualifying session and ultimately landed P16 and P19 starting positions.

Chip Ganassi Racing, having already locked up the championship and the second-place finish thanks to Palou and Dixon, will be in pursuit of the team’s ninth victory this season in what will be the 17th and final race on the calendar. 

Chip Ganassi Racing will also look to become the first team in INDYCAR SERIES history to ever boast the champion, second-place finisher and the Rookie of the Year in the same season. Marcus Armstrong, who holds a 26-point advantage, will look to finish the year strong and become the fifth driver to win the award with the team (Cheever Jr.; Zanardi; Montoya; Rosenqvist).

Up Next: The 95-lap Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey will wrap up the 2023 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season on Sunday at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. NBC will broadcast the event starting at 2:30 p.m. ET with the green flag waving at 3:26 p.m. ET.

Scott Dixon
No. 9 PNC Bank Honda“Interesting qualifying with Q1. The PNC Bank Honda was really strong on both sets of tires. We probably should have run an extra lap on blacks in Q2, but we had the No. 12 car go off and that compromised us a little bit and we pitted short. In Q3, we opted to go on primaries and I think we were the only car to do that. It was looking quite good there for a minute but the alternates just had a ton of grip. But, the upside is we saved alternates for tomorrow so hopefully that’s good.”

Alex Palou
No. 10 American Legion Honda
“It was good; it was a positive session. We knew we had a little bit more in the Fast 6 and we went aggressive with our strategy. We thought we had a chance to go for pole, but unfortunately I made a mistake on the last corner. The positive thing is we’re starting in the top dive. It’s going to be a long race tomorrow and the cars are really fast so I’m looking forward to it.”

Marcus Armstrong
No. 11 Ridgeline Lubricants Honda
“It’s been a frustrating weekend, as we’ve done about five push laps since the test. There have just been so many red flags and I haven’t gotten a rhythm yet. I just feel like I haven’t got going. I’m also disappointed with qualifying because we caught traffic and the car was really good.”

Marcus Ericsson
No. 8 Huski Ice Spritz Honda
“I locked up the rears into the Corkscrew and it ruined my lap. That was really the only time that I went full speed into the Corkscrew because there was traffic and red flags. It’s frustrating because the car was so fast all weekend. There is a lot of grip with the new surface. It’s very fun to drive, but obviously if you get out of the groove it can get really slippery. It’s tough out there but I am enjoying it.”