Honda’s Alex Palou Victorious in INDYCAR $1 Million Challenge at The Thermal Club

  • Chip Ganassi Racing’s Alex Palou wins the $1 Million Challenge in dominant fashion
  • Heat Race 1 winner Felix Rosenqvist finishes third
  • Honda powers five of top-six finishers

Reigning and two-time NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion Alex Palou once again took Honda to the top step of the podium in the $1 Million Challenge at The Thermal Club.

Palou controlled the event from lights-to-flag, taking pole for his Heat Race, leading every lap of the second of two heat races as well as every lap of the main event ‘All Star’ race; crossing the finish line with a 5.7929-second margin of victory.

Meyer Shank Racing’s Felix Rosenqvist finished third in his #60 Honda after also starting on pole and taking control of Heat Race 1 to make it to the final.

Honda powered five of the top six finishers on the day, including Colton Herta who drove through the field in the second half of the race after making a concerted effort to save his tires in the first ten laps.  Palou’s Chip Ganassi Racing teammates Marcus Armstrong and Linus Lundqvist finished fifth and sixth respectively in their Honda-powered machines. 

The Thermal $1 Million Challenge Honda Race Results

$1 Million Challenge Final

  • 1st Alex Palou 
Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
  • 3rd Felix Rosenqvist
Meyer Shank Racing Honda
  • 4th Colton Herta
Andretti Global Honda
  • 5th Marcus Armstrong
Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
  • 6th Linus Lundqvist-R
Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
  • 9th Christian Lundgaard
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda
  • 11th Graham Rahal 
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda
  • 12th Pietro Fittipaldi 
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda

Heat 1:

  • 7th Nolan Siegel-R
Dale Coyne Racing Honda
  • 10th Kyle Kirkwood
Andretti Global Honda   
  • 12th Scott Dixon
Chip Ganassi Racing Honda

Heat 2

  • 8th Tom Blomqvist-R  
Meyer Shank Racing Honda
  • 11th Kyffin Simpson-R
Chip Ganassi Racing Honda   
  • 12th Marcus Ericsson
Andretti Global Honda
  • 13th Colin Braun-R
Dale Coyne Racing with RWR Honda

R – Rookie

Alex Palou (#10 Chip Ganassi Racing Honda) finished 1st: "What an amazing weekend. Right from the start, we had all the speed we needed from our Honda engine and Chip Ganassi Racing car. The race format was obviously different to our regular championship, so we weren’t sure how [the strategy of] saving tires was going to play out in the final, But with no restarts at the end, everything was amazing!”

Felix Rosenqvist (#60 Meyer Shank Racing Honda) finished 3rd: "A good day here at Thermal, and we leave with some cash in our pockets. That’s good for Meyer Shank Racing, and it’s great to have two Honda boys on the podium here today, and all the Hondas at the front this weekend. Alex [Palou] was kind of untouchable, so I think we finished where we could, to be honest. We weren’t the best on tires, so we kind of had to manage them a bit. But all in all, it’s been a really good start to the season for us.”

Colton Herta (#26 Andretti Global Honda) finished 4th: “Starting deep in the field like we did, we knew the race was going to be a battle, but saving tires for the first half of the final, like we did, seemed to work well for us. And to finish fourth in just a short race was pretty decent. It was a really fair fight with Marcus [Armstrong] for fourth. I felt like we gave each other plenty of racing room.”

David Salters (President, HRC US) on today’s win by Alex Palou and Honda in the non-championship Thermal Club $1 Million Challenge: “It was a good showing for Honda here at Thermal! Five of the top six finishers, so job well done team. Stunning job from Alex [Palou], he really controlled the entire event. And congrats to all of our teams for a strong showing throughout the weekend. On to the next one—a home race for us at the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach. Let’s keep pushing!”

The NTT INDYCAR SERIES next returns to Southern California for one of the signature events on the 2024 calendar, the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach, on Sunday, April 21.

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