Alex Palou will take the start of Sunday’s Music City Grand Prix in Nashville six positions below wherever his qualifying time places the No. 10 Chip Ganassi Racing Honda.
The Spaniard, who leads the NTT IndyCar Series championship by 39 points over Arrow McLaren SP’s Pato O’Ward, incurred the penalty after an unapproved engine change was required following last week’s private test at Portland International Raceway.
Having used the four engines provided in each entry’s engine lease through the first 10 races of the season, IndyCar’s rulebook assigns a six-position grid penalty when a fifth motor is installed. Rule 188.8.131.52 also deems each engine used beyond the four included in the lease from Chevy or Honda as being ineligible to earn points towards the manufacturers’ championship.
Palou ranks as Honda’s most consistent driver this year with six podium finishes and two wins, so his inability to assist the brand in its manufacturers’ title quest over the six remaining rounds will have an impact on how the engine championship is settled.
Entering Nashville, Honda leads Chevy 863-790 in the standings.