Palou becomes first Spaniard to win IndyCar championship

(AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

LONG BEACH, Calif. (AP) Alex Palou raised the Spanish flag over his head and hugged every teammate he could find. The first championship trophy of his professional career at last in his hands, he planted his lips on the Astor Cup and savored a dream come true.

He spent two years racing in Japan, but it was IndyCar where he wanted to be and Palou simulated life as if he drove in America's top open-wheel racing series. He's now an IndyCar champion - his first title since karting as a teen - and the first Spaniard to claim the crown in series history.

Palou finished fourth in an easy Sunday drive at the Grand Prix of Long Beach to cap a smooth and steady second season in IndyCar.

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IndyCar Leaders: Points
RankDriverPointsWins
1 A.Palou 549 3
2 J.Newgarden 511 2
3 P.O'Ward 487 2
4 S.Dixon 481 1
5 C.Herta 455 3
6 M.Ericsson 435 2
7 G.Rahal 389 0
8 S.Pagenaud 383 0
9 W.Power 357 1
10 A.Rossi 332 0
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