Monaco Increase Management driver Alex Palou scored points for the third time in as many races to clinch third place in the overall 2023 Indycar series points standings. He now has 91 points in the classification now led by CGR team-mate Marcus Ericsson (110) and is only 4 points shy of second-placed Pato O’Ward. Palou managed to finish fifth in a grueling Grand Prix of Long Beach, on the same track where he had been crowned series champion in 2021. But things did not come easy for Alex Palou on the 3.167 Californian street course, as he had to re-build his race nearly from scratch after having to brake hard on lap 27 to avoid colliding against O’Ward who had just spun on the track. Up to that point, MIM’s Palou had been able to lead a solid race from P4 on the starting grid, briefly losing two positions at the start of the 85-lap event as he was forced to slow down after attacking Romain Grosjean and then rejoining the Top Five group with a clean overtaking move on Pato.
When the Mexican driver lost control of his car, Palou was trailing him at the end of the first chaotic round of pit-stops, where his #10 CGR car (sporting its all-green Ridgeline livery for the occasion) had just traded its first set of soft tires for the harder rubber. The incident cost Palou a number of position as he resumed the race in P13. But the pace was real good and the Spanish driver quickly made positions at the expenses of Harvey and McLaughlin. By delaying his final pit call (and briefly leading the race in the process) Alex Palou was able to re-emerge from the pit road a solid sixth and the fastest man on track. He battled with Alexander Rossi but in the end came ahead clear of the #7 McLaren, then went on to pass Josef Newgarden who in the last stages was forced to save fuel. With less than five laps to go, Palou came in within less than a second to fourth-placed Colton Herta, but P5 was enough for him to grab third in the championship ahead of the Alabama race in two weeks’ time, on the track where Alex Palou scored his maiden Indycar victory two years ago.