Today’s question: Who was the breakout star of the Month of May at Indianapolis, factoring in the GMR Grand Prix and the 105th Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge?
Curt Cavin: It’s difficult to choose between Alex Palou, Colton Herta and Rinus VeeKay, but I’ll go with VeeKay for the way he endeared himself to the fan base. It’s a safe bet that Herta and VeeKay are future Indy 500 pole winners, and Palou had a spectacular month, finishing third in the GMR Grand Prix and second in the “500” to take the series points lead. It’s also fair to assume that if Palou finds himself in another late-race Indy shootout, he will greatly benefit from having this experience with Helio Castroneves.
Zach Horrall: Curt is right. In all reality, I think Alex Palou, Colton Herta and Rinus VeeKay were all breakout stars, but I’m going to take Palou on this one. Yes he won at Barber, and yes, he was running well heading into the Month of May, but his performance this month was on a new level. I think after a third in the GMR Grand Prix, bouncing back from a qualifying crash to start sixth and finishing second in the Indianapolis 500, fans are realizing Palou is a force to be reckoned with every race. In September, we very well could look back at this month as the catalyst for a Palou championship.
Paul Kelly: Well, I’m going to cheat a bit. My breakout star isn’t a driver – it’s a team: Meyer Shank Racing. Team co-owner Mike Shank made headlines earlier this season insisting his team was no longer the little engine that could, no longer part-timers and wouldn’t be pushed around by the established heavyweights of the series. I loved that defiant swagger, and Shank and Jim Meyer’s team backed it up with the biggest win of them all last Sunday. Meyer Shank has just as many victories this season as established teams Andretti Autosport, Arrow McLaren SP and Ed Carpenter Racing. Only Chip Ganassi Racing has more wins, with two. Meyer Shank is here to stay, and the methodical, brick-by-brick way Shank insisted this team be built will pay dividends with a stable, competitive future.