Australian Will Power has promised Team Penske an IndyCar championship if they can continue the form that saw him finish second behind Alex Palou in the season-opening Grand Prix of Alabama.
Palou picked up his first career win - in his first race with Chip Ganassi Racing - by holding off former series winner Power and six-time defending IndyCar champion Scott Dixon at Barber Motorsports Park, while three-times Supercars champion Scott McLaughlin was 14th in his debut race in the series.
Young Spaniard Palou used a two-stop strategy on the picturesque permanent road course to take control of the race but still had to hold off hard-charging Team Penske ace Power by .4016 seconds.
"Great job guys. If we do that all year, I promise we'll be champions," Power said to his team via his radio post race.
Still most of the attention leading into the race was on the stacked rookie class of McLaughlin, record seven-time NASCAR Cup champion Jimmie Johnson and former Formula One driver Romain Grosjean.
McLaughlin avoided an early crash on the first lap when multiple cars were wiped off the track and at one stage got as high as ninth, after starting from 12th, before the Team Penske driver secured 16 championship points.
"P14 in the race. Learnt a tonne this weekend, nice to get a race under my belt. Team had great pit stops and the car had good speed! Bring on St Pete next week, thank you for the support!" the Kiwi tweeted.
Grosjean, in his first race since a fiery November crash in Bahrain, finished 10th for Dale Coyne Racing while Johnson, who at 45 is older than Palou's father, was satisfied with 19th.
"Just a ton of learning experiences throughout the day," Johnson said.
"I just can't say too many times how different this is and how specialised this craft is."
Palou is only the second Spaniard to win in the IndyCar Series, after Oriol Servia who won in 2005 at Montreal.
"It's just amazing but I think it was part of the job," he said.
"When you are part of a big team and a successful team like Chip Ganassi, they give you all the tools. "
While Palou's Ganassi teammate Dixon rounded out the podium, pole-sitter Pato O'Ward was fourth.
IndyCar races next Sunday on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida.