Defending Indy Car series champion Scott Dixon has finished third at the opening race of the season in Alabama.
Fellow New Zealander Scott McLaughlin was 14th of 24 drivers, with several failing to finish the race.
Spain's Alex Palou won, with Australia's Will Power second.
Dixon, who is chasing a seventh Indy Car series title, started from fifth on the grid, with McLaughlin starting from 12th.
Dixon is yet to win at the Barber Motorsport Park having finished runner up six time and third three times.
If he does win this year's title he will join the legendary A.J. Foyt as the series only seven-time champions.
Both drivers avoided trouble shortly after the green flag when three-time Alabama winner Josef Newgarden spun in Turn 5, triggering a multicar crash that also involved Colton Herta, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Felix Rosenqvist and Max Chilton.
Polau started from third on the grid with pole sitter Pato O'Ward finishing fourth.
It's McLaughlin's rookie season in Indy Cars after leaving Australian Supercars, where he won three consecutive titles.