IndyCar: 3 overreactions from the first three races of 2023

Kyle Kirkwood, Andretti Autosport, IndyCar (Photo by Greg Doherty/Getty Images)
Kyle Kirkwood, Andretti Autosport, IndyCar (Photo by Greg Doherty/Getty Images) /
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Will Power, IndyCar
Will Power, Team Penske, IndyCar (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /

3 IndyCar overreactions: No. 2 – Team Penske is the fourth best team

Despite Josef Newgarden winning at Texas Motor Speedway, Team Penske really haven’t been much of a factor so far this season. That win is the team’s only top five finish through three races, and that race turned into a pack race that could’ve easily been won by three or four other teams.

It hasn’t been an ideal start to the season for the team that secured a 1-2-4 finish in the championship last year. Newgarden led laps in Long Beach, but his pit strategy put him in an impossible position, and he was lucky to come away with a top 10 finish.

Scott McLaughlin, who earned the first three wins of his career last year, was only a factor in St. Petersburg, when he ended up knocking himself — and Romain Grosjean — out of contention. Reigning champion Will Power has been a non-factor altogether, even being lapped early at Texas Motor Speedway.

Chip Ganassi Racing and Andretti Autosport both have three drivers in the top eight in the championship standings, with the latter doing so despite their three contenders already having a combined four DNFs and five finishes of 14th place or worse, and Arrow McLaren’s top driver, Pato O’Ward (second), is higher than Newgarden (fourth).

Right now, Team Penske look like the fourth strongest team. But to suggest that this won’t change before season comes to an end would be far too premature.

They didn’t win until the season’s fifth race in 2020 and still ended up winning half the races, they didn’t win until the season’s 10th race in 2021 and still ended up getting Newgarden a runner-up finish in the championship, and we saw Power become the first champion with only one win since Tony Stewart in the 1996-1997 season last year.