Alex Palou remains the prohibitive favorite to win the 2023 IndyCar championship, but there are still two other drivers with somewhat intriguing odds.
IndyCar officially passed the halfway point of its 2023 season two Sunday afternoons ago at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, with Chip Ganassi Racing’s Alex Palou extending his championship lead with his third consecutive victory.
The 2021 champion owns a 110-point lead in the standings over teammate Scott Dixon with eight of 17 races remaining on the schedule. Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden is a further six points back.
With a lead of more than two full race weekends in a series that hasn’t had a championship clinched before the season finale since 2005, Palou is the prohibitive favorite to win the 2023 IndyCar title to become a two-time champion.
DraftKings Sportsbook, which is now offering fans an instant $150 just for signing up and betting $5, lists him as the -1000 favorite to win the title.
Here is a list of drivers whose odds are +10000 or shorter.
- Alex Palou, Chip Ganassi Racing: -1000
- Josef Newgarden, Team Penske: +900
- Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing: +1000
- Marcus Ericsson, Chip Ganassi Racing: +1600
- Pato O’Ward, Arrow McLaren: +2000
- Scott McLaughlin, Team Penske: +4000
- Will Power, Team Penske: +5000
- Alexander Rossi, Arrow McLaren: +10000
- Colton Herta, Andretti Autosport: +10000
Odds and availability are subject to change, so lock in your $150 now!
Dixon and Newgarden are the two drivers who still have a sliver of hope here, given their histories of overcoming deficits.
Dixon has never overcome a deficit this huge, but that’s not to say he can’t. The six-time champion has twice as many come-from-behind championships in his career from this point in the season as any other driver in the field has total titles.
In 2013, he was in seventh place with nine races remaining and sat 92 points out of the lead. He ended up winning the championship by 27 points, marking a 119-point swing.
And let’s not forget that he was cheated out of a good finish at Sonoma Raceway due to a ridiculous penalty that year, and he was later wrecked by Will Power on the streets of Baltimore — a move for which Dixon was inexplicably placed on probation.
So 110 points isn’t insurmountable, but it all hinges on Dixon finally winning some races in 2023 — and Palou finally having at least one bad result, of course.
In regard to Newgarden, it’s no secret that the Indy 500 hangover is very real. Not since 2010 has a driver won multiple races later in the season after winning the Indy 500, and not since 2010 has an Indy 500 winner gone on to win the championship.
In fact, from 2011 to 2022, the Indy 500 winners have a combined three wins later in their Indy 500-winning seasons. That’s it.
But the remaining schedule, specifically the three short oval races, should play to Newgarden’s favor. He has won three races at Iowa Speedway and three races at World Wide Technology Raceway since 2019 alone, and the last time he did not win at both races (when both were on the calendar) in the same season was 2018.
He is a four-time winner at both and the three-time reigning winner at the latter. He would have become a five-time winner at Iowa Speedway — and three-time reigning winner there as well — with a doubleheader sweep last season if not for a fluke shock failure.
If you’re Palou, you almost have to assume that Newgarden is going to take the full 54 points out of both Iowa Speedway races and another 54 points from the race weekend at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway to play it safe.
Newgarden also reduced a 117-point deficit to Dixon with six races remaining in 2020 by more than 100 points, finishing just 16 points out of what would have been a third title.
Interestingly, he overcame this deficit with only one short oval race during that six-race stretch, and he did it despite the fact that Dixon didn’t finish outside of the top 10. He beat Dixon in all six races, which is not easy to do. So if he can get hot, look out.
The Honda Indy Toronto is the 10th race on the 17-race 2023 IndyCar schedule, and it is set to be shown live on Peacock from Exhibition Place beginning at 1:30 p.m. ET this Sunday, July 16. This race is the lone Peacock exclusive on this year’s calendar, meaning that you must purchase a subscription of Peacock Premium or Peacock Premium Plus to watch live.