IndyCar: Way-too-early power rankings for 2024

Pato O'Ward, Arrow McLaren, Josef Newgarden, Team Penske, Alex Palou, Chip Ganassi Racing, IndyCar (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Pato O'Ward, Arrow McLaren, Josef Newgarden, Team Penske, Alex Palou, Chip Ganassi Racing, IndyCar (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) /
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Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing, IndyCar
Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing, IndyCar (Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images) /

IndyCar power rankings: No. 3 through No. 1

3. Josef Newgarden

The fact that Josef Newgarden tied his worst finish in the standings as a Team Penske driver goes to show that maybe there is a little something to the Indy 500 hangover, even as he became the first driver in 13 years to win the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing” and then go on to win multiple races later in the season.

I expect a major bounce back in 2024 after a season which saw his road and street course point total end up a bizarre 226 points shy of the champion’s.

2. Scott Dixon

If there is one thing the last four races of the 2023 IndyCar season proved, it’s that you can truly never count out Scott Dixon.

Even with the championship out of reach, Dixon reeled of three wins, all of which looked unlikely, in the final four races of the year, extending his record winning streak to 19 seasons. Aside from his Long Beach DNF, he placed no lower than seventh throughout the year. Strangely enough, he hadn’t finished in second in the standings since 2009.

1. Alex Palou

It’s hard to repeat as an IndyCar champion, as it hasn’t been done since Dario Franchitti won three in a row from 2009 to 2011. But nobody is better suited to do it than Alex Palou, who is also behind the wheel of a No. 10 Chip Ganassi Racing Honda like Franchitti was.

Palou became IndyCar’s first five-win champion since 2016, and he did it without a single finish lower than eighth place. That combination of dominance and consistency is potent in a series as competitive and as deep as IndyCar, and with all the contract drama likely behind him, there’s no reason he can’t do it again.