IndyCar: 3 overreactions (and 3 truths) following the 2024 season opener

The 2024 IndyCar season is officially underway, with the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida getting things started on Sunday afternoon.
Josef Newgarden, Team Penske, IndyCar
Josef Newgarden, Team Penske, IndyCar / Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports
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The 2024 IndyCar season got underway on Sunday afternoon on the streets of St. Petersburg with the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, a race dominated by Team Penske's Josef Newgarden from the pole position.

While there is only so much we can take away from a single race on a single type of circuit to start the year, the series is now set for a two-week break -- and a six-week break from championship action, which is scheduled to resume on Sunday, April 21 on the streets of Long Beach, California.

So let's delve into some overreactions -- and some not-so-overreactions -- from the opener. Here are three of each.

Overreaction: Chip Ganassi Racing should panic

It's one race. I think everybody sort of figured that Chip Ganassi Racing would take a step back this year overall. They lost Marcus Ericsson, one of four drivers to win in each of the last three seasons, and instead now have three drivers who have never before run full-time, in addition to multi-time champions Alex Palou and Scott Dixon.

We have seen things implode within this organization before when their resources have arguably been spread too thin (see the end of the 2017 season). And this time, they're doing it with five cars.

But Palou finished in sixth place on Sunday, better than either of his St. Petersburg finishes in his two previous championship runs. The fact that his "mid" days still result in such results is one of his strengths. As for Dixon, ninth place was nothing to write home about, but he has never won at St. Petersburg. For the team's two actual contenders, not a big deal.