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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Not an overreaction: "Same old" for two of the "Big 4"

I'm glad I wasn't the only one confused by Townsend Bell referencing Arrow McLaren and Andretti Global as two of IndyCar's "Big 4". One team didn't win a race last year and has just four total wins since entering IndyCar in 2019, and the other hasn't won a championship since 2012 -- nor had a single driver in the top eight in the standings since 2021.

IndyCar is nowhere near Formula 1's level a lack of parity, but let's not sugarcoat it. It's Team Penske vs. Chip Ganassi Racing, just as it has been for the last decade and a half.

Pato O'Ward's second place finish was promising for Arrow McLaren, but so were all four of his other second place finishes since his most recent win at Iowa Speedway in 2022 (which only happened, by the way, due to a shock failure in Newgarden's car, a failure that ultimately cost him a third championship as well). Aside from that race, he has just one win since June 2021.

As for Andretti Global, it's always something. Marcus Ericsson missed out on a top five finish due to some kind of issue with his engine. Though I expect both teams to win this year, neither has what it takes to put together an entire championship-winning, 17-race campaign.