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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Overreaction: Driver changes paying off

The surprises of qualifying were the fact that Felix Rosenqvist qualified in second place in his first race for Meyer Shank Racing and the fact that Romain Grosjean managed a Firestone Fast Six appearance in his first race for Juncos Hollinger Racing.

Rosenqvist drove a solid race, but a seventh place finish was somewhat disappointing after a weekend in which he was at the top of the speed charts. It was, however, quite the result for a Meyer Shank Racing team that hadn't finished that high up the order since July 2022.

For Rosenqvist, qualifying has always been a strength; he was one of only three drivers with multiple poles in 2022 and 2023 with Arrow McLaren, and nobody had more poles than he did last year. But execution has been another story. His average start was fifth best, and his average finish was 13th best. So seventh place was solid, but what happens if he's not on the front row?

As for Grosjean, he started last year's St. Petersburg race on pole with Andretti Autosport, and his two-year run with the team ultimately ended in disaster -- and winless. It was not exactly surprising to see him involving in an incident that resulted in him being penalized, though to his credit, he owned it.

Both drivers provided some great storylines during the weekend, but bottom line, I don't think a change of scenery is going to magically transform either of these two drivers into regular frontrunners, even after both showed good speed in St. Petersburg.