Wednesday, March 1, 2023

2023 IndyCar Season Preview: Which of these 3 Contendahs’ will Come Out on Top?

Especially since Mr. Zakery Brown plans to Crash the Party!


Continuing my elongated No Fenders Look-see’ at the upcoming IndyCar season. Here’s the first Half of the Six IndyCar Teams with Driver changes that obviously All intend to be fighting for Top bragging Honours…


Chip Ganassi Racing (CGR)

Wins (4) Scott Dixon: 2, Marcus Ericsson: 1, Alex Palou: 1

Drivers: #8 Marcus Ericsson, #9 Scott Dixon, #10 Alex Palou and #11 R-Marcus Armstrong/Takuma Sato

2022 Indy 500 winner: Marcus Ericsson


Typically each year, Scott Dixon is in the Championship Hunt frame. As the legendous’ Kiwi’ finished a somewhat distant third Overall last year. And it will be interesting to see how Dixon and His new Race Engineer Ross Bunneel “Gel.” Yet I’d expect Dixon to once again be fighting for His record tying seventh IndyCar title this year.


Although both Marcus Ericsson and Alex Palou finished the season with one win apiece, I’d say they had somewhat polar opposite seasons. With Ericsson winning at Indianapolis, and Palou’s Firestorm over Not driving for CGR in 2023! Although we All know how that flushed out…


Naturally I’ll expect both drivers to have another strong season. Although I somehow doubt that “Tall Marcus” will challenge for the Astor Cup this year. While Palou should be overly motivated, even if it’s No secret He’ll be moving to Arrow Mclaren next year. But what better way to say Thanks Cheep!


Where I’m most interested with CGR is how the “Short Marcus,” aka Marcus Armstrong fairs during His Rookie campaign. Which sadly He’s only doing the Twisties’ portion of the calendar, i.e.; road Courses and Street Circuits. Presumably due to lack of a Full season budget.


As I’ve been immensely impressed with the New Zealander in the few interviews He’s done with Racer’s Marshall Pruett! And is already my choice for Rookie Of the Year, (ROY) even though He’ll miss out on five races.


Yet I also have to say that I’m Happy that we’ll have Takuma Sato around one more year, even if it’s a new situation for the affable Two-times Indianapolis 500 winner running an Ovals only programme for the first time in His career.


Thus it shouldn’t be too difficult to Arse-sume that Dixon, Ericsson and Palou should All win races once again this year.


And will Dixon finally claim His second Borg Warner trophy after His various misses whilst dominating the past few years? Although new teammate Taku-san’ Had something to say about that back in 2020! And obviously is salivating over the chance for a third Indy 500 winners ring!


Arrow McLaren

Wins (2) Pato O’Ward: 2

Drivers: #5 Pato O’Ward, #6 Felix Rosenqvist and #7 alexander Rossi


The Big News for now what’s just Arrow McLaren is the bulking up to a three car operation with the arrival of Andretti Autosport’s Alexander Rossi. For which we’re All curious how this will pan out?


As I’m really not sure what to expect from the team this season? Since it seems like they’ve got a Big Hole to fill with the departure of Tyler Kiel. Even if they’ve reorganized the Team’s Overall structure with Gavin “Love Boat” Ward and BillyBob BrazenHeartz’, aka Bryan Barnhart as Racing Director and Managing Director respectively.


Obviously Pato O’Ward will wish to stamp His authority as the team’s Defacto “No. 1” by leading the way and winning the most races for the team. Along with fighting for the IndyCar title again.


Yet what will Rossi have to say about that? While unfortunately Felix Rosenqvist is “Auditioning” for a Job next year while keeping His NTT Data sponsored Dallara’s seat warm for Alex Palou’s arrival in 2024…


Andretti Autosport

Wins (2) Colton Herta: 1, Alexander Rossi: 1

Drivers: #26 Colton Herta, #27 Kyle Kirkwood, #28 Romain Grosjean and #29 Devlin DeFrancesco


The $64,000 Question is whether or not Mikey A’s team, long known as Ond of the Big 3,” ergo Penske, Ganassi and Andretti, can rebound from it’s past few year’s of futility? Not to mention how Zak Brown and Arrow McLaren are firmly chafing at the Bit to join this exclusive “Pecking Order.”


With Rossi’s departure and Colton Herta being signed to a new long term contract. The soon to be 23yr Old Yank’ who was a Hot Commodity in Formula 1 last year, looks set to become the new Team leader.


Obviously I’d Arse-sume this is a “Make or Break” year for Romain Grosjean, who didn’t exactly have a rousing first season at Andretti Autosport. Other than giving His teammates Love Taps during races!


As perhaps the Frenchman is hedging His Bets by becoming a Factory Lamborghini Sports Car driver this year?


Much noise has already been made over how will Kyle Kirkwood do, now that He’s driving for a top team and seemingly got the Bugs worked out at A.J. foyt Enterprises expense?


Since we All know that testing in Palm Springs doesn’t determine anything. But Kirkwood was quick both days and seems to have come out Hungry with this fresh start! And looks poised to show His potential this year.


And then there’s Devlin DeFrancesco, who settled down after His rocky start as a rookie last year. Yet I really Don’t expect much from this sophomore IndyCar Pilote, other then to occupy the Mid-pack.


While who knows if His Father’s “legal” troubles will be a distraction at all for the series lone Kuhnuck?