The site of Spring Training
I hope everyone had a great holiday season and is looking forward to a good new year. At the end of January Indycar will be on track at the Thermal, California, track, which could nbe the site of an Indycar race in a couple of years.
I am excited about several things this upcoming season. For one the off track driver drama should be much less. Alex Palou knows where he will be the next two years. Pato O’Ward has the contract he wanted. The drama should stay on the racetrack. This is not a season preview, just a list of what I’m looking forward to.
Before I talk about Indycar, a couple of IMSA items.
I am excited to go to the Rolex 24 Hour at Daytona to see the new GTP cars. The former top prototype class has some new manufacturers with more coming in 2024. The cars have some style differences, which is refreshing. I’m not sure that the body work is distinct enough to recognize different cars while they are on track, but it is a step in the right direction.
I don’t like the new group name GTP. It makes the top class sound as if they are GT cars. IMSA should have stuck with the prototype label. That is what this class is- concepts. But they again failed to ask my opinion.
I am very excited for the IMSA race at IMS in September. It’s about time this series ran at the speedway.
Indycar- A Big 4 at Last?
This may be the year Arrow McLaren may finally join the Big Three of Penske, Ganassi, and Andretti as Indycar elite. The team has been nipping at the heels of the top tier, and 2023 could be their breakthrough season.
The addition of Alexander Rossi should give Pato O’Ward some extra help in his championship hunt. Felix Rosenqvist is essentially auditioning for a job on another team for 2024, and last year he did a great job fighting to keep his ride at McLaren.
Meanwhile a reconfigured Andretti Team looks to improve from a mediocre 2022 season which saw just two wins. Colton Herta should geta couple victories. I look for improvement from Kyle Kirkwood on his new team. Romain Grosjean may be driving to keep his ride. Will Devlin DeFrancesco be better with a year of experience?
David Malukas had a strong run at the end of the year. Will he carry that momentum into 2023? I felt he matured a lot as the season progressed.
Kyle Kirkwood has a fresh start after a difficult year. I hopoe his new team with more resources gives him a better chance at good results.
McLaughlin Even Better?
Scott Mclaughlin won three times in his second year in 2022. I think we have a third Penske driver to watch. McLaughlin could win the championship this year. I would not be surprised to see his win total increase in 2023.
The Pit Window will be moving to winter headquarters tomorrow. That means there will be major news breaking while I’m driving through the wilds of Kentucky or Tennessee.
Nest week I will share some thoughts abought the Damar Hamlin situation. There are some parallels to racing.