Indycar 2023 Season Preview- Papaya Rising

We are just three days away from the first practice of the 2023 NTT Indycar Series season. The largest field in about a decade-27 cars- will participate. Oval fields will have at least 28 cars.

Last week I talked about drivers to keep an eye on. Today, I’ll look at which teams to watch for, and make bold predictions written in sand.

The Big Four?

Arrow McLaren will join the traditional Big Three for good this season. Pato O’Ward will win at least two races, and Felix Rosenqvist will gave a year which will land him a ride with another team in 2024. Alexander Rossi will struggle early, but his experience will give the team a big boost. Rossi may even squeeze out a win.

Andretti will be better, but they are in danger of being passed by Arrow McLaren. Colton Herta, Romain Grosjean, and Kyle Kirkwood should all have improved seasons over 2022. Herta should win at least twice in 2023, and I think Grosjean can get his elusive maiden victory.

Team Penske and Chip Ganassi Racing will continue to dominate the top step of the podium, but to a lesser extent than 2023, when the two teams combine to take 13 of the 17 races.


Dale Coyne Racing may surprise some folks. David Malukas matured so much during the second part of 2022 that I think he is ready to have more consistent good results, maybe even a win somewhere. Rookie Sting Ray Robb may have the same pattern of growth that Malukas had last year, but I think he comes into the series with a bit more maturity. Robb will hit his stride by the time the series gets to Barber.

Can Ferrucci Deliver for Foyt?

Is Santino Ferrucci the driver A. J. Foyt has been seeking to make the program competitive? He just might be. Ferrucci has had some great drives as a last minute fill in, and he has an outstanding record in the Indianapolis 500, but is the equipment disadvantage too much of a handicap?

Unlike Kirkwood, Ferrucci has the experience to not try to drive over the car’s limits. I think we will see more consistent top 15s and top 20s from the 14.

Don’t Put Money on These

It’s a Pit Window tradition to ruin a driver’s season with season predictions, but I’m going to do it again.

Series champion- Scott McLaughlin. Mclaughlin showed last year that he is ready to contend for the title. He came close to winning five races in 2022, and a more consistent season will put him over the top.

Indianapolis 500 winner- Pato O’Ward O’Ward wasn’t quite ready last year, but he seems to have a knack for getting things right the next time he visits a track where he just missed.

Rookie of the Year- Sting Ray Robb. Robb finished second in Indy Lights in 2022 by showing consistent results. He will use that consistency to take rookie honors.

Records extended- Scott Dixon will reach 55 career victories, and Will Power will earn his 70th career pole in 2023. Power’s career pole mark will be like A. J. Foyt’s career win total- untouchable forever.

Look for a lot of St. Pete information the next few days and my race preview at the end of the week.