IndyCar 2023 Season Preview – Can Power Do It Again?

The 2023 IndyCar Series season is set to begin March 5th with the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg (Noon Eastern, NBC) along the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida. The 17-race 2023 schedule is to encompass four ovals, six road courses and five street courses leading to the September 10 season finale at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in California.

Will Power enters the season as the reigning series champion, having clinched the 2022 title in the last race of the season by 16 points over Penske teammate and now fellow 2-time champion Josef Newgarden. The question heading into the season is now ‘Can Power Go Back To Back?’

The schedule does seem to favor Power as he has won at all tracks except for the Nashville Street Course and Laguna Seca, both recent additions to the IndyCar Series – Nashville in 2021, Laguna Seca in 2019. His average finish at Nashville stands at 12.5 with a best finish of 11th last season.

He has not fared much better at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. In 3 races on the 2 and a quarter mile California road course, the New Zealand driver has an average finish of 10.3 with a best finish of 2nd in 2019.

The advantage at both tracks appears to go to Newgarden. In 3 races at Laguna Seca, Newgarden has averaged a 5th place finish with a best finish of 2nd last season while at Nashville, he has averaged an 8th place finish with a best of 6th last season. If Newgarden can continue to take advantage of the tracks where Power struggles, expect him to be a threat for the title once again.

But it’s the early tracks that are key in mounting a title run and that includes the Indy 500. With double points on the line as well as qualifying points, the whole month of May is crucial in deciding a champion. 

In addition, the Penske tandem of Power and Newgarden have to be weary of the 3rd member of their squadron – Aussie Scott McLaughlin, the SuperCar transplant poised for a breakout year in IndyCar.

Also looking for a great season is Power’s fellow countryman – Scott Dixon. He looks to continue his consecutive season streak of winning at least one race as well as claim his seventh series title and solidify his place as IndyCar’s equivalent to the legendary Dale Earnhardt.

But among those looking to stop him is Helio Castroneves of Meyer Shank Racing, still looking for his first series title to go along with a possible fifth Indy 500 triumph.

One more storyline to watch is the rookie class led by Marcus Armstrong of Chip Ganassi Racing, Sting Ray Robb of Arrow McLaren and Denmark’s Benjamin Pederson driving for Indy legend AJ Foyt

So many storylines to follow and a whole six months to see how they play out. 

Michael Nebbia