2024 IndyCar form guide: Team Penske


No. 2 Chevy: Josef Newgarden (5th in 2023 championship)

No. 3 Chevy: Scott McLaughlin (3rd in 2023 championship)

No. 12 Chevy: Will Power (7th in 2023 championship)

Consistency or bust

Josef Newgarden is excellent at winning motor races. This is a fact. Since 2020, he’s won more IndyCar races than any driver — 15 in total. That number would suggest he’s also won a championship or two over that span, but that’s where his mounting frustrations have been born.

Scott Dixon has won 10 races since 2020, and has one championship from 2020-2023, and his teammate Alex Palou has nine wins from 2020-2023, and has two titles. Fewer overall wins for both, but they’ve taken three of the last four championships. There’s a lesson in there, and it’s the formula on how to win or lose an IndyCar drivers’ crown.


In his first title season of 2017 and his second in 2019, Newgarden used consistency to overpower his rivals. Four wins on both seasons were certainly helpful, but it was his impressive finishing record across the entire season — and limiting the mistakes that lead to poor results — that propelled Newgarden to become a two-time champion. And since that 2019 season?

He’s come so close to adding more titles to his CV, but there’s been too many highs and too many lows — evidenced by the staggering number of wins since 2020 — that have left him second in the standings in 2020, 2021, and 2022. Last year, he fell to fifth, despite winning the Indy 500 and scoring four victories, which almost matched the five Palou secured on the way to his second title.

Newgarden will need somewhere between three to five wins to vie for the championship, but that’s only half of the equation. He has an awesome race engineer in Luke Mason, and together, they’re among the most powerful duo in the series. But that won’t matter if the bad days aren’t reduced between the victories.

If Newgarden wants to capture a third title, it will involve a change of approach because the most recent one hasn’t been working.

Impressive elsewhere

Team Penske scored a huge win to open the IMSA season at the Rolex 24 At Daytona. It earned the pole for the Daytona 500 and was in contention for the win before a late and huge crash wiped out half the field. It was on pole for last weekend’s Cup race in Las Vegas, and also won the FIA World Endurance Championship’s 10-hour curtain raiser in Qatar with the sister Porsche Penske Motorsport hybrid 963 program that won at Daytona.

If Penske’s performances so far in 2024 with his non-IndyCar programs are an indicator of what’s head in the open-wheel series he owns, it’s going to be a painful year for everyone else.

If Penske’s early 2024 successes in other series are any guide, the rest of the IndyCar field could be in for a tough year. Motorsport Images

Indy lift

Do not underestimate the value being returned to Team Penske through its technical alliance with A.J. Foyt Racing, and in particular, at the Indy 500. Foyt technical director Michael Cannon is a savant when it comes to chassis setup at the Speedway, as evidenced by the pair of poles with his former driver Scott Dixon and the super-strong run last year by Foyt’s Santino Ferrucci.

The tech alliance with Penske was struck last summer — after the Indy 500 where, despite its win with Josef Newgarden, Penske’s cars weren’t exactly dominant — which obviously did nothing for Penske at the time.

But with the first Indy 500 on the horizon, where Penske’s trio will run at the Brickyard with the benefit of what the Foyt team has given back through the alliance, Penske should be able to chase the pole and back-to-back wins as a result of the information exchange.


Scott McLauglin was Penske’s best driver last season, finishing ahead of Newgarden and Power in the championship due to his crafty speed and… yes, here’s that word again… consistency. The New Zealander cracked IndyCar’s title-contending code in 2023 and that’s why he’s my pick to lead Penske in the Drivers’ standings once again.

He’s run just 51 IndyCar races, which is a tiny number compared to Newgarden’s 198 and Power’s 285. If McLaughlin’s this good, at this early stage of his IndyCar career and with so much left to learn — and with that first oval win that awaits him – the future is wide open for him to hold onto that P1 slot in the team.

Fast driver, fast learner. Chris Owens/IMS Photo

Power time

But let’s not forget about the two-time champ Will Power. He’s back, and burning with motivation to conquer. Coming off of what was the worst year of his career as his wife Liz faced a life-threatening illness, Power was understandably distracted. Having won the title in 2022, his follow-up act in 2023 was blighted by all that was happening on the home front, and thankfully, as his wife’s health has been mostly restored, Power’s back to his hyper-focused self.

He’s also put on more muscle to help control the Dallara DW12 once the added weight of the hybrid engine package goes online this summer, so he’s looking at the big picture and trying to give himself the best chance to vie for another title.

Newgarden’s on the hunt for a better body of work across the entire season. McLaughlin’s on a quest to become the team’s leader for a second year. And Power’s determined to put a fluke season behind him and fire back into title contention. Three different objectives, with the Indy 500 setup enhancement to draw from.

If everything goes according to plan, Team Penske could be doing a lot of celebrating in May and September.

Story originally appeared on Racer