Team Penske

Note: This continues a series of 2024 NTT INDYCAR SERIES team previews on from Feb. 26-March 1. The season starts Sunday, March 10 with the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg presented by RP Funding.

Starting Lineup: Josef Newgarden (No. 2 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet), Scott McLaughlin (No. 3 XPEL Team Penske Chevrolet), Will Power (No. 12 Verizon Business Team Penske Chevrolet).

2023 in Review: Team Penske will always consider it a banner year when another Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge is captured. Newgarden gave Roger Penske’s organization its record-extending 19th victory on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval when he passed and held off Chip Ganassi Racing’s Marcus Ericsson on the last lap of last year’s race at IMS. Newgarden added three more race wins during the season to help the team to five wins overall, counting McLaughlin’s win in the Children’s of Alabama Indy Grand Prix at Barber Motorsports Park. Newgarden also won the PPG 375 at Texas Motor Speedway and both ends of the doubleheader at Iowa Speedway (the Hy-Vee Homefront 250 presented by Instacart and the Hy-Vee One Step 250 presented by Gatorade). The threesome also won five NTT P1 Awards, including Power’s two at Iowa that pushed his career total to a record-extending 70. Newgarden was particularly proficient on the ovals, leading 567 of the 1,210 laps (48.9 percent), including 341 at Iowa. McLaughlin had a late push in the point standings to climb to a career-best third. Newgarden finished fifth, Power seventh.

New for ’24: Power has a massive weight lifted off his shoulders thanks to the improved health of his wife, Liz, who endured a difficult battle last year. The driver didn’t make excuses for his first winless season since 2006, but surely the family’s challenges were impactful. Expect a return to victory lane for the two-time NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion.

Keep an Eye on This: The addition of a doubleheader at The Milwaukee Mile and the return to Nashville Superspeedway puts three more oval races on the schedule, and it’s likely no one was more excited about that than Newgarden, who has won eight of the past 11 oval races (and he dominated a ninth before crashing due to mechanical failure at the second Iowa race of 2022). The seven oval races this season are the most for the series since 2011. This season ends with four of the final five races on such tracks, giving Newgarden a strong final push toward his third series title. Only 12 drivers in history have won three or more INDYCAR SERIES championships.

Little-Known Fact: It’s Power against the field when it comes to qualifying, and the statistics support that. Power has 70 career poles; the other full-time drivers this year have a combined 93, and that includes Scott Dixon’s 28 and Newgarden’s 16. Colton Herta (11) is the only other driver in double figures.