2022 NTT INDYCAR SERIES team previews

Editor’s Note: This is the third day of a four-day series of 2022 NTT INDYCAR SERIES team previews. Today’s rollout will feature Team Penske at 10 a.m. (ET), Dale Coyne Racing at noon and Meyer Shank Racing at 2 p.m. Visit INDYCAR.com often today through Saturday to get the lowdown on every team and driver! Click here for Wednesday’s previews and here for Thursday’s previews.


Starting Lineup: Helio Castroneves (No. 06 AutoNation/SiriusXM Honda), Simon Pagenaud (No. 60 AutoNation/SiriusXM Honda).

Meyer Shank Racing2021 in Review: Can the year just be summed up with the victory in the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge? Castroneves parlayed that record-tying fourth Indy victory into a full-season ride with MSR for 2022. The Brazilian competed in five additional races to end the season, capped by a ninth-place finish in the Big Machine Music City Grand Prix in Nashville. Jack Harvey was MSR’s full-time driver, posting a pair of fourth-place finishes. Pagenaud ended his seventh season with Team Penske with a pair of podium finishes and an eighth-place standing in the championship.

New for ’22: Castroneves has a full-season INDYCAR ride for the first time since 2017, the last year he drove in all of the races alongside Pagenaud at Team Penske. This also will be the first season MSR has fielded two full-time cars.

Keep an Eye on This: Castroneves remains in pursuit of the highest echelon of NTT P1 Award winners. Castroneves has 50 career poles, three behind A.J. Foyt in third place. Mario Andretti leads with 67 poles. Will Power has 63. In career wins, Castroneves is tied with Paul Tracy and Dario Franchitti with 31. Another victory gives Castroneves sole possession of 10th place on the sport’s all-time list.

Little-Known Fact: Much has been made of Scott Dixon extending the INDYCAR record of most seasons with at least one race win – the mark is now 19 – but Castroneves now has 17 and is within one of A.J. Foyt, who held the record until last year.

Defy Everything: Pagenaud said two-time INDYCAR SERIES season champion and 2003 Indianapolis 500 winner Gil de Ferran, gave him advice that he still utilizes. “Make your bad days look like good days so people don’t notice when you have a bad one,” Pagenaud said. “If you can make your bad days look decent, you’ll have a chance at a championship.” Pagenaud won INDYCAR’s season championship in 2016 and captured the American Le Mans Series’ LMP title in 2010.


Starting Lineup: Takuma Sato (No. 51 NURTEC ODT Dale Coyne Racing with RWR Honda), David Malukas (No. 18 Dale Coyne Racing with HMD Motorsports Honda).

Dale Coyne Racing2021 in Review: Romain Grosjean had a standout first INDYCAR season with the team, winning the NTT P1 Award for the GMR Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in May before finishing second. Grosjean also finished second in the IMS road race in August, the Big Machine Spiked Coolers Grand Prix, and added a third podium finish in the Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca (he was third). Grosjean led 53 laps during the season and finished 14th in his oval-track debut at World Wide Technology Raceway. Ed Jones’ second season-long stint with Dale Coyne’s team was highlighted by a sixth-place finish on Nashville’s street circuit. Pietro Fittipaldi joined Jones for the “500,” qualifying 13th before finishing 25th.

New for ’22: No INDYCAR team has had more of a makeover than this one. Sato and Malukas replace Grosjean and Jones, and the engineering staff has a new look, too, with Olivier Boisson following Grosjean to Andretti Autosport. Sato figures to be on the charge after failing to win a race last season for the first time since 2016. Don’t sleep on Malukas. If it wasn’t Kyle Kirkwood winning Indy Lights races last year – he won a record 10 of 20 – it was Malukas, who grabbed seven race wins. Over the season’s final 11 races, Malukas posted an average finish of 2.0, with three consecutive wins and all podium finishes. In Kirkwood’s historic season, Malukas only trailed by 13 points at year’s end.

Keep an Eye on This: Malukas is an excellent qualifier. Last year, he won more poles than Kirkwood, and his average starting position was 2.0.

Little-Known Fact: Over the past five INDYCAR seasons, only six drivers have won more races than Sato, who has won five. They are: Josef Newgarden (17), Scott Dixon (11), Will Power (11), Alexander Rossi (six), Simon Pagenaud (six) and Colton Herta (six). Sixteen drivers have won at least one race in that period.

Defy Everything: Sato didn’t have the same path to professional driving that most INDYCAR drivers had. He didn’t attend his first major race, the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka, until he was 10 years old. He became a fanatic of the sport, but his parents didn’t know much about racing or have connection to it. So, it wasn’t until he was 20 years old that he finally got an opportunity to drive a race car at the Suzuka Racing School, where he won a scholarship. “That’s how I started,” he said. “Compared to drivers who had experience as a teen, that wasn’t my case. I always had ambition and … it built from there.”


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

Team Penske2021 in Review: Newgarden won a pair of races and made a valiant run at the championship, finishing 38 points from what would have been his third season title in five years. Newgarden won the Honda Indy 200 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 at World Wide Technology Raceway, to push his career win total to 20, and in a midseason stretch he won three consecutive NTT P1 Awards for the first time in his career (he won three poles in four races in 2018). Newgarden finished the season with a season-high four poles, including the one at the finale, the Acura Grand Prix at Long Beach, when he needed every point possible for a chance at the title. Newgarden led 355 laps for the season, which ranked third. Power won the Big Machine Spiked Coolers Grand Prix on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course for his 40th career victory, extending his streak of consecutive winning seasons to 15 (second all-time). The NTT P1 Award earned at World Wide Technology Raceway was the 63rd pole of his career, drawing him within four of Mario Andretti’s all-time record. McLaughlin became Team Penske’s first Rookie of the Year on the strength of a second-place finish in the Genesys 300 at Texas Motor Speedway and a fourth-place finish at World Wide Technology Raceway. He finished 14th in the standings, one position ahead of fellow series rookie Romain Grosjean. Simon Pagenaud’s seventh and final season with Roger Penske’s organization was highlighted by a pair of podium finishes, led by a third-place finish in the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge.

New for ’22: After a season with four full-season cars, Team Penske returns to three for the fourth time in five years.

Keep an Eye on This: This might a lot to ask of McLaughlin, but Team Penske drivers have produced a history of big results in their second year with the team. Rick Mears (1979), Emerson Fittipaldi (1991), Helio Castroneves (2001) and Juan Pablo Montoya (2015) won the Indianapolis 500, and Tom Sneva (1978), Mears, Gil de Ferran (2001) and Pagenaud (2016) won the series championship. Ryan Briscoe won three races in 2009, Power won five races in 2010 and Newgarden won three races in 2018. McLaughlin will be seeking his first series win in Year 2.

Little-Known Fact: If driving a race car didn’t work out for McLaughlin, he had a Plan B. It was to be a sheet metal fabricator, for which he has done an apprenticeship. He built the first race car he drove professionally.

Defy Everything: Newgarden wasn’t always on a path to winning two INDYCAR championships and 20 career races. At the end of 2010, he thought he was on a path to nowhere in motorsports after finishing 18th in Europe’s GP3. “I was out of funding (and) didn’t have sponsorship for the next year,” he said. “I came back to America and felt like I was coming home to the end of my racing career. But we were able to put an opportunity together – at the last minute – with Sam Schmidt to run Indy Lights. (He won the championship in 2011.) I was lucky to be at the right place at the right time.”