IndyCar News: Season Preview Day 1 in Indianapolis – Part 2

Team Penske’s Will Power, driver of the No. 12 Verizon 5G Team Penske Chevrolet, enters his 20th season in the NTT IndyCar Series as a two-time series champion. Power won the  2018 Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge, has 41 career wins, and holds the series record for poles with 68 NTT P1 Awards.

The Aussie was disappointed with his 2023 season, not being able to have a win, breaking his streak of 16 seasons.  One of the reasons was his wife Liz’s health was a big issue early in the season.  Power was asked how she was doing now, and he replied, “Liz is doing a lot better. It’s actually about a year now since that happened. She’s back, started working out a little bit.  Way, way better from where she was.”

“Yeah, not having that stress, the constant thought in the back of your mind of what’s going on there frees up a bit of space. You can get back to the sort of normal routine of
preparing for a season and working during the season.”

“Those distractions really take away — you just cannot compete at a high level if you’re not 100 percent in on that thing, which is racing. If you’re not 100 percent in, you’re going to struggle in this field. It’s too tough. Depth is too strong.”

“You need to have everything going for you if you’re going to win in this series.”

AR1 asked him thoughts on the new hybrid engine and if he thinks the rookies will struggle more than the veteran drivers.

” I think it’s an easy — honestly, it’s hardly changed anything. The car pretty much behaves the same, and they’ve given you the ability just to push a button out of a corner and that’s it. I think it’s auto-regen, so you’re not holding the paddle or anything like that. It’s pretty straightforward.”

“It’ll be more about extracting the most out of the system, where you deploy it, all those strategies which kind of makes it a — it’s up to the teams to do the simulations and understand where to do that and where to regen, all that sort of stuff.
So yeah, I think it’s pretty straightforward. It’s not that complicated.”

” You’re just basically pressing a button. That’s the long and short of it. All the simulations
will be saying out of this corner is where you should be hitting the button, and that’s what will happen.”

“Maybe in the races, slightly different strategies, maybe hitting a different spot to pass or something like that.”

“But, I think it’ll be good.”


David Malukas          Photo by Lucille Dust/AR1

David Malukas will be driving the the No. 6 Arrow McLaren IndyCar Chevrolet in his third season.  Making his debut with this team, Little Dave is pretty excited to be wearing the papaya color and to have new teammates.

The young American was asked what his expectations were for this season.

“Oh,  my expectations now with Arrow McLaren, we are going for the top: podiums,
wins. They are very competitive, and it’s the team to do it. That is going to be — my goals will coincide with that. ”

Malukas was asked how the deal with Arrow McLaren came about and when it happened.

“It kind of all happened quickly after the IndyCar race at Nashville is when everything got done. So for those months until Laguna I had to kind of keep it in. I actually enjoyed it. I had a good time because keeping it in wasn’t too hard.”

“I’d go online and see all these like, oh, this person is going over here, because I’d also know where the other drivers were going, and I’m giggling in the back like, hoo-hoo, you don’t know.”

“But going into Arrow McLaren, one of the big deals has been from their socials. They do a fantastic job with promotion and promoting the drivers. Going into it, of course, that was one of the big factors. For my brand and for me personally, it’s going to help exponentially.”

” It is a great opportunity. Like I said, they have a lot of resources; also have really good
teammates of Pato and Rossi. Being 22, I still have some time to learn, and it is the perfect place to make sure that for my skills and to get the maximum out of my potential, this is the place to be.”


IndyCar driver Scott McLaughlin. Photo by Penske Entertainment: Joe Skibinski

Scott McLaughlin is the youngest tenure driver at Team Penske.  Driving the No. 3 Chevrolet in his fourth season with the team, the Kiwi is looking to win more races than he did last season.

McLaughlin was asked his thoughts for the coming season.

“2024 is exciting. I think I’ve said a number of times today, I feel like my off-track side is sorted in terms of I’ve got my Visa now, I’ve bought a house, got a second dog. Everything is sorted on that side, and I can finally start the season with a focus on racing in some ways.”

“I’m excited to hit the ground running, hopefully at St. Pete, a place that I love. I feel like we really finished the year strong last year and it is going to be important to start the
year strong with the changes throughout the season.”

McLaughlin was asked what his strategy is going to be for the 2024 IndyCar season.

“I guess the first oval win is the next thing for me, to finish off everything. But I think from a comfort, pace feeling perspective, I feel really at home. I certainly don’t feel like the new kid anymore, and I feel more like an open wheel driver than a touring car driver now.”

“Yeah, it’s very small. I was talking about the margins before, like the margins move up now, like there are a few little areas, a kink in my armor that I need to figure out that
I’ll keep to myself, but I feel like we’re in a really good spot for the start of the season.”

There was bad news for fans of Bus Bros, which starred Josef Newgarden and Scott McLaughlin.  The person who produced the show is no longer a part of IndyCar and so there will be no more episodes of the drivers tasting hot food or dressing up in costume bothering campers at the tracks.

“Bus Bros was fun because it was like — it was just an opportunity for people to get to know me and Josef and see who we are outside the car. We did some pretty stupid
stuff, but it was fun chapter. If this is the end, it’s the end.”

Lucille Dust reporting live from Indianapolis



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