As we itch closer to the turn of the calendar over to the 2023 IndyCar Series, we must look back at an incredible year in the 2022 season. A new Indy 500 winner was crowned, a second time IndyCar Champion was named and record viewership brought new eyes to the Indy 500 and the entire IndyCar season. Let’s take a look back at some moments that drivers wish they could have back in the 2022 season and look forward to each driver's wish list for the upcoming 2023 season.
Here are the wishes for each driver on what they could have back in 2022 and what they wish for in 2023.
We all know what Scott Dixon wishes he had back in 2022. The final pit stop of the Indianapolis 500. Dixon dominated the 106th running of the Indy 500 leading 95 laps up to the final stop of the day. On his final stop, Dixon was clocked one mile per hour over the limit costing him a chance at his second Indianapolis 500 win.
2023 wish: Everyone's wish is to win the Indy 500 but for Dixon, a second win at Indy would stamp his name as one of the best four drivers in IndyCar history. Indy has been Dixon’s Achilles heel since 2008, boasting dominating cars only to come up a bit short.
For Newgarden, the championship was unfortunately lost in the crash while leading at Iowa in race number two. On lap 235 while leading, something broke on Newgardens Chevy, sending him into the wall and ending his day. He would eventually be transported to an area hospital and later released. He led 148 laps that day with a 24th place to show for it.
2023 wish: Dixon and Newgarden are the only drivers I will say for an Indy 500 win. Newgarden is the best driver on track right now in the best equipment with the Indy 500 win the only thing left he hasn’t accomplished in series.
With the second championship now under his belt, Power had one of the most consistent seasons in IndyCar we have seen in quite some time. The Indianapolis 500 has not been kind to the champ since he took the win back in 2018. The 106th running was no exception. After qualifying in the middle of row 4, Power muddled in the middle of the pack all afternoon, finishing in 14th, his third straight Indy 500 finish outside the top 12.
2023 wish: Powers wish in 2023 is to finish off races. He was incredibly consistent with Top 5 finishes that ultimately won in the championship, however he only had one win. Power led 20 or more laps in six different races with just one win.
What a breakout season is what, but also a season that came with a few things he wishes he could have back. Obviously, the finish to the Texas race is the first that comes to mind. McLaughlin led 186 laps on the afternoon and was passed off the final corner by his teammate Josef Newgarden. Another big regret would be trying the Nashville hot chicken on an episode of The Boys Bros.
2023 wish: In his third season, consistency will be key for the Australian. McLaughlin had a rough month of May at Indy, finishing 20th and 29th backed up by a 19th place at Detroit. Eliminating race finishes of 20th or worse will be key to a championship run in the 2023 season.
I am not too sure what to think of Colton Herta in 2022. It seemed like the majority of the conversation that people in the media had on him were solely based around him leaving for Formula 1 and that became a major distraction. He looked incredible in the rain at the first Indy GP as he took his only checkered flag of the season. Now that the rumors have settled down a bit on a move to F1, look for Colton Herta to be back contending for multiple race wins, he’s done it before and can do it again.
2023 wish: Podiums. Simply as that. Herta managed just two podiums in 2022. A far cry from his impressive 5 podiums back in 2021.
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
It was an up and down season for the three car effort. Christian Lundgaard brought home the team's only podium and captured Rookie of the Year for the season. Graham Rahal showed flashes at times this season but only had two Top 5 finishes to show for it. Jack Harvey had a dismal season in his first year with the team.
2023 wish: The changes in the offseason, swapping Lundgaard to the #45 and Harvey to the #30 to work out. The team has great sponsorship over the three teams and competing for top 10s on a regular basis with all three cars is a definite goal in 2023.
Ed Carpenter Racing
I feel like the team took a step in the wrong direction in 2022. They qualified up front and led laps at the Indy 500, but the team could only manage a 6th place finish with Conor Daly. Ed Carpenter did not have a great season this year while Rinus VeeKay only managed to contend for one win, ultimately landing on the podium at Alabama.
2023 goals: It’s time for Rinus VeeKay to put it all together and compete for a championship. The team's sponsorship with BitNile is in place for the year and VeeKay now has the experience to win multiple races in a season. It’s another big year for Daly, his contract ends at the end of the season and some would say he has one foot out the door to something in NASCAR. This could be his last legitimate shot to win Indy and land back on the podium, something he hasn’t done since 2016. For Carpenter, I don’t care what the dude does elsewhere, just focus on winning that Borg Warner trophy!
Chip Ganassi Racing
We mentioned Scott Dixon earlier on, and what a year it was for the entire Ganassi stable. Marcus Ericsson took home the Indy 500, Jimmie Johnson brought an entire new audience to the sport, Tony Kanaan in his one race landed a third at Indy and once everything settled down in the rumor mill for Alex Palou, he was able to win the final race of the 2022 season.
2023 goals: Dixon, Ericsson and Palou will all be in contention for wins and the championship next season. If Sato is added to the stable for the oval races, the team will no doubt be the favorite to chug the milk in victory circle at Indy. If Marcus Armstrong can develop and adapt quickly, the #11 could also find itself inside the top 10 in the championship.
Drama and rumors led the headlines for Andretti Autosport in 2022 instead of podiums and wins. Colton Herta secured the team's only win as mentioned above. Alexander Rossi departs the team while Devlin DeFrancesco and Romain Grosjean enter their second years with Andretti Autosport in 2023.
2023 wish: Develop the talent of Kyle Kirkwood this season while getting Herta and Grosjean back to the podium. DeFrancesco was consistent and a move from consistently finishing between 15th and 20th should be moved forward to finishing 7th-15th in 2023. Also, bringing in Jamie Chadwick to the Indy NXT program is a great addition. 2023 will be a year for her to learn the car and pick the brains of everyone around her.
Dale Coyne Racing
David Malukas became a fan favorite during the 2022 season and capped it off with an impressive drive late in the going at Gateway to score his first career runner up finish. Takuma Sato had a rough showing in 2022 and has departed the team for the 2023 season.
2023 wish: I think the first wish is to announce the drivers they will have next season. Malukas has shown he has the talent to drive to the front and you don’t want to stunt that growth in 2023.
Arrow McLaren SP
The team had a strong year in 2022 with Pato O’Ward scoring two victories and a pole and finally signing Felix Rosenqvist for the 2023 season. The teammates developed a great bond and finished 7th and 8th in the championship. O’Ward would probably wish for the final restart back of the 2022 Indy 500 while Rosenqvist scored an impressive 10 Top 10’s.
2023 wish: The addition of Tony Kanaan will be huge for the Indianapolis 500 program and will help Pato O’Ward who has been so close to winning at Indy twice now. The departure of Taylor Kiel will be a void that is tough to fill. I think O’Ward is a championship contender in 2023 and needs to continue his incredible run on ovals over the last few seasons. Rosenqvist should compete for a few wins, and TK is going to be a driver to keep your eyes on coming up in May.
A.J. Foyt Racing
Last season just wasn’t it for the team. From sponsorships not being paid to only a best finish of 10th, the guys at the Foyt shops are ready to turn over a new leaf for the 2023 season.
2023 wish: Santino Ferrucci has the ability to bring the #14 Chevy back to life in 2023. He is a top 5 contender at the Indianapolis 500 and has filled in for various drivers over the last several years and delivered results. It will be a big learning curve next year for Benjamin Pedersen who moves up from Indy Lights. Safe to say, we are all excited to see what Ferrucci can do in that car, especially at the Indy 500.
2022 was a let down for the team. Simon Pagenaud scored the team's only podium finish in the rain soaked road course race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Helio Castroneves scored three top 10’s but finished the last six races with a best showing of 13th. Pagenaud told me back in April that it takes time to develop team chemistry and sometimes that takes up to a year. Pagenaud snagged 7 Top 10’s in the 2022 season.
2023 wish: Get back in the win column. I think Simon Pagenaud will find a win in 2023, he was oh so close in the rain at Indy last year and both drivers will be threats to win the Indy 500. Qualifying better in 2023 is a huge wish for the team. In 34 starts for the team last year, Castroneves and Pagenaud started 27 from outside the Top 10.
So what is on our wish list for 2023 at Burnout Sports? Here is our short list
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