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A Guide to the 2024 NTT IndyCar Series


Indycar race cars of various colours drive around the bend on an oval track. An American flag is flowing in the background
(Michael Allio/Icon Sportswire via Wikimedia Commons)

BY: NATASHA PINTO


After a long off-season, the NTT IndyCar Season returned to St. Petersburg for its season opener this past weekend. On the heels of Alex Palou being crowned champion last September, the grid is ready to battle for that title again. A new season, however, doesn’t come without new drivers hungry for that title. This year, there are also new tracks to make the series a bit more interesting. 


Headlines

From St. Petersburg to Toronto to Nashville, the 2024 season spans over 17 race weeks, excluding this year's Thermal Club $1 million challenge.


The Thermal Club $1 Million Challenge

This special event (not for points) in Thermal, California will see the winner receive a million-dollar prize in addition to a showcase. Hoping to grow the sport, this event will still push the teams and drivers to be at their best, while fans can enjoy the festivities.


Milwaukee doubleheader

The IndyCar Series is bringing back the Milwaukee race for this year as a doubleheader. The last race held there was in 2015, the 2015 ABC Supply Wisconsin 250. The oval races will be held on Aug. 31st and Sept. 1st, in line with Labour Day weekend.


Nashville Finale

The Nashville street course was one of the many highlights of the season last year, which has pushed the series to make it the season finale. This year, however, instead of it being a street course, the season will finish on an oval race at the Nashville Superspeedway. The decision was made in line with the construction of the Tennessee Titan’s new stadium, Nissan Stadium, which would block surrounding areas.


Driver Lineups

A busy offseason has resulted in a switch of driver lineups for all teams but Team Penske. Looking for a new way to work towards their goal of becoming champion, some notable moves came from Chip Ganassi Racing, now Andretti Global, and Arrow McLaren.


Marcus Ericsson - previously with Chip Ganassi Racing, now with Andretti Global

As part of Chip Ganassi Racing (CGR) since 2020, Ericsson has had a few wins, including an Indianapolis 500 victory. Andretti Global, having let Romain Grosjean go, decided to sign Ericsson to race against Colton Herta and Kyle Kirkwood for all the races this season. They are hoping he can help them get to their first championship since 2012.


Chip Ganassi Racing filled their open spot with another Swede, rookie Linus Lundqvist. In addition to their four cars, CGR will also run an additional fifth car on the grid, driven by rookie Kyffin Simpson. Chip Ganassi Racing will be the only team running five cars this year, all full-time.


David Malukas - previously with Dayle Coyne Racing, now with Arrow McLaren

David Malukas spent 2022 and 2023 with Dayle Coyne Racing but made a move this offseason, signing with Arrow McLaren. He filled Felix Rosenqvist’s seat, who is now racing with the Meyer Shank Racing team. Malukas has had a few years in the Indy series under his belt, but will also be racing with longer-established drivers, Pato O’Ward and Alexander Rossi. Malukas was set to race in the season opener but injured his wrist weeks before, meaning Callum Illot will sit in for him until he can return. Once he is back, the trio is set to race all the races for the rest of the season.


Romain Grosjean - previously with Andretti Autosport (Global), now with Juncos Hollinger Racing

After a difficult two years with Andretti Autosport (now Andretti Global), Grosjean signed with Juncos Hollinger Racing during the offseason. He will pilot the number 77 car, in place of Illot, who did not extend his contract with the team. This change is intended to give Grosjean new hope for what he can achieve in this series after years as a Formula 1 driver.


Christian Rasmussen - previously in INDYNXT, now with Ed Carpenter Racing

2023 INDYNXT champion, Christian Rasmussen signed with Ed Carpenter Racing after the team let go of Conor Daly and Ryan Hunter-Reay. The Dane will be racing only certain races on the schedule, while his teammate Rinus Veekay will race all. Ed Carpenter himself will make an appearance during the ovals/road courses and the Indianapolis 500.


Pietro Fittipaldi - signed with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 

After racing with Dayle Coyne in 2018 and 2021, Fittipaldi left the sport to join other racing series, including being a reserve driver for the Haas Formula 1 team. Back for the 2024 season, he will now be racing with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL). The team signed the Brazilian after a tough decision to let Jack Harvey go. This will be his first full season of racing with the number 30 car. 


Rookies

As noted with several teams making driver changes, a few of them are also rookies. Some will be racing at all tracks (street, road, and ovals) while others will only be doing so on certain weekends. 


  • Tom Blomqvist: Meyer Shank Racing (All races)

  • Colin Braun: Dale Coyne Racing (Certain weekends)

  • Linus Lundqvist: Chip Ganassi Racing (All races)

  • Christian Rasmussen: Ed Carpenter Racing (Certain weekends)

  • Nolan Siegel: Dale Coyne Racing (Certain weekends, also racing in Indy NXT)

  • Kyffin Simpson: Chip Ganassi Racing (All races)

  • Kyle Larson: Arrow McLaren (Indianapolis 500)


Out of the list of rookies, previous Indy Lights/Indy NXT champions, Linus Lundqvist (2022) and Christian Rasmussen (2023) are the ones to look out for. Their previous experiences and championship mentality will certainly push them to put their best foot forward during the weekends they are racing as they hope to end the season with the Rookie of the Year title.

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The reigning champion, Alex Palou, will look to become a back-to-back champion with Chip Ganassi Racing. However, some of the drivers with Team Penske, Andretti Global, and Arrow McLaren, could really push and challenge Palou for points in the standings. The season is just getting started and there’s a long way to go, so really anything could happen!


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