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IndyCar Power Rankings: Alex Palou, Romain Grosjean flex in bids to be next 2023 winner

Helio Castroneves joins the "Today" show to talk about being immortalized on the Borg-Warner Trophy and at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and look ahead to the Indy 500.

Four NTT IndyCar Series races with four winners – and none cracks the top two of NBC Sports’ latest power rankings.

It’s indicative of a 2023 season that has delivered an expected measure of parity with the parade of faces to the winner’s circle – Marcus Ericsson, Josef Newgarden, Kyle Kirkwood and Scott McLaughlin.

But others are flexing, too.

Pato O’Ward was an engine blip from winning St. Petersburg. It’s easy to imagine Romain Grosjean in victory lane at any of the first four races – which is why the Andretti Autosport driver is ranked a season-best second in this week’s rankings.

Alex Palou might not be top of mind for near-misses– but the Chip Ganassi Racing star is on top of our rankings as IndyCar’s most consistent driver to date this season.

Heading into the GMR Grand Prix on Saturday on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, here’s NBC Sports’ assessment of the current top 10 drivers through four of 17 races this year (with previous ranking in parenthesis):

NBC Sports’ IndyCar Power Rankings

1. Alex Palou (2) – With a third consecutive top five, he now has the series’ best average finish (5.3) this season – not bad for a guy everyone expects to exit Chip Ganassi Racing next year. But maybe he won’t if it keeps going this well (especially at the Brickyard, where he has excelled at the Indy 500 the past two years)?

2. Romain Grosjean (5) – He misses the top spot just as narrowly as he did the victory at Barber. Entering Indy with back-to-back runner-up finishes, he remains the only driver in IndyCar with a legitimate case that he could have opened 2023 with four consecutive wins.

3. Scott McLaughlin (7) – An avowed Rankings of Power fan, Scotty Mac is No. 1 in our hearts – and he’s inching toward the top of his favorite poll, too. Put on offense by his team’s three-stop strategy at Barber, he did the rest for his third victory in the past 13 IndyCar races – a feat matched only by teammate Josef Newgarden.

4. Marcus Ericsson (1) – The points leader had a marginal weekend in Barber, failing to reach the second round of qualifying before soldiering to a nondescript 10th. The defending Indy 500 winner still enters IMS with momentum (and motivation to sign a new contract).

5. Pato O’Ward (5) – A solid rebound from a Long Beach disappointment, he finished fourth after starting third and might have been in the hunt for the victory at Barber if he’d been on a three-stop strategy instead of conserving fuel.

6. Josef Newgarden (3) – This surely is one of his oddest starts to a season yet. After kicking himself for missing the Fast Six in qualifying, he fought an “evil” handling car after early contact and finished outside the top 10 again. Maybe all the good luck and timing finally will come at Indy.

7. Will Power (10) – Led his first laps of 2023 at Barber as his campaign to defend the season championship continued to regain its footing. He now is heading to a track where he has a series-high five victories.

8. Scott Dixon (9) – He seems to have overcome some of last year’s qualifying weaknesses. But aside from a third in the season opener, the finishes have yet to be in the Iceman-esque championship form that we’ve come to admire.

9. Alexander Rossi (NR) – He’s been faster than the results have indicated but doesn’t seem discouraged by that. It’s another sign that Arrow McLaren is a good fit for this mercurial star, who also is the most recent winner on the IMS road course.

10. Christian Lundgaard (NR) – Starting and finishing sixth, he deserves plaudits for being best in class at Barber (the only top 12 finisher outside of Andretti-Ganassi-McLaren-Penske). IMS road course is where he caught the eye of Rahal Letterman Lanigan (and IndyCar) in his 2021 debut.

Falling out: Kyle Kirkwood (8), Colton Herta (9).


PRESEASON: Josef Newgarden is a favorite to win third championship

RACE 1: Pato O’Ward to first; Newgarden drops out after St. Pete

RACE 2: O’Ward stays firmly on top of standings after Texas

RACE 3: Marcus Ericsson leads powerhouses at the top