IndyCar information | Staff Penske’s Will Energy vying to affix uncommon membership of racers by going back-to-back

Within the greater than 100 years of IndyCar racing by its varied guises, 26 drivers have gained the title greater than as soon as.

Of these 26, simply two have gone back-to-back.

Will Energy might turn out to be the third this 12 months, becoming a member of Dario Franchitti and Sam Hornish Jr in that elite membership.

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Hornish Jr was the primary to do the double, profitable the 2001 and 2002 titles with the now-defunct Panther Racing. He later gained the 2006 crown with Staff Penske.

Franchitti went one higher, going back-to-back-to-back from 2009 to 2011, including three titles to the primary that he claimed in 2007.

Energy, now a two-time champion, beat Staff Penske stablemate Josef Negarden to the 2022 title in a 12 months that noticed the Australian end outdoors the highest 5 on simply 5 events. 

Energy is among the many favourites for this 12 months’s crown, and though historical past says back-to-back championships are a uncommon factor, he is aware of what his staff is able to.

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“It is solely race-by-race,” he stated on the eve of the season-opener in St Petersburg.

“I’m nicely conscious I can go back-to-back, which might be implausible, however the mentality method is simply race-by-race, extracting essentially the most out of each single lap principally whenever you get all the way down to the nitty-gritty.

“I did not realise solely two folks had ever gone again to again. There’s solely two folks. That is loopy. That is spectacular to point out how aggressive our sequence is.”

Energy, who celebrated his forty second birthday on Thursday, stated he is anticipating the fiercest competitors to return from his teammates.

Newgarden and Scott McLaughlin are anticipated to be front-runners alongside Chip Ganassi Racing’s high two drivers Alex Palou and Scott Dixon.

Colton Herta will lead Andretti Autosport’s efforts with second-year driver Kyle Kirkwood a darkish horse for the squad.

McLaren has pinched Alexander Rossi from the Andretti camp, becoming a member of one other front-runner Pato O’Ward and his off-sider Felix Rosenqvist.

Ultimately, Energy picked 2021 champion Palou to be his largest rival outdoors his teammates.

“I need to say Palou might be going to be the opposite hardest man I believe,” stated Energy.

“Who is aware of if (Colton) Herta will get some actual good consistency. It is very tough to say.

“I imply, Dixon is all the time there. I really feel like Palou is a sooner model of Dixon as a result of he is extraordinarily quick and constant. 

“I believe clearly they’re each extraordinarily good drivers. The sphere is filled with excellent drivers.

Will Energy wins second IndyCar crown

“I believe you may study over the primary 5 races who is absolutely proper within the recreation,” he added.

“It is so laborious to foretell. So many quick drivers and quick groups, good groups. Who is aware of?

” the Penske automobiles will likely be good, Ganassi will likely be good, the Andretti guys. You’ve Kirkwood in there now, which I believe he’ll be very sturdy. 

“Yeah, a bunch of men. McLaren guys. Prefer it’s loopy. It is very, very fiercely aggressive.”

This 12 months’s IndyCar Sequence will get underway on the streets of St Petersburg on March 6 at 4.30am.

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IndyCar winners (two titles or extra):

Seven: A.J. Foyt

Six: Scott Dixon

4: Mario Andretti, Sebastien Bourdais, Dario Franchitti

Three: Louis Meyer, Ted Horn, Jimmy Bryan, Rick Mears, Al Unser, Bobby Rahal, Sam Hornish Jr.

Two: Will Energy, Josef Newgarden, Alex Zanardi, Gil De Ferran, JJimmy Murphy, Pete DePaolo, Wilbur Shaw, Rex Mays, Tony Bettenhausen, Rodger Ward, Joe Leonard, Bobby Unser, Tom Sneva, Al Unser Jr.

(Italics denotes lively driver)

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