Strategy calls at Barber create winners, losers in two-car teams

LEEDS, Ala. — Raw performance in each on-track session is important, but four races into the 2022 IndyCar season, we’re getting to a point where what that speed, execution and luck (or lack of it all) says about a team or driver’s place in the series is starting to mean much more.

It’s why Callum Ilott can finish 25th Sunday and come away relatively pleased and why four drivers in the top-14 are likely frustrated. Here are my Winners and Losers:


Pato O'Ward is all smiles after qualifying on the front row Saturday ahead of Sunday's IndyCar race at Barber Motorsports Park.

Pato O’Ward

I went much longer and deeper on O’Ward’s rebound-of-a-weekend in a separate piece, but it can’t be said enough how much an impact his mental shift seems to have had on his mood, confidence and ability to execute. It’s a reminder that, on his and its best days, O’Ward and Arrow McLaren SP can deliver.