Good morning from the northern annex of the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg media center. I hope that those of you at the track are following COVIS protocols and are staying safe.
Today’s schedule, all times Eastern:
Practice- 10:55-12:25 NBC Gold
Qualifying 3:05-4:20 NBC Gold
8:00-9:00 (tape delay) NBCSN
I will have a spoiler alert report after qualifying. The pole winner will not be in the headline.
There were several bits of news yesterday, and I understand some more news is coming around 2 pm today.
Firestone has extended its sponsorship agreement for this race through 2023. Should St. Pete remain as the opening race of the season, this venue will be our first look at the new 2.4 liter engine with a hybrid system. the news is also encouraging in that a company in these uncertain times is willing to make a commitment for that length of time.
Last night Team Penske made it official that three time VA Supercars champion Scott McLaughlin will drivea fourth entry for the team in the NTT Indycar Series in 2021. McLaughlin makes his Indycar debut this weekend. A link to the announcement can be found here:
Per Adam Stern, Chip Ganassi Racing has secured sponsorship for Jimmie Johnson to the road and street courses in 2021. An announcement is expected soon. This may be the 2 pm announcement,scheduled for today.
Last, best wishes for a speedy recovery to my friend Jake Query, who is recovering from a heart attack, and resting comfortably in Indianapolis.
Back after practice