Gates Open 8:30 AM- 2:30 PM
8:45AM – 9:15AM NTT INDYCAR SERIES Warm Up Peacock
9:30AM – 10:30AM Indy Lights Race Peacock
10:45AM – 11:25AM USF2000 Race 2
11:50AM NTT INDYCAR SERIES Driver Introductions
12:30PM Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg presented by RP Funding NTT INDYCAR SERIES Race (100 Laps) NBC coverage begins at noon
It’s time to begin the 2022 season. Thye Grand Prix of St. Petersburg begins at 12:30 PM Eastern time on NBC.
I still like Colton Herta to win today, but any of the top five candidates could take the checkered flag. Look for a possibly chaotic race with pit strategy possibly deciding the outcome,
The start will be interesting with Team Penske teammates Scott McLaughlin and Will Power on the front row. It’s McLaughlin’s first pole in Indycar. Will he have a decent pace for the start?
Alternate tires are an unknown factor heading into today’s race. In yesterday’s post qualifying press conference, Will Power was asked how long he thought the reds will last. He answered,
‘Yeah, it’s a good question because no one
has done more than two laps on them. We heat cycled
them and did another one or two laps. Yeah, that will be
an interesting story tomorrow because I don’t even think in
warmup you’ll be able to tell because the condition will be
so cool and good, you won’t get a feel for is it going to go
off or not.”
The temperature for the morning warmup will be 71 degrees. By race time it will climb to 78 and stay there for the entire race.
The Rookie Factor
Kyle Kirkwood is the only rookie starting in the top half of the grid. No other first year driver starts higher than 15 (Christian Lundgaard.). How this group reacts in traffic and handles pit stops may affect other drivers and alter the outcome.
I look for a mostly clean race from these six. They have had enough race experience. Some of them have not made a lot of pit stops. In the warmup, we might see the rookies pitting frequently to practice pit procedures.
Drivers who should finish ahead of where they start- Josef Newgarden (9th), Alex Palou (10th), Graham Rahal (11th), Pato O’Ward (16th), and Helio Castroneves (17th). Cautions should the ones further back on the grid.
It will be great to get the new season underway. Enjoy the race.