Herta Paces Warmup

Colton Herta turned the fastest lap in the final tunme up for this afternnonm’s Firestomne Grand Prix. Pole siteer Romain Grosjean finished the session 11th.

The 30 mminute perod ran without incident, but some drivers ran into runoff areas. Allwho did were able to get their cars back on track

\Kyle Kirkwood, who crashed on the first lap of the Fast Six, ended the morning second quick. Scott McLaughlin, who also ha an on ttack incident in qualifying, was 17th.

Callum Ilott and Josef Newgarden were the two fastest Chevrolets in fifth and sixth respectively. Newgarden could be a factor in the race despite his 14th starting spot.


I’ll be back in a bit with tire choices/

Indycar, NXT Schedules for St. Petersburg

On track times for Indycar and Indy NXT by Firestone. All Indycar sessions are on Peacock, including the race. The race is also on NBC.. The Indy NXT race is aon Peacock. All times Eastern


Friday. March 3

3 PM-4:15 PM Practice 1

Saturday, March 4

10 AM-11 AM Practice 2

2:15 PM-3:30 PM Qualifying

Sunday, March 5

9 AM-9:30 AM Warm up

12:30 PM- Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg (100 laps)

Indy NXT

Friday. March 3

1:55 PM-2:40 PM Practice 1

Saturday, March 4

9 AM-9:45 AM Practice 2

1:35 PM-1:55 PM Qualifying

Sunday, March 5

9:55 AM-10:55 PM Race

Grosjean Sees Stronger Season for Himself, Andretti

Romain Grosjean came away from the Spring Training tests at The Thermal Club optimistic about the upcoming NTT Indycar season. I spoke with at the St. Pete track build, where the driver of the number 28 DH car for Andretti Autosport represented the series.

He enjoyed his time with Lamborghini at Daytona, but is now fully focused on having his best Indycar season.

About Thermal Club, Grosjean found it “different or better than what we expected really. The facility was amazing , the track was actually pretty good for testing so we actually learned a fair bit of stuff from the two days of of testing.”

Grosjean at Long Beach last year. He finished second.

Grosjean said the team left California ahead of where they were at this point in 2022.

“We have a better baseline that we had last year,” Grosjean said. “We have one more test in Sebring before coming here. We’re going to work on our street setup. Last year we were quite competitive. We should have won Long Beach, almost had the pole in Nashville, so we know on street courses we’re pretty good.”

The team’s dynamic is “pretty good I like Kirkwood andColton as well as Devlin. We’re good, we’ve got a good team. I’m excited to get the season going.”

Grosjean hopes to score his first Indycar win in 2023, but admits it is going to be tough with 27 cars.

Robb Joins Coyne to Complete 2023 Grid

Sting Ray Robb signed with Dale Coyne Racing to drove the 51 car in 2023. Robb has shown great progress through the Road to Indy and had a career season in Indy Lights last year. The release from Coyne:

Plainfield, IL (Wednesday, January 18, 2023) – Dale Coyne Racing with Rick Ware Racing has signed the 2022 INDY NXT by Firestone driver Sting Ray Robb to pilot its No. 51 Honda powered entry for the 2023 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season.

Robb finished second in the INDY NXT by Firestone championship last year on the strength of 11 top five finishes, eight podiums, two poles and 99% of laps completed in 14 races, which included the win at Laguna Seca. He made his first unofficial outing with Dale Coyne Racing earlier this month during an impressive one-day test at Sebring international Raceway.

“This is an opportunity – a dream – that has been long in the making,” expressed Robb, who hails from Payette, Idaho. “I’m honored to join forces with Dale Coyne, Rick Ware and the whole organization. I am excited and grateful to be on the NTT INDYCAR SERIES grid for 2023. We had a great first test together in early January and I was very impressed with the efficiency of the DCR with RWR team and how well we worked together on our first day.

“Dale Coyne Racing has a historically distinguished program that has seen success with many drivers and most recently, with young, talented drivers. I’m looking forward to continuing in that trend and expecting some strong results as we enter my rookie season. My heroes are all those who have come alongside to make it possible for me to follow God’s calling in my life; and to them I say, ‘Thank You’. All the glory goes to God.”

The 21-year-old driver entered his first year of INDY NXT racing in 2021 after four years in the Road to Indy ladder system, which included winning the 2020 Indy Pro Championship thanks to seven wins, five poles, 11 total podium finishes and was the only driver to complete all 485 laps in the season.

With the addition of Robb as a teammate to David Malukas in the No. 18 HMD entry, the Dale Coyne Racing team will have the youngest driver lineup in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES, with both drivers born in September of 2001.

“We’re very excited to have Sting Ray join our team,” shared Dale Coyne, Team co-Owner. “He is coming off a very strong INDY NXT season and he impressed us and performed very well earlier this month at our test. I think he and David will make a great pairing. With David continuing where he left off last year, and Sting Ray wanting to do well in his rookie season, we have two young and eager drivers who, I think, are a force to be reckoned with.”

Rick Ware Racing also shares Coyne’s views regarding the team’s new driver, and potential for the 2023 season.

“Dale and I have spent a lot of the off season testing and discussing driver options,” said Rick Ware, Team co-Owner. “Getting Sting Ray Robb on board to compete for the INDYCAR Rookie of the Year championship, as well as the Indy 500 Rookie of the Race honors, is pretty incredible. He’s young and already has multiple years in the IndyCar ladder system.

“I am really looking forward to another fresh driver and personality to the No. 51 team and partnership platforms. With Sting Ray’s road course experience, and Dale’s oval-track program, we are very optimistic.”

After receiving his first go-kart at the age of five, Sting Ray started running nationally when he was eight years old. He entered Cadet division events from 2010 to 2013 and finished second in America during his first season in the Junior ranks. In 2015, Robb won the Triple Crown of International Karting Championships; the Can-Am Karting Challenge, the Challenge of the Americas and the Florida Winter Tour. In 2016, he switched from go-karts to car racing and moved up the Road to Indy ranks through the years.

“I’ve had the privilege to work with Sting Ray and his family since 2017, when he transitioned from karting to formula cars. His development through the Road to Indy has been awesome to watch; both on and off track,” said Pieter Rossi, Principal, One Motorsports Marketing and Management. “As a rookie entering IndyCar, he has another opportunity to display his abilities as he takes the next step in his career. He will be a great ambassador and professional for IndyCar. He fully understands the responsibility of this opportunity.

“Working with Dale and Rick to secure Sting Ray Robb was enjoyable these past few months, and quite the silly season, I believe DCR’s youthful line up with Sting Ray and David will be very exciting for IndyCar.

“Last year we brought on Jonny Baker, a well-known industry professional to work with our young drivers. He’s a racer and gets it and we’re excited that our relationship with him is continuing in 2023. He will be handling trackside support for us working directly with Sting Ray and DCR at test and race events. The season cannot begin soon enough!”

Sting Ray will be making his official NTT INDYCAR SERIES debut when the 2023 season kicks off on the Streets of St. Petersburg March 3 to 5, 2023, but first he will be back in the #51 entry at The Thermal Club Open Test February 2 and 3.

The Off Season-Twists and Turns and Still No Schedule

I’m back after a much needed end of season break and a family trip back to California to meet the newest family member. I thought I’d return to have a 2023 Indycar schedule to discuss, but there is nothing yet. Did the schedule run off with the third OEM? Several other things are going on, though which deserve mention.

Indy Lights Champion’s Prize Cut

Yesterday we learned that Indy Lights champion Linus Lundqvist would receive only $500,000 for winning the title. Kyle Kirkwood collected $1.2 million in 2021, which had been the standard amount.

In the past the Lights champion was guaranteed three Indycar races the following year, including the Indianapolis 500. That guarantee is now gone.

When Penske Entertainment. took control of the top rung of the Road to {ndy at the beginning of 2022, entrants were led to believe that the prize money and the three races were to stay the same.

This reduction in prize money is a slap in the face to the drivers in the series. How many drivers came here expecting a one million driver payoff? Indy Lights was looking at a possible 20 car grid for 2023. How will this development affect that total?

Penske Entertainment should have made their intentions more clear at the start of this season. We may not see Lundqvist in Indycar at all in 2023, which would be a shame. The kid is talented and showed he belongs

Changes at AMSP

Taylor Kiel announced this week that he is leaving Arrow McLaren SP. The announcement seemed to be rather abrupt. The team announced that Brian Barnhart would replace him.

I’m not sure why Taylor is leaving, but he must have something big in the works. He has done a great job bringing the team up to a competitive level.

Herta and the Super License

Colton Herta will not be granted a super license exception by the FIA. The FIA undervalues Indycar in its license points system, and tends to favor their own feeder series. While I don’t like the system, I don’t think any series can make exceptions for any one driver, regardless of his or her talent.

Jamie Chadwick

On a positive note, Jamie Chadwick, two time W Series champion, tested with Andretti Autosport’ Indy Lights team Wednesday at Sebring. I hope the test went well and that Andretti or some other Lights team can find a spot for her in 2023.

She is a alented driver who would be great asset to the Indycar series.

I hope my next post discusses the 2023 schedule.

Fast Facts-Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey

Photo and content from Indycar

 Race weekend: Friday, Sept. 9 – Sunday, Sept. 11
Track: WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, a 2.238-mile permanent road course in Monterey, California
Race distance: NTT INDYCAR SERIES: 95 laps / 212.61 miles | Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires: 35 laps / 78.33 miles / 55 min
Push-to-pass parameters: NTT INDYCAR SERIES: 150 seconds of total time with a maximum time of 15 seconds per activation. | Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires: 150 seconds of total time with a maximum time of 15 seconds per activation
Firestone tire allotment: Six sets primary, four sets alternate. Teams must use one set of primary and one new set of alternate tires in the race. (Note: A seventh set of primary tires is available to any car fielding a rookie driver.)
Twitter:@WeatherTechRcwy, @IndyCar, @IndyLights, #FirestoneGP, #INDYCAR
Instagram: @weathertechraceway, @IndyCar, #FirestoneGP, #INDYCAR
Facebook: @WeatherTechRaceway, @IndyCar, @IndyLightsOfficial, #FirestoneGP, #INDYCAR
TikTok: @IndyCar, #FirestoneGP, #INDYCAR
INDYCAR website: www.IndyCar.com
Indy Lights website: www.IndyLights.com
2021 race winners:NTT INDYCAR SERIESColton Herta (No. 26 Gainbridge Honda)Indy Lights Presented by Cooper TiresRace 1: Kyle Kirkwood (No. 28 Andretti Autosport)Race 2: Kyle Kirkwood (No. 28 Andretti Autosport)
2021 NTT P1 Award winner: Colton Herta (No. 26 Gainbridge Honda), 1:10.7994, 113.798 mph
Qualifying records:NTT INDYCAR SERIESHelio Castroneves, 1:07.722, 118.969 mph, Sept. 8, 2000
Indy Lights Presented by Cooper TiresMax Chilton, 1:14.2329, 108.534 mph, Sept. 12, 2015
NBC Sports race telecast: Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey 3 p.m. ET Sunday, Sept. 11, NBC (live). Leigh Diffey is the play-by-play announcer for NBC’s coverage of the NTT INDYCAR SERIES, alongside analysts Townsend Bell and James Hinchcliffe.
Peacock Premium Live Streaming: All NTT INDYCAR SERIES practice sessions and qualifying will stream live on Peacock Premium, NBC’s direct-to-consumer livestreaming product, while NBC’s race telecast of the Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey will be simulcast on the streaming service. Peacock Premium’s exclusive post-race show – featuring driver interviews, podium ceremonies and post-race analysis – will be streamed following the race. The Indy Lights Grand Prix of Monterey doubleheader (3:15 p.m. ET Saturday and 12:50 p.m. ET Sunday) will be streamed on Peacock Premium with practice and qualifying being shown on INDYCAR Live!
INDYCAR Radio Network broadcasts: Mark Jaynes is the anchor alongside analyst Davey Hamilton. Jake Query, Nick Yeoman and Michael Young are the turn announcers. Georgia Henneberry, Ryan Myrehn and Dan Rusanowsky are the pit reporters. Charlie Kimball will provide additional commentary. The Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey race (3 p.m. ET Sunday), Indy Lights Grand Prix of Monterey doubleheader (3:15 p.m. ET Saturday and 12:50 p.m. ET Sunday) and all NTT INDYCAR SERIES and Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires practices and qualifying sessions air live on network affiliates, SiriusXM 160, racecontrol.indycar.com and the INDYCAR App powered by NTT DATA.
At-track schedule (all times local):
Friday, Sept. 9 (All Times Local)
1:15-2:05 p.m. – Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires practice 1, INDYCAR Live!
2:30-3:45 p.m. – NTT INDYCAR SERIES practice 1, Peacock Premium
Saturday, Sept. 10
9:30-10 a.m. – Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires Qualifying (Two 12-minute sessions / Session 1 determines the lineup for Race 1, Session 2 determines the lineup for Race 2), INDYCAR Live!
10:15-11:15 a.m. – NTT INDYCAR SERIES practice 2 (45 minutes limited guarantee), Peacock Premium
12:20 p.m. – Indy Lights Grand Prix of Monterey Race 1 “Drivers Start Your Engines”12:25 p.m. – Indy Lights Grand Prix of Monterey Race 1 (35 laps / 78.33 miles / 55 minutes)
2:05 p.m. –  Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey NTT P1 Award qualifying (three rounds of knockout qualifying), Peacock Premium
Sunday, Sept. 119 – 9:30 a.m. – NTT INDYCAR SERIES final practice, Peacock Premium
9:55 a.m. – Indy Lights Grand Prix of Monterey Race 2 “Drivers Start Your Engines”10 a.m. – Indy Lights Grand Prix of Monterey Race 2 (35 laps / 78.33 miles / 55 minutes)
Noon – NBC on air12:23 p.m. – Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey “Drivers, start your engines”
12:30 p.m. – Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey (95 laps/212.61 miles), NBC (Live)
Championship facts:Will Power leads the NTT INDYCAR SERIES championship with one race to go for the fifth time in his career. Power previously led the championship with one race to in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2014. He won the NTT INDYCAR SERIES championship in 2014.There are five drivers still mathematically eligible for the 2022 NTT INDYCAR SERIES championship: Power leads Josef Newgarden by 20 points with Scott Dixon (-20), Marcus Ericsson (-39) and Scott McLaughlin (-41) behind.Power assumed the point lead following the Gallagher Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 30. The lead has changed hands seven times between McLaughlin, Newgarden, Alex Palou, Power and Ericsson.Since the first INDYCAR SERIES race at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, the winning driver has won the INDYCAR SERIES championship six times: Bobby Rahal (1986 and 1987), Danny Sullivan (1988), Michael Andretti (1991), Alex Zanardi (1998) and Cristiano da Matta (2002).
Point differential: The 20 points that separate Will Power, Josef Newgarden and Scott Dixon is the sixth closest margin with one race remaining since 2008. The 41 points separating the top five drivers in the championship is the tightest title race since 2003, when 30 points separated the top five. The average deficit with one race to go since 2008 is 25.86 points.
Key championship point statistic: This is the 17th consecutive year that the NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion will be determined at the final race of the season.
Race notes:There have been eight different winners in 16 NTT INDYCAR SERIES races in the 2022 season. Scott McLaughlin (Streets of St. Petersburg, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Portland International Raceway), Josef Newgarden (Texas Motor Speedway, Streets of Long Beach, Road America, Iowa Speedway-1, World Wide Technology Raceway), Pato O’Ward (Barber Motorsports Park, Iowa Speedway-2), Colton Herta (Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course-1), Marcus Ericsson (Indianapolis 500), Will Power (Raceway at Belle Isle Park), Scott Dixon (Streets of Toronto and Streets of Nashville) and Alexander Rossi (Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course-2) have all won in 2022. The record for most different winners in a season is 11 in 2000, 2001 and 2014.
The Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey will be the 25th INDYCAR SERIES race at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, but just the third since 2004. Teo Fabi won the first INDYCAR SERIES race at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in 1983. Colton Herta, who won the two most recent races at the track in 2019 and 2021, and Helio Castroneves, who won at the track in 2000, are the only former winners entered in this year’s race.Thirteen INDYCAR SERIES drivers have won at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca from the pole – Teo Fabi (1983), Bobby Rahal (1985), Danny Sullivan (1988), Rick Mears (1989), Danny Sullivan (1990), Michael Andretti (1991 and 1992), Paul Tracy (1994), Alex Zanardi (1996), Bryan Herta (1998 and 1999), Helio Castroneves (2000), Cristiano da Matta (2002), Patrick Carpentier (2003) and Colton Herta (2019 and 2021).Team Penske has won six times at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. Penske’s winning drivers are Danny Sullivan (1988 and 1990), Rick Mears (1989), Paul Tracy (1993 and 1994) and Helio Castroneves (2000). Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing has three wins, with Bryan Herta (1998-99) and Max Papis (2001). Chip Ganassi Racing has two wins, with Alex Zanardi in 1996 and Jimmy Vasser in 1997.
Twenty-one drivers entered in the event have competed in past INDYCAR SERIES races at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. Helio Castroneves has five starts, most among the entered drivers. Six entered drivers have led laps at the track (Colton Herta 174, Helio Castroneves 92, Will Power 6, Romain Grosjean 4, Scott Dixon 2 and Simon Pagenaud 1)
.Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires notes:The Indy Lights Grand Prix of Monterey doubleheader will be the series’ 25th and 26th races at WeatherTech Raceway at Laguna Seca. Previous Indy Lights winners at Laguna Seca include Bryan HertaAndre RibeiroGreg MooreTony KanaanCristiano da MattaScott DixonTownsend BellSpencer Pigot and Rinus VeeKay. Current NTT INDYCAR SERIES rookie Kyle Kirkwood swept the Indy Lights Grand Prix of Monterey doubleheader in 2021.
Linus Lundqvist of HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing is enjoying a dominant season, leading the series in wins (five), poles (six) and top-five finishes (12) through 12 races. Lundqvist, a native of Sweden, owns a commanding 103-point lead over second-place Matthew Brabham of Andretti Autosport. Lundqvist will clinch the season championship by scoring points in Race 1.Benjamin Pedersen joined Danial Frost, Christian RasmussenHunter McElrea as first-time Indy Lights race winners in 2022. Can another talented prospect such as Sting Ray RobbKyffin SimpsonErnie Francis Jr. or series newcomers Flinn Lazier or Nolan Siegel score a first series win at Laguna Seca?Push-to-pass could play a key strategic role at Portland as Indy Lights drivers will have a bank of 150 seconds to use an added 50 horsepower to assist in overtaking, similar to the drivers in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES. The maximum amount of time for each press of the overtake system is 15 seconds.