Race weekend: Friday, March 3 – Sunday, March 5
Track: Streets of St. Petersburg, 1.8-mile, 14-turn temporary street circuit (clockwise) through downtown St. Petersburg, Florida, including a runway of Albert Whitted Airport
Race distance: 100 laps / 180 miles (NTT INDYCAR SERIES) | 45 laps / 81 miles / 55 minutes (INDY NXT by Firestone)
Push-to-pass parameters: NTT INDYCAR SERIES: 150 seconds of total time with a maximum single duration of 15 seconds. The push-to-pass is not available on the initial start or any restart unless it occurs in the final two laps or three minutes of a timed race. | INDY NXT by Firestone: 150 seconds of total time with a maximum time of 15 seconds per activation
Firestone tire allotment (NTT INDYCAR SERIES): Six primary sets, five alternate sets (teams must return a set of each before qualifying). One additional set of primary tires is available to rookie drivers for use in the Friday afternoon practice session.
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Event website: www.gpstpete.com
INDYCAR website: www.indycar.com
2022 race winners:
NTT INDYCAR SERIES
Scott McLaughlin (No. 3 DEX Imaging Team Penske Chevrolet)
INDY NXT by Firestone
Matthew Brabham (No. 83 Andretti Autosport)
2022 NTT P1 Award winner (NTT INDYCAR SERIES): Scott McLaughlin (No. 3 DEX Imaging Team Penske Chevrolet), 59.4821 seconds, 108.940 mph
NTT INDYCAR SERIES
Will Power, 59.3466 seconds; 109.189 mph, Feb. 26, 2022 (set in Round 2 of qualifying)
INDY NXT by Firestone
David Malukas, 1 minute, 4.6491 seconds, 100.233 mph, April 23, 2021
NBC Sports telecast: Race, noon ET Sunday, 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. Marty Snider, Kevin Lee and Dave Burns are the pit reporters. Telemundo Deportes on Universo will provide a Spanish-language telecast.
Peacock Live Streaming: All NTT INDYCAR SERIES practice sessions, qualifying and races as well as INDY NXT by Firestone races will stream live on Peacock, NBC’s direct-to-consumer livestreaming product.
INDYCAR Radio Network broadcasts: Mark Jaynes is the anchor alongside driver analyst Davey Hamilton. Nick Yeoman, Jake Query and Michael Young are the turn announcers. Ryan Myrehn, Alex Wollf and Georgia Henneberry are the pit reporters. The Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg race and all NTT INDYCAR SERIES practices and qualifying sessions air live on network affiliates, SiriusXM INDYCAR Nation 160 and SiriusXM NBC Sports Audio 85, racecontrol.indycar.com and the INDYCAR App powered by NTT DATA. All INDY NXT by Firestone practice and qualifying sessions and races are available on racecontrol.indycar.com, the INDYCAR App and SiriusXM 160.
At-track schedule (All Times Local/Eastern Time):
Friday, March 3
1:55-2:40 p.m. – INDY NXT by Firestone practice, INDYCAR LIVE
3-4:15 p.m. – NTT INDYCAR SERIES practice, Peacock
Saturday, March 4
9-9:45 a.m. – INDY NXT by Firestone practice, INDYCAR LIVE
10-11 a.m. – NTT INDYCAR SERIES practice (Limited guarantee of 45 minutes of green flag time), Peacock
1:35-1:55 p.m. – INDY NXT by Firestone qualifying (15-minute session or eight minutes of green condition, whichever comes first), INDYCAR LIVE
2:15-3:30 p.m. – Qualifying for the NTT P1 Award (three rounds of knockout qualifying), Peacock
Sunday, March 5
9-9:30 a.m. – NTT INDYCAR SERIES warmup, Peacock
10 a.m. – INDY NXT by Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg (45 laps / 81 miles / 55 minutes), Peacock (Live)
Noon – NBC Sports on air
12:23 p.m. – “Drivers, start your engines”
12:30 p.m. – Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg presented by RP Funding (100 laps / 181 miles), NBC, Telemundo Deportes on Universo and Peacock (Live)
“3 THINGS TO LOOK FOR” AT ST. PETERSBURG:
1. Can anyone dethrone the kings? Chip Ganassi Racing and Team Penske have won the past 10 titles with Scott Dixon, Will Power and Josef Newgarden combining for eight of them.
So, who breaks the streak? It’s best to look Arrow McLaren, where Alexander Rossi (No. 7 Arrow McLaren Chevrolet), Felix Rosenqvist (No. 6 Arrow McLaren Chevrolet) and Pato O’Ward (No. 5 Arrow McLaren Chevrolet) are employed, or Andretti Autosport’s Colton Herta (No. 26 Gainbridge Honda).
Those four drivers were the highest-placed drivers in the championship who didn’t drive for Team Penske or Chip Ganassi in 2022. Herta, O’Ward and Rossi are the only three in that group to find victory last season.
Just remember, if you come for the kings, you better not miss.
2. Power Plays Poles at Will. Will Power is the greatest qualifier in modern INDYCAR SERIES history, as his 68 career poles are the all-time series record.
The tale of Power’s qualifying success can best be told through the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, where he has won nine of the last 13 poles.
The only drivers to score a pole in the last 10 years in St. Petersburg not named Will Power are Takuma Sato in 2014, Robert Wickens in 2018, Colton Herta in 2021 and Scott McLaughlin last season. In total, Team Penske has won the pole position in 11 of the past 16 St. Petersburg races.
Power has scored at least one pole position in each season since 2009, including five NTT P1 Awards last year. It’s a sure bet that the reigning series champion will add to his record this season, and don’t be surprised if it starts during NTT P1 Award qualifying Saturday afternoon.
3. Dixon seeks his first win on the streets of St. Petersburg. Who wouldn’t take Scott Dixon’s resume as an NTT INDYCAR SERIES driver?
He has six NTT INDYCAR SERIES championships, which trails only the seven INDYCAR SERIES titles collected by A.J. Foyt. His 53 wins rank second on the all-time INDYCAR SERIES victory list, behind Foyt’s 67, but Dixon has never won at St. Petersburg.
Still, he has been successful on the streets of the Florida Gulf Coast city.
Dixon has four runner-up finishes at the circuit and has an average finish of 7.88 in his 18 previous starts. He has finished in the top 10 in his last seven starts.
NTT INDYCAR SERIES Notes:
- The Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg presented by RP Funding will be the 20th INDYCAR SERIES race on the streets of St. Petersburg, dating to 2003. Scott McLaughlin won the 2022 race after starting from the pole position. Paul Tracy won the inaugural race on Feb. 23, 2003, under CART sanction, while Sebastien Bourdais started from the pole that year.
- The St. Petersburg INDYCAR SERIES race has been run every year since 2003 except for 2004. No driver has competed in every St. Petersburg race, but Scott Dixon has started 18 consecutive races.
- The 27-car field for the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg presented by RP Funding is the largest NTT INDYCAR SERIES field at St. Petersburg. The previous high for the race was 26 in 2008, 2012 and 2022.
- Helio Castroneves (2006, 2007 and 2012), Will Power (2010 and 2014) and Josef Newgarden (2019-2020) are the only entered drivers to win at St. Petersburg more than once. Six past winners are entered: Castroneves, Power, Newgarden, Graham Rahal (2008), Colton Herta (2021) and McLaughlin.
- For the first time since 2015, Team Penske’s Will Power arrives at the season opener as the defending NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion. The two-time champion made history in 2022 as he became INDYCAR’s all-time qualifying king by winning his record-setting 68th pole in September at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, where he also clinched the title. He will look for more history by becoming the first to repeat champion since Dario Franchitti won three in a row from 2009-11.
- Team Penske has won at St. Petersburg 11 times, including seven of the last 11 races with Castroneves (2012), Power (2014), Juan Pablo Montoya (2015-16), Newgarden (2019-2020) and McLaughlin (2022).
- Four drivers have won the race from the pole – Castroneves (2007), Power (2010), Herta (2021) and McLaughlin (2022). The St. Petersburg winner has qualified fourth in four of the last 10 seasons.
- Dixon is expected to make his 369th INDYCAR SERIES start, tying A.J. Foyt for fourth on the all-time list.
- Dixon has made 305 consecutive starts heading into the weekend, which is the second-longest streak in INDYCAR SERIES history.
- Simon Pagenaud is scheduled to make his 200th INDYCAR SERIES start.
- Rookies Marcus Armstrong, Agustin Canapino, Benjamin Pedersen and Sting Ray Robb will make their NTT INDYCAR SERIES debuts at St. Petersburg.
- The NTT INDYCAR SERIES’ 100% Renewable Race Fuel will make its competition debut in St. Petersburg. Created by Shell, this new product consists of a blend of second-generation ethanol derived from sugarcane waste and other biofuels to create a fuel that is 100% comprised of feedstocks categorized as renewable under the applicable regulatory frameworks. The fuel will enable a 60% life cycle greenhouse gas emissions reduction compared to fossil-based gasoline.
- As with all street courses on the 2023 schedule, the Firestone Firehawk alternate tire will be made with sustainable, domestically sourced guayule rubber. For the 2023 season, Firestone will supply more than 1,900 tires using a sidewall material made exclusively with rubber derived from the guayule woody desert shrub grown on the company’s own farm in Eloy, Arizona. The initiative builds on the 2022 competitive debut of guayule race tires at the Big Machine Music City Grand Prix in Nashville last August.
INDY NXT by Firestone Notes:
- The 19-car field for the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg is the largest INDY NXT by Firestone field at St. Petersburg since 2009.
- The 2023 season features a deep and talented field with INDY NXT race winners such as Hunter McElrea, Danial Frost and Christian Rasmussen joining a promising rookie class that includes Jamie Chadwick (three-time W Series champ), Louis Foster (USF Pro 2000 champ), Jagger Jones (USF2000 Rookie of the Year) and rising stars Nolan Siegel (USF Pro 2000) and Josh Pierson (World Endurance Championship’s youngest winner). Other contenders include returning drivers Jacob Abel, Rasmus Lindh, Kyffin Simpson and Ernie Francis Jr.
- Two teams with championship pedigree have rejoined the series for 2023. Two-time champions Juncos Hollinger Racing will field a pair of cars for rookies Reece Gold and Matteo Naninni. Cape Motorsports – which last fielded a team in the INDY NXT in 2010, will field cars for Enaam Ahmed and Jones.
- A new qualifying format will place a premium on banking a quick lap around the 1.8-mile street circuit. Teams will have a single 15-minute session or eight minutes of green flag running, whichever comes first. If an entry does not set a time, their order will be based on entrant points. (At St. Pete, it will be based on 2022’s entrant points.) If a team doesn’t have previous year points, then their spot will be placed after those that do.
Since 2005, the driver who won at least one of the races at St. Petersburg has gone on to win the INDY NXT by Firestone title six times, the most recent being Kyle Kirkwood, who won the first race of the doubleheader in 2021.