Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg: Weekend Preview

By: Spencer Neff
April 23, 2021

After an exciting start to 2021, the NTT INDYCAR SERIES picks up where they ended their 2020 season.

This weekend, the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg will be run in Florida this weekend.

After crowning Scott Dixon as the 2020 series champion and Josef Newgarden as the race winner, the 1.8-mile, 14-turn temporary street circuit is back to a more traditional spring date. However, it was moved from its original March 7 date.

Headlines

Last week, Alex Palou earned his first career indyCar victory. After moving to Chip Ganassi Racing in the offseason, the second-year driver started third and led 56 of 90 laps. Team Penske’s Will Power finished second while Palou’s teammate Scott Dixon completed the podium.

After starting on the pole and leading 25 laps, pit strategy left Pato O’Ward fighting back to a fourth-place finish. This weekend, O’Ward continues to look for his first INDYCAR win at a track where he finished second last year and has an Indy Lights victory.

(from left to right) Will Power, Alex Palou and Scott Dixon celebrate on the podium following the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park (Chris Owens/INDYCAR)

Defending race winner Josef Newgarden will be looking to bounce back after a frustrating start to 2021 at Barber. On Lap 1, the Team Penske driver spun in Turn 5, triggering a multi-car accident.

This weekend, Newgarden is looking to become the first driver to win three consecutive races at St. Petersburg. In doing so, he would join former teammate Helio Castroneves as the only three-time winners of the race (Castroneves won in 2006-07 and 2012).

Author’s Trivia: The last six runnings of this race have featured the winning driver earn consecutive triumphs in this event. Those drivers are Newgarden (2019-2020), Sebastien Bourdais (2017-18) and Juan Pablo Montoya (2015-16)

Now, here is all the information to get you ready for this weekend’s race. Keep tabs on this weekend’s action with IndyCar1909.com and our social media platforms, listed at the bottom of our webpage.

Fast Facts

The start of the October 25 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg (Chris Jones/INDYCAR)

Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg Fast Facts

Entry List

Spotter Guide

Pit Assignments

Race weekend: Friday, April 23-Sunday, April 25

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 / 181 miles

Push-to-pass parameters: 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.

Firestone tire allotment: Six sets primary, four sets alternate. One additional set is available to rookie drivers for use in the Friday afternoon practice session.

Twitter: @GPSTPETE, @INDYCAR, #FirestoneGP, #INDYCAR

Event website: www.gpstpete.com

INDYCAR website: http://www.IndyCar.com

2020 race winner: Josef Newgarden, 2:06:12.5948, 85.572 mph

2020 NTT P1 Award winner: Will Power, 1:01.0369, 106.165 mph

Qualifying lap record: Jordan King, 1:00.0476; 107.914 mph, March 10, 2018 (set in Round 1 of qualifying)

NBC Sports race telecasts: Qualifying, 10 p.m. ET Saturday, NBCSN (tape-delayed); Race, noon ET Sunday, NBC (live). Leigh Diffey is the play-by-play announcer for NBC’s coverage of the NTT INDYCAR SERIES, alongside analyst Townsend Bell.

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.

INDYCAR Radio Network broadcasts: Mark Jaynes is the chief announcer alongside analyst Davey Hamilton and Nick Yeoman. Jake Query and Michael Young are the turn announcers.

The Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg race airs live on network affiliates, Sirius 211, XM 205, indycar.com, indycarradio.com and the INDYCAR Mobile app powered by NTT DATA.

All NTT INDYCAR SERIES practices and qualifying are available on indycar.com and the INDYCAR Mobile app, with qualifying also airing on XM 205.

At-track schedule (All Times Local/Eastern Time): 

Friday, April 23

4:15-5 p.m. – NTT INDYCAR SERIES practice, Peacock Premium

Saturday, April 24

9:45-10:30 a.m. – NTT INDYCAR SERIES practice, Peacock Premium

1:45-3 p.m. – Qualifying for the NTT P1 Award (three rounds of knockout qualifying), Peacock Premium (Live)/NBCSN (Same-day delay, 10 p.m. ET)

Sunday, April 25

9:05-9:35 a.m. – NTT INDYCAR SERIES warmup, Peacock Premium

Noon – NBC Sports on air

12:35 p.m. – “Drivers, start your engines”

12:42 p.m. – Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg (100 laps / 181 miles), NBC (Live)

Fast Facts By INDYCAR MEDIAHeader Image By Chris Owens/INDYCAR

Published by Spencer Neff

I am a lifelong auto racing fan. Through IndyCar1909, I look forward to sharing my passion for the series and its illustrious history with you.

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