NTT INDYCAR SERIES

FIRESTONE GRAND PRIX OF ST. PETERSBURG
PRACTICE REPORT
FRIDAY, MARCH 8, 2019
The 2019 NTT IndyCar Series season is officially underway and the beautiful streets of St. Petersburg greeted the team and it’s drivers with a warm, sunny welcome. Both practices of the day, Andretti Autosport finished with three drivers in the top nine — with Ryan Hunter-Reay claiming the overall top spot at day’s end.

Tomorrow will host a practice session in the morning and the field of 24 will earn their starting positions in the afternoon. Qualifying will be broadcast live on NBC Sports Network 2:30 p.m. ET.

No. 28 DHL HONDA
  • Finished the day first overall with a best lap time of 01:00.8969
  • Finished both practice sessions of the day inside the top two
  • Will look to make his sixth St. Pete appearance in the Firestone Fast Six tomorrow

“Really happy to be back in St. Pete. It’s just a fantastic event and fantastic venue. We definitely made some changes between the sessions and at first I thought it was a bit of a handful and it still is, we are right on the edge of tipping it over. It was a good outing. The Firestone Reds came in real quickly, as the Firestone Reds usually do. The car was pretty good. It is a handful at the moment, I’d like it to be a little bit more polite in a few areas. We will put our heads together as a team and work with Honda to get this No. 28 DHL up front but it is a good first step.”

No. 98 U.S. CONCRETE / CURB HONDA

  • Finished the day third overall with a best lap time of 01:01.0351
  • After finishing the first practice in 18th, found comfort and speed in the car for FP2 placing himself inside the top three
  • Will look to better his best starting position which is currently second (2007)

“The U.S. Concrete car feels good – and we think we may even have a little bit more in it, so we just have to execute tomorrow. The car feels a little bit like Detroit, if we can just execute in qualifying, we can get it. So that’s going to be our goal, but I think we’re close.”

No. 27 NAPA AUTO PARTS HONDA

  • Finished the day sixth overall with a best lap time of 01:01.1388
  • Remained inside the top six upon the checkered flag of both practice sessions
  • Looks to make his first Firestone Fast Six appearance on the streets of St. Petersburg where his best start is currently eighth

“It was a productive Friday. I think the team in general is pretty quick, obviously. It’s amazing how close it is. It’s going to take a lot of work tomorrow morning to ensure that we are in the Firestone Fast Six tomorrow afternoon. A couple hundredths (of a second) make a huge difference in terms of the (starting) position that you are in, so I think we have a good baseline. We will work to improve it some more this evening.”

No. 26 GAINBRIDGE HONDA

  • Finished the day 23rd overall with a best lap time of 01:02.0331
  • Despite the result of Practice 2, the sophomore driver is happy with the car and direction for tomorrow’s Practice 3
  • Claimed the ninth spot on Practice 1’s time chart

“Overall I’m really happy with today. The last session was not what we wanted at all – we took a big gamble on some changes and it was the wrong way. Then I got a little too greedy and got into the wall a little bit. We’re ready for tomorrow, though. We have the speed in the Gainbridge car to run in the top six, which has given me a lot of confidence. We just have to put it all together.”