Race weekend: Saturday, Oct. 24 – Sunday, Oct. 25
Track: Streets of St. Petersburg, 1.8-mile, 14-turn temporary street circuit (clockwise) through downtown St. Petersburg, Florida, including a section of runway of Albert Whitted Airport
Media links: Entry List (PDF)
Race distance: 100 laps / 180 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: Seven sets primary, four sets alternate. One extra set is available to the rookie drivers entered.
Twitter: @GPSTPETE, @INDYCAR, #FirestoneGP, #INDYCAR
Event website: www.gpstpete.com
INDYCAR website: www.indycar.com
2019 race winner: Josef Newgarden, 2:04:18.2588, 95.572 mph (110 laps/198 miles)
2019 NTT P1 Award winner: Will Power, 1:00.4594, 107.179 mph
Qualifying lap record: Jordan King, 1:00.0476; 107.914 mph, March 10, 2018 (set in Round 1 of qualifying)
NBC Sports telecasts: Qualifying, 8 p.m. ET Saturday, NBCSN (tape-delayed); Race, 2:30 p.m. 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 Paul Tracy.
NBC Sports Gold live streaming: All NTT INDYCAR SERIES practice sessions and qualifying will stream live on INDYCAR Pass on NBC Sports Gold, NBC Sports’ direct-to-consumer livestreaming product.
Pennzoil INDYCAR Radio Network broadcasts: Mark Jaynes is the chief announcer alongside analysts Davey Hamilton and Nick Yeoman. Jake Query and Rob Howden are the pit reporters. The Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg race (2 p.m. ET on Oct. 25) 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, indycarradio.com and the INDYCAR Mobile app, with qualifying also airing on XM 205.
At-track schedule (All Times Local/Eastern Time):
Saturday, Oct. 24
10:55 a.m.-12:55 p.m.: NTT INDYCAR SERIES practice #1, NBC Sports Gold
3-4:20 p.m.: Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg qualifying (Three rounds of knockout qualifications), NBC Sports Gold (live); NBCSN (Tape delayed at 8 p.m.)
4:25 p.m.: NTT P1 Award Presentation (pit lane)
Sunday, Oct. 25
10:40-11:10 a.m.: NTT INDYCAR SERIES warm-up, NBC Sports Gold
2:27 p.m.: “Drivers, start your engines”
2:30 p.m.: NBC on air
2:32 p.m.: Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg (100 laps/180 miles), NBC (live)
- Scott Dixon leads the NTT INDYCAR SERIES championship with one race to go for the fifth time since 2008. Dixon, who has led the championship after every round this season, has won the NTT INDYCAR SERIES championship three of the previous four times he led the championship (2008, 2013 and 2018).
- There are two drivers mathematically eligible for the NTT INDYCAR SERIES championship: Scott Dixon and Josef Newgarden. Dixon has won five NTT INDYCAR SERIES championships while Newgarden has won the NTT INDYCAR SERIES championship twice in the last three seasons (2017 and 2019).
- This is the 17th Indy car race on the streets of St. Petersburg and the first time that the Indy car championship will be decided at the track. The temporary street circuit routinely hosts the season-opening race and has done so since 2011.
- The winner at St. Petersburg has gone on to win the championship five times: Paul Tracy (2003), Dan Wheldon (2005), Dario Franchitti (2011), Will Power (2014) and Josef Newgarden (2019).
Key championship point statistic: This is the 15th consecutive year that the NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion will be determined at the final race of the season.
- This will mark the first time that the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg has served as INDYCAR’s championship-deciding race. This will be the 17th race overall, dating to Paul Tracy winning the CART-sanctioned race in 2003.
- The St. Petersburg INDYCAR race has been run every year since 2003 except for 2004. No driver has competed in every St. Petersburg race, but Scott Dixon and Tony Kanaan have started 15 consecutive races. Only Dixon is entered this year. Sebastien Bourdais and Ryan Hunter-Reay competed in the first race in 2003.
- Scott Dixon seeks his first win on the streets of St. Petersburg. Dixon’s five NTT INDYCAR SERIES championships trail only the seven titles collected by A.J. Foyt. Dixon is third on the all-time Indy car victory list with 50 but has never won at St. Petersburg. He has four runner-up finishes at the circuit, including in 2019.
- Will Power (2010 and 2014) and Sebastien Bourdais (2017 and 2018) are the only entered drivers to win at St. Petersburg more than once. Helio Castroneves won three times (2006, 2007, 2012), while Juan Pablo Montoya won in 2015 and 2016. Past winners Graham Rahal (2008) and Josef Newgarden (2019) are also entered.
- Team Penske has won the pole position nine of the past 13 St. Petersburg races, including eight of the last 10 poles by Will Power. Past pole winners Sebastien Bourdais (2003), Graham Rahal (2009) and Takuma Sato (2014) are also entered this weekend.
- Two drivers have won the race from the pole – Helio Castroneves (2007) and Will Power (2010). The St. Petersburg winner has qualified fourth in four of the last seven seasons.
- Team Penske has won at St. Petersburg nine times, including five of the last eight races with Helio Castroneves (2012), Will Power (2014), Juan Pablo Montoya (2015-16) and Josef Newgarden (2019).
Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg Pre-Event Quotes:
JOSEF NEWGARDEN (No. 1 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet): “It really all comes down to this weekend. It’s been a year where the No. 1 Hitachi Chevrolet and our team have been through a lot, from success to dealing with mistakes to just the victim of bad timing. But none of that matters headed into this weekend. We either win the championship or we don’t. My Hitachi Chevy team has put everything they have into this season, and they plan to keep working hard through the race weekend. It’s going to certainly be a tough battle with Scott Dixon this weekend because he has been so strong and consistent all year. We can’t afford to make mistakes, so strategy and execution will be critical. We feel really good with the momentum we have right now, but you can never count out a guy like Dixon. I’m also excited that Scott McLaughlin will be joining us this weekend for his first-ever INDYCAR race. He was so fast at the spring training test at COTA earlier this year, so it’s going to be really great to see how he does in the mix for a race.”
SCOTT McLAUGHLIN (No. 3 Shell V-Power Nitro+ Chevrolet): “I’m super pumped to finally get a crack at my first INDYCAR race. Feels like it’s been years since I was part of spring training, but due to COVID-19, we had to hold off. But hey, sometimes the best things are definitely worth the wait. It’s a dream come true to be running an INDYCAR race for Team Penske and Roger (Penske), especially coming off of such a successful Supercars season. I’ve been trying to get to know my team as well as possible virtually for a few months now, so it’s been great being able to see everyone in person and work with them. I spent some time last week running in the simulator as much as I could and spent some time at the race shop, as well, to prepare for this weekend. It was a quick turnaround from Bathurst since I flew to Charlotte immediately after, so I’ve definitely been moving at a fast but really exciting pace just to get to this weekend. The Shell V-Power Nitro+ Chevy team is such a talented group, so I feel like I’m going to be a quick study and learn a lot really fast.”
CHARLIE KIMBALL (No. 4 Tresiba/AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet): “I’m excited for the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg as we got some good preseason running at Sebring on the street circuit tire, so we have a baseline to evolve heading to Florida. To succeed, we are going to have to maximize that baseline and follow the track as it rubbers in during practice. It’s hard to pass and while qualifying is always important, it becomes critical on a street circuit. Having had experience with the car and me all year, the team at AJ Foyt Racing has been working hard to make sure we finish the year on a high note. Typically, as the first race of the year, St. Pete usually feels a bit like the first day of school, but this year it’s going to be where INDYCAR crowns a champion and be the last day of school!”
PATO O’WARD (No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet): “I’ve been waiting for the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg for a while. It’s a venue that I really enjoy going to, not only because the track is cool but because the whole city is very enjoyable, as well. I’m really looking forward to closing out the season with a strong result. I want to thank everyone involved who made my first full season in INDYCAR an incredible one: everyone at the Arrow McLaren SP, Arrow Electronics, McLaren, INDYCAR, Chevrolet, all of our other amazing partners, and most importantly — the fans.”
MARCUS ERICSSON (No. 8 Huski Chocolate Chip Ganassi Racing Honda): “It’s going to be fun to get to St. Pete. Obviously, we were all down there in March and ready to go. It feels great to be able to finish off the season with that race and also for the series to have a street course race. It’s the only street course race of the year, so that will be interesting to see how everyone does. It’s been a pretty good year for the No. 8 Huski Chocolate team. We’ve had some ups and downs, but we want to finish strong and I think we have a good chance to do that in St. Pete. I’m really looking forward to it, and it’s going to be an exciting weekend. It’s good to have fans in the grandstands again.”
SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda): “It was definitely a trying last few race weekends between Mid-Ohio and Indy. I’m still mad at myself for making that mistake at Mid-Ohio and letting those points get away. As always, the NTT INDYCAR SERIES points title comes down to the last race, and even without the double points like we’ve seen before. I’m just really proud of this PNC Bank team and everyone who works so hard to win. Honda has been pushing hard, and we’re always proud to be powered by them along with HPD. For whatever reason, we were just struggling to get comfortable with the balance of the car the last few races and that’s one of the key things we’ll be working on for St. Petersburg.”
FELIX ROSENQVIST (No. 10 NTT Honda): “Heading to St. Pete, it will definitely be a bit weird without having done any street courses yet this year. Normally we start out with St. Pete, and now we’re ending with St. Pete. It’s a cool place to end the season. There’s a big championship battle going on with Dixon and Newgarden, so obviously the biggest focus for the team is to wrap that one up. I think Scott really deserves to get the title there. I am very happy to be back on a street track, which is my best kind of track. I have really good memories of the last time we were in St. Pete racing. It was my first race ever in INDYCAR, and we were leading the race. I can’t wait to get back there.”
WILL POWER (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet): “Indianapolis was incredible. Winning the pole and the race just brought so much good energy to the Verizon Chevy team. It’s a shame we had so much bad luck and made some mistakes earlier this season, but we’ve been getting stronger since Mid-Ohio, and I think the team has really come together. We’ve been out of contention for the championship for a few races now, so we are fully focused on just getting more race wins. St. Pete is such a technical street course, so it can be really fun to race. Actually, it will end up being the only street race we raced on in 2020. We’ve had some races this year with fans, and I’m glad we’ll have a good number of fans back at St. Pete. I’m also looking forward to Scott McLaughlin joining us to race at St. Pete. He’s been working hard preparing for the weekend while also having just won another Supercars championship in Australia. He was really fast at the COTA test, so I think he will be really strong this weekend even though it’s his first INDYCAR race. It’s really going to be a fun weekend.”
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS (No. 14 AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet): “Quite excited for the Firestone GP here in St. Pete, as it’s always great to run in front of friends and family at home. It’s definitely a race that we’re quite a bit better prepared for than the Harvest Indy GP but still kind of keeping the expectations in check. You never know what comes around the corner. I hope what we learned about the No. 14 Chevrolet at Sebring will transfer well for the St. Pete track. We’re looking forward to a good weekend. The weather’s going to be nice, and we’ll keep learning and hope to have some good successes.”
GRAHAM RAHAL (No. 15 United Rentals Honda): “We’re looking forward to St. Pete. We’ve done well there before and have been very competitive there in the past, having won years ago. But also we’ve had some good runs over the last few years. We’re used to St. Pete starting the season off and getting the mojo for the whole year going, and obviously this year it’s ending our season but will quickly start our next, so we need to make sure we are well prepared and do a good job this weekend. It’s critical that our cars are competitive, that Takuma and I work well together and try to close this season off on a really high note. As far as the No. 15 car this year, I‘m really proud of how everyone has worked together. I think we’ve had a pretty stellar year. Obviously, I would have liked to get the win at Indianapolis, but, in general, I think our guys have done a great job and have been pretty locked in and pretty focused. We’d like to get them a win, would like to finish this year off that way. It’s been since 2017 since we’ve won, so we’re pretty focused on trying to make that happen, and it would be great to do it in St. Pete. We’re sixth in points and could move forward with a really strong weekend. I’m not so worried about moving backward, obviously, that still is a threat, but the point is I would rather just take some chances and advance our position and go forward in the championship, so that’s what we’re going to try to do. All in all, we’re looking forward to the challenges ahead with one last go this season and will close 2020 off hopefully on a very high note.”
CONOR DALY (No. 20 U.S. Air Force Chevrolet): “It’s pretty hard to believe my first street course with Ed Carpenter Racing will be in October. It has been a decade since I last won in St. Pete in the Pro Mazda championship, which is wild to think about. Love the track, love the city, love the event. We obviously want to finish strong for the U.S. Air Force, Chevrolet and all of the incredible people that have worked so hard for us all year long. I’m very excited to get down there and get going.”
RINUS VEEKAY (No. 21 SONAX Chevrolet): “It will be so nice to come back to St. Petersburg. We are finally returning after being there earlier this year, but we were not able to race. Hopefully, I can secure my Rookie of the Year title; it will be a very nice achievement. I am really looking forward to the race. First street course race of the season as the last race, that’s very cool. I’ve always had good races in St. Pete in the Road to Indy, and I cannot wait to hustle around there with an Indy car.”
SIMON PAGENAUD (No. 22 Menards Team Penske Chevrolet): “I cannot wait for St. Petersburg. First off, we are ecstatic to host our fans back at the racetrack and continue to give them the best racing there is. We finished on a high note in Indianapolis GP with my No. 22 Menards Chevy crew being fastest on pit lane on day one and collecting the fastest lap of Race 2. The new weekend format has been very difficult, with less practice and less chances to get the right balance on the car. I’m ready to take on the challenge again with spirit. St. Petersburg is a street course that I really enjoy, as street courses are my specialty. We will give a 100 percent and attempt to execute on the last race weekend of 2020.”
JAMES HINCHCLIFFE (No. 26 Gainbridge Honda): “I know we’ve usually wrapped up the season well before the end of October, but it’s still weird to think the season is coming to an end in St. Pete. I’m obviously very thankful to Andretti Autosport and Gainbridge for the chance to be in the race this week and just really want to end the year with a strong result. I love this track and this event, and it’s great that we get fans back again. We were all ready to race St. Pete when the racing world shut down back in March, so it seems fitting that we will wrap up a wild 2020 season here.”
ALEXANDER ROSSI (No. 27 AutoNation / NAPA AUTO PARTS Honda): “What an accomplishment by the series, promoter, and city to be able to get back to where the 2020 season almost began in St. Pete. I am so thankful that we get to have this event as our season finale, and hopefully we can continue our run of podiums to finish out the year. If all the stars align, I know we can get a win before it’s all said and done.”
RYAN HUNTER-REAY (No. 28 DHL Honda): “I think it’s safe to say everyone is thrilled with the opportunity to compete at St. Pete. Usually, this would be our season opener, yet we’re finishing the season there, and it’s our first street course race of the season. Odd year, to say the least. Historically, St. Pete has been one of our stronger tracks on the schedule and it’s my home race, so I’m really looking forward to the race weekend.”
TAKUMA SATO (No. 30 Panasonic / Mi-Jack Honda): “It feels the time has passed, and it has been a long time since our last visit. We just never knew what was going to happen in the world at that time, and it has changed a lot – in particular in the U.S. – but we appreciate so much that we are able to have a race. St. Pete has been recognized so well for the season opener for a long time so it feels a little different when you realized that it will be our last race of the season. Nevertheless, St. Pete has been one of the greatest tracks and we all love it, so I am very happy to go back there. It’s sad that this is the only street race of this year, but we all understand and we live under very difficult and challenging circumstances. I always enjoy driving the St. Pete course, and we went to the simulator in the spring, so we did our prep as much as we could then. Needless to say, but we are so much looking forward to this challenging street race. Yes, it will add an element of unpredictability as it’s the nature of the street course race, but that’s all good for the show and we think we will be competitive! Regardless of the season-ending position, we have to just focus on doing the best possible job we try to achieve.”
ALEX PALOU (No. 55 Guaranteed Rate Honda): “I’m super excited to be heading back to St. Petersburg this weekend and to finally get to race there seven months later! It’s great that we can go back to close out the season and that we’ll be able to do it in front of fans, as well. This will be my first street course in an Indy car. It’s kind of crazy to think that it’s my last race of the season but my first street course. It’s going to be challenging, as always, with only one hour of practice, but we’ll do our best. Hopefully, we can finish the season on a high. Our results have been improving, and we’ve been more consistent, which we needed. We’re aiming for another top 10. It won’t be easy, but we’ll go for it and maybe even do better than our goal.”
MAX CHILTON (No. 59 Gallagher Carlin Chevrolet): “It’s crazy to think that we’re heading back to St. Pete, where it all started, to finish out the 2020 season. I love racing on the streets of St. Petersburg, and I’m so thankful that everyone at INDYCAR and the track could work together in such a difficult situation to bring us back for the finale. It’s a really physical track and the race itself is so demanding, but then at the end of the day, the Firestone Grand Prix is always a great one, not only for us as drivers but also for the fans watching at home and in person. We’ve made some big strides forward as a team, and I’m really hoping we can close out this season with a top-10 finish.”
JACK HARVEY (No. 60 AutoNation / SiriusXM Honda): “I’m really excited to get back to St. Pete, It’s such a shame that we didn’t get to race there earlier this year, but I’m really thrilled that we can have it as a season finale instead of a season opener. I hope it’s a really great weekend for us. We’ve had some great momentum and some great consistency, and hopefully we can have a solid result to end the season on a high note.”
COLTON HERTA (No. 88 Capstone Turbine #ShiftToGreen Honda): “Very excited to finish the season in St. Pete and grateful for the opportunity to do so. We’re looking to finish the season strong with the 88 Capstone #ShiftToGreen Honda. It’s even better to be able to race with fans there.”
MARCO ANDRETTI (No. 98 AutoNation / Curb Honda): “It’s been a dismal season, results-wise, but we have the pace to make something good happen to close the year. I’m approaching St. Pete for momentum into next year. Great place to start or end the year.”