Three Ocala, Fla. athletes will wave the green flag and ride in the ‘Fastest Seat in Sports’
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (Feb. 25, 2022) – Hot off their achievements at the Beijing 2022 Olympic Games, three Ocala, Fla. Team USA medal winners will join the pre-race action for the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg presented by RP Funding this Sunday, Feb. 27. Speed skaters and great friends Brittany Bowe, Erin Jackson and Joey Mantia each will partake in honorary roles before the 26-car field takes the green flag for the season-opening NTT INDYCAR SERIES race.
Ahead of the green flag, Erin Jackson will ride in the Ruoff Mortgage ‘Fastest Seat in Sports’, and her winter games teammate Brittany Bowe will join Joey Mantia in waving the green flag to start the 100-lap race at approximately 12:30 p.m. EST on Sunday. All three are former world champion in-line skaters on wheels before switching over to competing on ice.
Jackson is the first U.S. woman to win a speed skating gold at the Olympics since Bonnie Blair did so in 1994. She is also the first Black woman to win an individual medal in speed skating at the Olympics. Bowe claimed a bronze medal of her own, and she had graciously given up a spot in order for her teammate Jackson to compete in these recent winter games. Erin had an unfortunate slip in the trials and Brittany’s gesture reopened the door for her to compete, and she made the most of it with her historic feat.
Joey Mantia will join Bowe in the starter’s stand on Sunday after the three-time Olympian claimed a long track speed skating bronze medal in Beijing. He also won a second bronze as part of the men’s team pursuit event. As announced last month, St. Petersburg Mayor Ken Welch will give the command for drivers to start their engines as the race’s grand marshal just before the three Floridians participate in their latest once in a lifetime experiences.
“These are three of the finest speed skaters in the world, and they demonstrated and exemplified the true Olympic team spirit. We’re honored to have them join us at this great Florida event, the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg presented by RP Funding,” said Kim Green, co-owner, chairman and CEO of Green Savoree St. Petersburg, LLC, organizers of the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg Presented by RP Funding. “They are extraordinary athletes just like the drivers who compete at their limits in every NTT INDYCAR SERIES race.”
Preceding Sunday’s race, INDYCAR Party in the Park happens 4-6 p.m. ET on Saturday, Feb. 26, in North Straub Park, with a fireworks display later at 8 p.m. ET. These are both free community events open to the public.
Tickets for the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg presented by RP Funding start as low as $25. For complete pricing, schedule and festival information, visit gpstpete.com. Follow the event on social media using @gpstpete and #FirestoneGP for the latest updates. Joining the E-Club also provides insider access to the latest news and offers.