Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg

Take a virtual tour of St. Pete!

Last years race highlights brought to you by IndyCar.com and YouTube!

Started off Sunday morning with a great looking start for race day with practice….

Round 2 of the USF2000, Mazda Star, and the Firestone Indy Lights race was able to start up, but rain following shortly behind! Drivers in the FIL scrambled to get to pit row and hook-up with a fresh set of Firestone rain treads so they would be able to finish the race before the torrential down-pores finally arrived postponing todays IZOD IndyCar event!

MONDAY MORNING 9:45 A.M.

Wow, what a race! For those of you that think street racing is boring… think again! St. Pete Off to a boom!

100 laps on a 1.8 mile circuit… I’m in!
The Streets of St. Pete

After being postponed nearly 24 hours the streets of St. Pete were filled with race fans cheering on their favorite teams and drivers. Twitter came alive, along with multiple blog sites, with fans posting the latest stats and news as they got it! Televisions tuned and IndyCar Nation streaming, fans sat in anticipation of the next IZOD IndyCar winner was shortly to be unveiled!

“DRIVERS TO YOUR CARS!” The famous words were spoken…

DP Ready!

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Teams were awaiting the call from officials as to whether or not they would be starting dry or on the prepared rain tread. This was a big deal for the fact that if the teams started dry they must use the pre-specified tires chosen for the start of the race!

Crews still working to dry up track

“We’re going dry” This delayed the start by a few minutes allowing the track to be cleared a little longer!

“Race Fans Are You Ready?” CMD. SGT. MAJOR Marvin L. Hill gives the call: “Drivers Start Your Engines” And we go rolling on the streets of St. Petersberg!

Milka Spin

“And yes that’s Milka Duno and yes she has spun on pace lap in turn 13 and 14” Milka was restarted but was a short run for her as she had Mechanical problems soon after!

Only 4 of the drivers stuck it out with the blacks on the damp track conditions! Tony Kanaan (on reds) still unsure if he shouldn’t go ahead and come in for rain tread anyway and loose his 2nd place start! Track conditions were good but still damp and now no rubber for grip!

“And the IZOD IndyCar Series is GREEN!”

“Three wide into the corners!” Silence came across the air!

St. Pete turn 1

First lap first caution… “Conway and Franchitti have spun” Dario goes to catch up first and Conway goes for fuel! “All I did was stall. I did not spin so tires should be good!” -Conway

We Go Back GREEN!!!

Marco Andretti for the lead lap 5! WTG Marco… Marco Andretti ST. Pete
Power drops back a bit and starts to get the feel of the car! Another lead change… Scott Dixon for the lead lap 6, and its just the start! Action up in the front of the pack was outstanding! Everyone fighting for a position they feel comfortable settling down in!

Danica Patrick starts the race conservative trying to warm the tires and get the track to stick with her! Front wing adjustment made on the first pit-stop and she began to work her way through the pack!

Starting in 14th position today Simona De Silvestro had a great start for the race but was tagged by Rahal incodently sending her to the rear end of the pack, but did not ruin her day!

And Milka Duno Is out for “Mechanical Issues” on lap 9! I think she was scared! Someone please put @PaulTracy3 in that car… make something out of it!

Alex Loyd goes out due to suspension issues on lap 15 “Tough day again. Going to keep our head up and move forward. We have great guys here a DCR and we expect good things at Barber!” -Loyd

“And Will Power Goes to the lead!” but not for long before Scot Dixon takes it right back on lap 22! So we are about a quarter of the way through this race and already there has to have been 50 or so passes! I swear… This is racing! And then brings our 2nd caution flag and the first round of pit stops! “Sato is in the wall” after telling the crew for 5 laps “I need to come in, My left front is gone…I need to come in!” Guess what “He needed to come in! So Takuma Sato is out on lap 25!

Look Out For That Truck! As the cars bunch up, (the sweeper truck slowly tries to get out of the way,) “He probably didn’t realize these cars, even going slow, get around there in a very fast pace!” -ESPN

By lap 30 we had Vitor Meira up front leading the pack under yellow! Vitor Meira (back from his horrific crash last season in Indy) decided to stick it out, rather than come in with the pack relinquishing his lead shortly after for the pits!

Vitor Meira

LAP 33 Scott Dixon gets into the back of Mario Moraes breaking his wing and cutting the tire of Moraes! Both have to come in… Tony Kanaan and Marco Andretti also have to come in to the pits for repairs due to debris on the track!

And we Have a new leader Rapha Matos up front with Dario pushing strong from behind! This is the only time Matos has lead in his IndyCar career… Congratulations to Rapha Matos! Matos had to head in to the pits leaving Franchitti to take the lead!

Danica Patrick now moves herself up to 14th by lap 39 and was pressing her way to the front of the pack!
DP hard at work!

Dario has to come in to the pits on lap 41 leaving Ryan Briscoe to take the the lead as the 7th leader for the day! With a record of 8 lead changes we are well on our way to a “NEW TRACK RECORD” LOL!

YELLOW FLAG OUT

Dan Weldon and Mario Morias get into it going into turn 1! Dan had mechanical failure and could not get away from running right over Mario’s right front! A lot of debris on the track and this brings most of the field down into pit lane though a few chose to go ahead and stay out and see what happens!

New Leaders! Will Power P1, Justin Wilson P2, EJ Viso P3, Simona De Silvestro P4, and Danica Patrick to P5. Other Andretti Autosport drivers at that point: TK to P10 , RHR takes P15 , and Marco back in P19! Dixon moved up shortly after to P3 bumping Patrick and De Silvestro leaving the two top running female drivers to duke it out! Simona holds her back to lap 64 when Mike Conway takes it to the wall bringing out the 4th Caution of the day!

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Racing Action

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With 34 laps to go… Drivers head down to pit row for what should be the last stop of the day!

AFTER THE PIT THE TOP TEN STAND:
TOP 10
1 MEIRA, 2 VISO, 3 POWER, 4 WILSON, 5 BRISCOE, 6 DIXON, 7 CASTRONEVES, 8 TAGLIANI, 9 PATRICK, 10 DE SILVESTRO

Dario Franchitti fights his way through the pack after loosing tire pressure and having to pit earlier on!

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NEW LEADER EJ Viso!!! Though not for long after he suffers gear box issues with 27 to go! “It’s a good thing EJ had visoline , when his rear end gave out” -Paul Tracy

Viso

Simona goes around after contact by Rahal when RHR gets a little excited and gets into the rear end of his car! Then, all in a couple laps, Scott Dixon cuts the corner too short and hits the inside wall in turn 9, bouncing him into the outside wall ending his day early as well!

“Two mistakes on my part and unfortunately no points” -Dixon Obviously not too happy after his performance today!

Firestone Reds

Back to green with 22 laps to go! Danica to 6th with Dario Franchitti on the move towards the front of the pack! Danica Patrick chose to run out her last run on the Firestone reds and managed to hold off a 7th place run with nothing left in her tires! Dario ended up working his way all the way up to 4th position one car at a time as he seemed to really have the fastest car of the day! After spinning on the first lap… getting a flat tire and having to make an unscheduled pit-stop, I’d say he had one hell of a great day!

Here they come

With Power up front to take the win, followed closley behind by Justin Wilson in the Z-Line machine of DRR Will Power goes on to take the win in St. Pete! Teammates Ryan Briscoe and Helio Castroneves right behind in P3 and P4 with Dario Franchitti rounding out the top 5. Bringing home 6th place was driver Alex Tagliani, followed by Danica Patrick. Danica was the first of the Andretti Autosport drivers to cross the finish line bringing her a 7th place finish! If we remember last season Danica was the leading driver for Andretti Autosport formerly known as Andretti Green Racing! In 8th place we had Rapha Matos driving for “”. In 9th position, Graham Rahal of Sarah Fisher Racing. And bringing up the top 10 will be Andretti Autosport driver Tony Kanaan!

Rounding out the rest of the field will be…

Ryan Hunter-Reay in position 11 “Well it wasn’t the result we were looking for. Our pit strategy needed lots of green flag racing Too many yellows, so we were shuffled back”
Marco Andretti in position 12 “I can’t say we had the best handling car on the track. We were looking good for a while. Things just didn’t go our way”
Romancini in position 13
Hideki Mutoh in position 14
Vitor Meira in position 15
Simona De Silvestro in position 16 “We had a good race going pretty disapointed with what happend but now let’s go to the next one! The team did a great job I had a great car!”
EJ Viso in position 17
Scott Dixon in position 18
Mike Conway in position 19
Dan Wheldon in position 20
Mario Morias in position 21 “Complicated weekend. Car was good was in 7 ties an car to touch atraz of me and to pierce my tire. E later one to pass over me”
Tacuma Sato in position 22
Alex Loyd in position 23
and Milka Duno in position 24

Graham Rahal “Great day today. Really happy to have a result like that after a tough start to our weekend. Feels good to see the Dollar General boys smile” Sarah Fisher says “Great way to end the weekend in today’s race. I am so proud of Graham and everyone at SFR!”

Graham Rahal and Sarah Fisher

Winners

Congratulations to Will Power and Team Penske for their second win of the 2010 Season! To all the race teams and drivers… It was a great race and have a safe trip back home!

St. Pete Winner Will Power

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