IndyCar Series

IZOD IndyCar Series - Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg Preview

From The Sports Network

DATE: Sunday, March 24
SITE: Streets of St. Petersburg (2005) -- St. Petersburg, Fla.
TRACK: 1.806-mile, 14-turn temporary street circuit
TELEVISION: NBC Sports Network
RADIO: IMS Radio Network/SIRIUS XM Satellite
START TIME: 12:30 p.m. ET
QUALIFYING TIME: Saturday, March 23/2:05 p.m. ET
RUNNER-UP: Scott Dixon
POLE WINNER: Will Power (finished 7)
LAPS: 100
MILES: 180.6
QUALIFYING RECORD: Will Power, 2012 (105.585 mph)
RACE RECORD: Helio Castroneves, 2006 (92.340 mph)
2012 Finish
1Helio Castroneves56Simon Pagenaud16
2Scott Dixon67Will Power1
3Ryan Hunter-Reay38E.J. Viso12
4James Hinchcliffe49Charlie Kimball22
5Ryan Briscoe210Justin Wilson15
2012 Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg Facts and Figures
AVERAGE SPEED: 90.113 mph
TIME OF RACE: 1 hr., 59 mins. 50.9863 secs.
MARGIN OF VICTORY: 5.5292 secs.
CAUTION FLAGS: 3 for 15 laps
LEAD CHANGES: 9 among 7 drivers
POLE WINNER: Will Power (105.585 mph)
FASTEST LAP: Will Power, 103.255 mph, Lap 5
Past Grand Prix of St. Petersburg Winners (Starting Position) Car -- Speed
2012 -- Helio Castroneves (5) -- Dallara Chevrolet -- 90.113 mph
2011 -- Dario Franchitti (2) -- Dallara-Honda -- 89.260 mph
2010 -- Will Power (1) -- Dallara-Honda -- 84.975 mph
2009 -- Ryan Briscoe (4) -- Dallara-Honda -- 81.542 mph
2008 -- Graham Rahal (9) -- Dallara-Honda -- 74.251 mph
2007 -- Helio Castroneves (1) -- Dallara-Honda -- 89.166 mph
2006 -- Helio Castroneves (5) -- Dallara-Honda -- 92.340 mph (race record)
2005 -- Dan Wheldon (9) -- Dallara-Honda -- 83.140 mph
Past Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg Pole Winners (Finish)
2012 -- Will Power -- 7
2011 -- Will Power -- 2
2010 -- Will Power -- 1
2009 -- Graham Rahal -- 7
2008 -- Tony Kanaan -- 3
2007 -- Helio Castroneves -- 1
2006 -- Dario Franchitti -- 19
2005 -- Bryan Herta -- 4
Last Race Results
RACE: MAVTV 500 (Sept. 15, 2012)
SITE: Auto Club Speedway -- Fontana, Calif.
MILES: 500
LAPS: 250
WINNER: Ed Carpenter
RUNNER-UP: Dario Franchitti
THIRD: Scott Dixon
FOURTH: Ryan Hunter-Reay
FIFTH: Helio Castroneves
POLE WINNER: Marco Andretti (finished 8)
TIME OF RACE: 2 hrs., 57 mins., 34.7433 secs.
AVERAGE SPEED: 168.939 mph
CAUTION FLAGS: 7 for 43 laps
LEAD CHANGES: 29 among 12 drivers
LAP LEADERS: Marco Andretti - pole; Tony Kanaan 1; Andretti 2-4; J.R.
Hildebrand 5-35; Ryan Briscoe 36-37; Takuma Sato 38-39; Josef
Newgarden 40; Hildebrand 41-65; Ed Carpenter 66-75; James Jakes
76-85; Carpenter 86-109; Scott Dixon 110; Carpenter 111-122;
Dixon 123-133; Kanaan 134-147; Helio Castroneves 148-149; Sato
150-152; Kanaan 153-184; Dixon 185-195; Carpenter 196; Dixon
197-198; Carpenter 199-203; Alex Tagliani 204-217; Carpenter 218;
Tagliani 219-223; Dario Franchitti 224-225; Tagliani 226-227;
Sato 228; Carpenter 229-236; Franchitti 237-249; Carpenter 250.
Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg Entry List
CarDriver, HometownCar/Name
1Ryan Hunter-Reay (Ft. Lauderdale, FL)DHL/Andretti Autosport
3 *Helio Castroneves (Sao Paulo, Brazil)Hitachi/Team Penske
4J.R. Hildebrand (Sausalito, CA)U.S. National Guard/Panther Racing
5E.J. Viso (Caracas, Venezuela)Venezuela/Andretti Autosport/HVM
6Sebastian Saavedra (Bogota, Colombia)Dragon Racing
7Sebastien Bourdais (Le Mans, France)Dragon Racing
9Scott Dixon (Auckland, New Zealand)Target/Chip Ganassi Racing
10Dario Franchitti (Edinburgh,Scotland)Target/Chip Ganassi Racing
11Tony Kanaan (Salvador, Brazil)Hydroxycut/KV Racing Technology
12Will Power (Toowoomba, Australia)Verizon/Team Penske
14Takuma Sato (Tokyo, Japan)ABC Supply/A.J. Foyt Enterprises
15Graham Rahal (New Albany, OH)Midas/Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
16James Jakes (Leeds, England)Acorn Stairlifts/RLL Racing
18Ana Beatriz (Sao Paulo, Brazil)Dale Coyne Racing
19Justin Wilson (Sheffield, England)Dale Coyne Racing
20Ed Carpenter (Indianapolis, IN)Fuzzy's Vodka/Ed Carpenter Racing
22Oriol Servia (Pals, Spain)Panther/Dreyer & Reinbold Racing
25Marco Andretti (Nazareth, PA)RC Cola/Andretti Autosport
27James Hinchcliffe (Toronto, Canada) Autosport
55Tristan Vautier (Corenc, France)Schmidt Peterson Motorsports
67Josef Newgarden (Hendersonville, TN)Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing
77Simon Pagenaud (Montmorillon, France)Schmidt-Hamilton HP Motorsports
78Simona de Silvestro (Thun, Switzer.)Nuclear Entergy Areva/KVRT
83Charlie Kimball (Camarillo, CA)Novolog FlexPen/Chip Ganassi Racing
98Alex Tagliani (Lachenaie, QB, Canada)Barracuda Racing/Bryan Herta Autospt
* - defending champion.
Leading Contenders (Finish the last eight years)
Helio Castroneves20WonWon2---420Won
Scott Dixon622221618162
Ryan Hunter-Reay------17---211213
James Hinchcliffe---------------------4
Simon Pagenaud---------------------6
Will Power---------86Won27
Justin Wilson---------9321010
Graham Rahal---------Won791712
Dario Franchitti3195---45Won13
Marco Andretti---1542513122414
Tony Kanaan2333510325
Sports Network Selections
Pick to Win - Will Power
Last Week's Pick to Win (Sept. 15, 2012 - Helio Castroneves) - finished 5
The 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series season begins with the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on the streets of St. Petersburg, Fla.

St. Petersburg has hosted an IndyCar race each year since 2005. This event has been the season-opener in the series the past two years as well as in 2009.

Helio Castroneves is the only driver with multiple victories in the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. Castroneves has won this race three time, including a victory last year.

In the 2012 race, Castroneves grabbed the lead from J.R. Hildebrand with 27 laps to and then ran in front from there to snap an 18-race winless streak in IndyCar.

Last year's race marked the debut of IndyCar's new "DW12" car, which was named in honor of Dan Wheldon, who suffered life-ending injuries during a horrific 15-car crash in October 2011 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Wheldon, a two-time Indianapolis 500 winner and 2005 series champion, had resided in St. Petersburg. He won the inaugural event there in '05.

In what was the first race since Wheldon's death, Castroneves paid tribute to his late-friend when, after taking the checkered flag, he got out of his car in turn 10, which was named "Dan Wheldon Way." Castroneves did his trademark climbing of the fence to salute the fans in that area of the racetrack. He then walked over to the other side of the turn and climbed another fence to pat a street sign in honor of Wheldon.

Tony Kanaan has six top-5 finishes at St. Petersburg, which is more than any other driver. Kanaan has yet to win a race at this track. His best finish there is second, which came in '05.

The winner at St. Petersburg has gone on to win the IndyCar championship twice in eight years of the event: Wheldon (2005) and Dario Franchitti (2011).

The Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg has been won from the pole position just twice: Castroneves (2007) and Will Power (2010). Power has won the pole in each of the last three races at this track.

When Graham Rahal took the checkered flag at St. Petersburg on April 6, 2008, he became the youngest driver ever to win an IndyCar race. Rahal was 19 years and 93 days old when he scored his first career victory in the series.

The next race is the April 7 Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park in Leeds, Ala. Will Power won last year's event there.

03/19 16:04:00 ET

As of March 19, 2013, at 04:04 PM ET

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