Andretti Autosport Prepares For St. Pete

Andretti Autosport Sheild
FIRESTONE GRAND PRIX OF ST. PETERSBURG
NTT INDYCAR SERIES
OF NOTE:
  • Andretti Autosport is closing in on 200 total wins across all racing platforms and with six races across four series (Formula E, Indy Lights, GT4 America, IndyCar) this weekend, it is possible for that milestone to be reached before the teams pack up and head home from St. Petersburg. The team currently has 197 total wins.
  • Alexander Rossi is seeking the top step of the podium after finishing third in St. Pete in 2018, his first podium of a three-in-a-row run at the start of last season. Rossi jumps into the season as vice-champion for the year prior with three wins (Long Beach, Mid-Ohio and Pocono). Rossi led five laps last year and made headlines with his controversial move on friend and competitor Robert Wickens.
  • Ryan Hunter-Reay will make his 13th start at the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg after finishing fourth in 2018 NTT IndyCar Series championship standings with two wins (Detroit 2, Sonoma). The Fort Lauderdale, Florida-native counts Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg as home race and holds four podium-finishes at the 14-turn circuit.
  • Making his 14th career start in the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, Marco Andretti finished in the top 10 for all 2018 street course races and tied for eighth in the series championship. Mark Bryant will be race engineer for the third-generation driver for the 2019 season. Andretti will celebrate his 32nd birthday on March 13.
  • Sophomore driver Zach Veach will pilot the Gainbridge machine for the 2019 season. Veach earned two two-five finishes in 2018 (Long Beach, Gateway) and landed in the top 10 five times.
On Tuesday, Andretti Autosport released “What’s in a name?”, a 2019 season hype video.  Click here to watch.

“I’m thrilled that the season is finally upon us. I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to stay busy and behind the wheel of lots of cars thanks to Honda and Acura, but now the focus is fully on the 2019 INDYCAR season and picking up where we left off last year.

“We have had some strong tests leading into St. Pete, but it’s clear that the competition is also stronger than ever, so we will have to be sure to execute every session. The NAPA Racing team and myself are in a good place and we look forward to kicking off the season in a strong way to indicate our intent to go one better than last year.”


“The Firestone Grand Prix of St. Pete can’t come soon enough. We’re looking to pick up where we left off by capitalizing on the momentum we had at the end the 2018 season with a pole and victory at Sonoma. The off-season testing program has gone very well thanks to all the hard work from not only the 28 DHL crew and engineering staff, but from everyone at Andretti Autosport. We’re looking forward to collecting more hardware for DHL, AutoNation and Honda in 2019.”

“I’m excited to get the season started. Last year we had a new car and now with a year of learning how it rides and better understanding it, I think the U.S. Concrete team will be much more competitive. We’ve been working hard this off season to build on where we left off at the end of 2018. I have a new engineer, Mark Bryant, and we’re working really well together so I’m eager to see where 2019 takes us.”

“I’m excited to be showing up to St. Pete for the second time in an Indy car. So much was learned during my first season and we’ve spent a lot of time preparing this winter. Our pre-season testing went really well and I’m ready to start the year off right in the Gainbridge car.”
INDY LIGHTS PRESENTED BY COOPER TIRES

OF NOTE:

  • Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires rookie, Robert Megennis finished fifth in the Indy Pro 2000 championship in 2018 after earning seven top-five finishes. Having competed on the streets of St. Petersburg in the Road to Indy prior to his Indy Lights venture, Megennis’s best Grand Prix of St. Petersburg starting position is fifth (2018) with a best finish of third (2018). Megennis celebrated his 19th birthday Tuesday.
  • Calling the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg his home race, rookie Oliver Askew earned his first pole position of the 2018 season on the streets of St. Petersburg. Askew placed third in the Indy Pro 2000 championship in 2018 after capturing one win (Portland Race 1).
  • Ryan Norman is entering third Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires season with Andretti Autosport and earned his first Indy Lights career win in Gateway last year. The veteran finished fourth in the 2018 Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires championship.

“I’m so excited to get going at St. Pete for the first race of the season. It’s my first Indy Lights race and I’m sure there will be a lot to learn, but I don’t doubt that we’re gonna be right on pace and able to challenge for wins. I’ve been on the podium every year I’ve raced at St. Pete including third in my first ever USF2000 race in 2016 and my first race win of the Road to Indy in 2017. I’m feeling good and can’t wait to give CyberArk, Optiv, Palo Alto Networks and SailPoint Technologies some good results!”

“The first race of the season in St. Pete is always a special event for me, especially because it is my home race only a three hour drive west of Jupiter, Florida. I am looking forward to putting on a show for my friends, family, and sponsors that will be in attendance. I am especially excited because it will be my first official race weekend with Andretti Autosport who have been extremely professional and knowledgeable throughout the pre-season. A lot of hard work and dedication has been brought to the table to make this partnership come together, I am focused on getting the most out of this incredible opportunity. It is going to be a tough battle all year, but I am up for the challenge.”

“I’m so excited to get back to racing in St. Pete. A lot of work has been put into the offseason and we are ready to make our championship run. The goal is to stay as consistent as possible and to get as many wins as possible. We are trying to come out of the gates with a pair of wins to start the season off.”
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!

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