Andretti Autosport St. Pete Review

Sophomore driver Devlin DeFrancesco was collected in a Turn 3, multi-car incident on the opening lap, resulting in the No. 29 going airborne after being hit by the No. 55 car of Benjamin Pedersen. All drivers involved were seen and released from the infield care center.

Colton Herta made contact with the tire barriers in Turn 8 on Lap 41, resulting in early retirement from the 100-lap event.

After starting from the pole position, Romain Grosjean lead 31 laps before a battle for the lead on Lap 72 resulted in contact with the No. 3 of Scott McLaughlin, ending the race for both drivers.

Kyle Kirkwood held pace through the opening stint until, on Lap 41, a multi-car incident in Turn 4 vaulted the No. 27 overtop of the No 30 car of Jack Harvey. The AutoNation crew completed a front-wing change and suspension repair to return Kirkwood to the field. Kirkwood logged 97 laps, finishing three laps down. Out of an abundance of caution, Harvey was later transported to a local hospital for further evaluation.

The 100-lap race saw 26 laps of yellow-flag driving across a total of six caution periods.
The Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg saw six lead changes among six different drivers.

CHAMPIONSHIP–20 (10 pts)

“The Gainbridge car was really good today. We seemed to be down on the Firestone alternate tire but then we had a really good car on the (primary) blacks. A lot of guys in front of us were on the alternates, so we were going to be able to make some passes. We had a good opportunity for a podium and maybe even a win. It sucks because I don’t want to start the season off like this.”


“It seemed like almost everything that could’ve gone wrong went wrong for Andretti Autosport today, super unfortunate. This track has changed a lot from the previous years it seems like. This was the most yellow-filled race we’ve ever seen at this track and I think that comes from the new asphalt changes, making it slick out there. Typical street course racing; yellows, you get shuffled to the back and there’s nothing you can really do but get caught. Overall if there’s one thing I take from this weekend it’s that as a team we showed pace every single session on track and proved race pace. We showed we could win, just nothing played out in our favor. I’m looking forward to getting the AutoNation car back on track in Texas.”

CHAMPIONSHIP–17 (14 pts)

“The No. 28 Honda was strong. We had a lot of support here from DHL this weekend and we wanted that win today. We all race, we all make mistakes. Scott (McLaughlin) came over and apologized, which means everything to me. He did get a penalty, unfortunately, that doesn’t really change anything for my race, but the fact that he comes here and says he’s sorry is a big deal. I know that we were the fastest car on track by a long way and that’s all that matters. We were competitive, we were up there and we have 16 races left. We showed today with Andretti that we can be up there.”


“We had a hard knocking today with that incident. It wasn’t the way we wanted to start the season. The No. 29 Capstone Honda was promising in qualifying. We had some concerns about Turn 3 and it played out in the scenario that it did. I saw Helio spinning in front of me and really was on the brakes – there was no where to go. I saw the 55 coming and knew it was going to be a big one. I just braced up the best I could. It was a wild ride, but we’re okay and we’ll focus ahead on Texas.”

“They say it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish – so it’s obviously disappointing to see how today went. When you take a step back and think about the weekend as a whole, there was obviously a lot of progress from last year. We had a lot of speed. I think the way that the team is working really well together – the drivers are all working together – everyone is working really well. We definitely made gains and improved on all of those areas. Unfortunately, it wasn’t our day but we’ll take the positives on to Texas and keep building on that.”


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