St. Pete GP News And Notes

Orlando, FL (March 31, 2010) – The IZOD IndyCar Series ran their second race at the picturesque St. Petersburg, Florida street course for what is popularly known as the St. Pete Grand Prix. Thankfully once again the IndyCar Series has bucked the status quo that street races are usually boring. There was not a dull moment with the race having to be run on Monday which made for a long weekend. It looks like a great move by Team Penske going to three cars. Talented Australian Will Power coming back from injures from last year to go two for two, if he can figure out ovals the No. 12 entry will be a big threat for championship.

Roger Penske discussion to add the car was really an easy one, he had all the guys from the Grand-AM program and blended them into all three teams and added Power, showed last year they knew they had a winning combination. I asked Mr. Penske does he ever want to go back to ALMS and he said if the timing and right situations presents itself they would go back. He said Porsche gave him a great opportunity and he felt he did great over there, but knows the IZOD IndyCar Series is his focus. His main goal of course is winning races and another Indianapolis 500.

The big talk over the weekend was the new IICS CEO Randy Bernard and everyone seems to support him and look forward to his ideas and his direction. The first question was when will the new car be here and it looks like it will be delayed a year, perhaps to 2013. It appears most are OK with that because of the current economy. It would very tough for all the teams to invest in new cars.

Danica Patrick is still winning the popularity contest and has the most people trying to see her and get her autograph. She should win an award for avoiding the fans better then Marco Andretti. It’s a far cry from the good old day of Unsers, Rutherford and even Paul Tracy when they took their time for the fans. Also watching this weekend was legendary Mario Andretti walking through the crowd from the hospitality area to the pit and every time posing for pictures and signing autographs. The fans really walk away from the track on cloud nine when they have an experience like that. I think some of the new drivers can take some lessons from Mario; it would really help the sport.

The other big note from the weekend is the drive by Justin Wilson in his newly reborn Dreyer-Reinbold Racing; the team needed and got another great run from Justin Wilson. They ran strong all weekend and it could really give this team even more confidence continuing forward.

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