Race Report: 2020 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg

2020 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersborg logo

Streets of St. Petersburg
Oct. 25, 2020

Box ScoreView PDF
Event SummaryView PDF
Lap ChartView PDF
Leader Lap SummaryView PDF
Pit Stop SummaryView PDF
Top Section TimesView PDF
Section ResultsView PDF

Preview

As it has for the 14 consecutive seasons, this year's season-ending race will determine the NTT IndyCar Series champion. Unique for coronavirus-impacted 2020 is that the final race of the year will be on the streets of St. Petersburg. Originally scheduled as the season's curtain-raiser, the event was postponed from March to October unlike many of the other races that were canceled early in the season without make-up dates.

While the main focus is on the battle for the Astor Cup between five-time champion Scott Dixon and reigning titleholder Josef Newgarden, the many permutations of how the two drivers might end up in the finishing order greatly favors Dixon. According to INDYCAR, of the 19,872 different scoring scenarios for both contenders, 99% of them result in Dixon's sixth title.

Looking beyond the championship fight, two stories hang over St. Petersburg this weekend. First, the new look of Team Penske with returning drivers Will Power, Simon Pagenaud and Newgarden joined by Australia Supercars champion and IndyCar rookie Scott McLaughlin, who has been confirmed as the team's fourth full-time driver in 2021. McLaughlin will take the green flag with three other rookies, but only one — Rinus VeeKay — is in the hunt for Rookie of the Year honors. In fact, thanks to a solid debut season from the 2019 Indy Lights runner-up, VeeKay only needs to the start the race to clinch the rookie title.

With a 24-car grid featuring a solid mix of veterans — including four-time champion Sebastien Bourdais, who returns to AJ Foyt Racing's No. 14 Chevrolet — and up-and-coming drivers like Pato O'Ward and Felix Rosenqvist, himself rumored to move on from Chip Ganassi Racing at season's end, the 100-lap race around the 1.8-mile street circuit should prove entertaining and instructional, since it will open IndyCar's 2021 campaign on March 7.

Use the tabs or menu above to view session results, schedule, entrant facts, weather forecast and track facts.

Sessions

Results

Race

RankDriverCar No.StartLapsTotal TimeLaps LedStatusPointsAvg. SpeedPit Stops
1Josef Newgarden1810002:06:12.594821Running5185.5722
2Pato O'Ward5610002:06:16.7357-Running4085.5252
3Scott Dixon91110002:06:18.7509-Running3585.5022
4Sebastien Bourdais14710002:06:20.0080-Running3285.4883
5Ryan Hunter-Reay281910002:06:22.3477-Running3085.4622
6Simon Pagenaud221210002:06:23.1721-Running2885.4522
7Marcus Ericsson81510002:06:23.6644-Running2685.4473
8Charlie Kimball42010002:06:28.4528-Running2485.3932
9Graham Rahal151710002:06:28.96912Running2385.3872
10Takuma Sato301310002:06:29.3696-Running2085.3832
11Colton Herta88310002:06:36.80979Running2085.2992
12Max Chilton592410002:06:43.0672-Running1885.2293
13Alex Palou551610002:06:56.17391Running1885.0825
14James Hinchcliffe26410002:07:16.66092Running1784.8544
15Rinus VeeKay2199802:06:42.7164-Running1583.5284
16Oliver Askew7109802:06:44.8038-Running1483.5053
17Conor Daly20149802:06:45.1317-Running1383.5025
18Felix Rosenqvist10229802:06:48.2023-Running1283.4685
19Jack Harvey6059702:06:43.7861-Running1182.6643
20Marco Andretti98237401:32:27.2641-Contact1086.4433
21Alexander Rossi2726901:24:03.831961Contact1288.6472
22Scott McLaughlin3214600:55:37.1083-Contact889.3232
23Santino Ferrucci18184000:45:16.5374-Contact795.4161
24Will Power1213500:37:21.46074Contact8101.1841
— Race: Results (PDF) | Back to the session list

Session Notes:

  • Josef Newgarden's victory was his fourth of 2020 and second consecutive win on the streets of St. Petersburg. It marked the 18th win of his Indy car career.
  • The result marked the 219th Indy car victory for cars owned by Roger Penske and was Team Penske's 10th win at St. Petersburg.
  • On the strength of his third-place finish, Scott Dixon won his sixth NTT IndyCar Series title over Newgarden by 16 points, 537 to 521. Colton Herta was third at 421.
  • The championship was the 13th Indy car championship for Chip Ganassi Racing and the second in the three years for the team.
  • Patricio O'Ward's second-place result matched his season best and was his fourth podium finish of 2020.
  • Dixon's third-place finish was his seventh podium of the season.
  • The 100-lap race on the 1.8-mile street circuit remained relatively straightforward until Lap 36, when the first of six full-course cautions slowed the action.
    • Lap 36: Will Power pulled his No. 12 Team Penske Chevrolet off course in Turn 4 after contact.
    • Lap 41: Santino Ferrucci made contact with the wall in Turn 2.
    • Lap 46: On the restart from the previous caution, contact between Scott McLaughlin and Rinus VeeKay brought out the race's third yellow flag.
    • Lap 70: Leader Alexander Rossi crashed on his own in Turn 4.
    • Lap 75: Marco Andretti spun and made contact in Turn 5.
    • Lap 80: Oliver Askew made contact in Turn 10.

Warm-Up

RankDriverCar No.Best TimeOn LapBest SpeedTotal LapsDifferenceGap
1Colton Herta8801:01.601122105.19322--.------.----
2Scott Dixon901:01.625410105.151270.02430.0243
3Felix Rosenqvist1001:01.83606104.793190.23490.2106
4Alexander Rossi2701:01.87139104.734160.27020.0353
5Sebastien Bourdais1401:01.982021104.546210.38090.1107
6James Hinchcliffe2601:01.991325104.531260.39020.0093
7Ryan Hunter-Reay2801:02.13126104.295190.53010.1399
8Takuma Sato3001:02.213611104.157260.61250.0824
9Josef Newgarden101:02.246413104.102250.64530.0328
10Marcus Ericsson801:02.265821104.070230.66470.0194
11Alex Palou5501:02.27658104.052210.67540.0107
12Jack Harvey6001:02.292619104.025210.69150.0161
13Pato O'Ward501:02.32249103.975220.72130.0298
14Graham Rahal1501:02.32698103.968190.72580.0045
15Scott McLaughlin301:02.338326103.949270.73720.0114
16Will Power1201:02.450026103.763260.84890.1117
17Max Chilton5901:02.659412103.416211.05830.2094
18Simon Pagenaud2201:02.684013103.376271.08290.0246
19Marco Andretti9801:02.695819103.356191.09470.0118
20Conor Daly2001:02.74628103.273241.14510.0504
21Santino Ferrucci1801:02.779523103.218231.17840.0333
22Oliver Askew701:02.791020103.200251.18990.0115
23Rinus VeeKay2101:02.811310103.166261.21020.0203
24Charlie Kimball401:03.36086102.271181.75970.5495
— Warm-up: Results | Back to the session list

Qualifying

Firestone Fast Six
RankDriverCar No.Best TimeBest SpeedBest LapTotal LapsDifferenceGap
1Will Power1201:01.0369106.16555--.------.----
2Alexander Rossi2701:01.1730105.929440.13610.1361
3Colton Herta8801:01.1815105.914330.14460.0085
4James Hinchcliffe2601:01.3626105.602440.32570.1811
5Jack Harvey6001:01.3675105.593450.33060.0049
6Pato O'Ward501:01.7725104.901240.73560.4050
— Firestone Fast Six: Results (PDF) | Combined Results (PDF) | Back to the session list

Session Notes:

  • Free of red flags and penalties, the six minutes of the Firestone Fast Six proceeded without incident.
  • Team Penske's Will Power fell short of achieving a new track record at St. Petersburg but still secured his ninth pole at the 1.8-mile track. It marked the fifth 2020 pole for Power and the 62nd pole of his Indy car career.

Round 2
RankDriverCar No.Best TimeBest SpeedBest LapTotal LapsDifferenceGap
1Will Power1201:00.3324107.40588--.------.----
2Colton Herta8801:00.3687107.340770.03630.0363
3Pato O'Ward501:00.6181106.899670.28570.2494
4Jack Harvey6001:00.6264106.884670.29400.0083
5James Hinchcliffe2601:00.7356106.692670.40320.1092
6Alexander Rossi2701:00.7629106.644670.43050.0273
7Sebastien Bourdais1401:00.8102106.561780.47780.0473
8Josef Newgarden101:00.8676106.461780.53520.0574
9Rinus VeeKay2101:00.8837106.432680.55130.0161
10Oliver Askew701:00.9772106.269570.64480.0935
11Scott Dixon901:01.0283106.180880.69590.0511
12Simon Pagenaud2201:01.2298105.831680.89740.2015
— Round 2: Results (PDF) | Back to session list

Session Notes:

  • Considerably cleaner than Group 2, the second round of knockout qualifying at St. Petersburg remained green until its final minute, when Simon Pagenaud spun and went off course at Turn 13.
  • As a result of bringing out a red flag during qualifying, Pagenaud lost his two fastest laps and was ineligible to advance to the Firestone Fast Six.
  • Championship contenders Josef Newgarden and Scott Dixon both failed to advance beyond Round 2.

Round 1 Group 2
RankDriverCar No.Best TimeBest SpeedBest LapTotal LapsDifferenceGap
1Colton Herta8801:00.6614106.82245--.------.----
2Rinus VeeKay2101:00.7721106.628880.11070.1107
3Will Power1201:00.7730106.626880.11160.0009
4Sebastien Bourdais1401:00.8805106.438780.21910.1075
5Pato O'Ward501:00.9412106.332670.27980.0607
6Oliver Askew701:01.0185106.197770.35710.0773
7Conor Daly2001:01.1609105.950780.49950.1424
8Alex Palou5501:01.1630105.946780.50160.0021
9Santino Ferrucci1801:01.1797105.917880.51830.0167
10Charlie Kimball401:01.2425105.809670.58110.0628
11Felix Rosenqvist1001:01.5224105.327480.86100.2799
12Max Chilton5901:21.790979.2262521.129520.2685
— Round 1 Group 2: Results (PDF) | Back to session list

Session Notes:

  • In what was the messiest qualifying in recent history, the results of Group 2 were unknown for an extended period of time after a rash of penalties changed the final order.
  • After initially invalidating Lap 8 for Rinus VeeKay and Lap 7 for Oliver Askew — both for failing to reduce speed through a local yellow — the drivers were dropped out of the top six, promoting both Conor Daly and Alex Palou into the group.
  • A reassessment of the session by INDYCAR Race Control resulted in the invalidated laps changing to Lap 7 for VeeKay and Lap 6 for Askew, moving both drivers back into the top six.
  • Separate penalties assessed in Group 2 included qualifying interference for Felix Rosenqvist, who lost his two fastest laps and ability to advance, as well as Max Chilton who caused a local yellow and was stripped of his fastest lap.

Round 1 Group 1
RankDriverCar No.Best TimeBest SpeedBest LapTotal LapsDifferenceGap
1James Hinchcliffe2601:00.6526106.83857--.------.----
2Jack Harvey6001:00.7312106.700770.07860.0786
3Josef Newgarden101:00.7431106.679880.09050.0119
4Scott Dixon901:00.8725106.452780.21990.1294
5Simon Pagenaud2201:00.8749106.448780.22230.0024
6Alexander Rossi2701:00.8867106.427470.23410.0118
7Takuma Sato3001:00.9423106.330770.28970.0556
8Marcus Ericsson801:00.9619106.296780.30930.0196
9Graham Rahal1501:01.1458105.976880.49320.1839
10Ryan Hunter-Reay2801:01.1732105.929670.52060.0274
11Scott McLaughlin301:01.6409105.125470.98830.4677
12Marco Andretti9801:01.6833105.053371.03070.0424
— Round 1 Group 1: Results (PDF) | Back to session list

Session Notes:

  • A single penalty was issued to Marco Andretti for qualifying interference, stripping him of his two fastest laps.

Practice

RankDriverCar No.Best TimeOn LapBest SpeedTotal LapsDifferenceGap
1Colton Herta8801:01.130630106.00333--.------.----
2James Hinchcliffe2601:01.227935105.834370.09730.0973
3Alex Palou5501:01.431942105.483440.30130.2040
4Takuma Sato3001:01.482430105.396330.35180.0505
5Sebastien Bourdais1401:01.515339105.340410.38470.0329
6Alexander Rossi2701:01.578028105.232310.44740.0627
7Rinus VeeKay2101:01.612841105.173440.48220.0348
8Josef Newgarden101:01.620032105.161360.48940.0072
9Will Power1201:01.627629105.148380.49700.0076
10Scott McLaughlin301:01.677039105.063450.54640.0494
11Santino Ferrucci1801:01.695438105.032390.56480.0184
12Ryan Hunter Reay2801:01.707731105.011340.57710.0123
13Oliver Askew701:01.722233104.987360.59160.0145
14Marcus Ericsson801:01.727140104.978450.59650.0049
15Felix Rosenqvist1001:01.729041104.975420.59840.0019
16Scott Dixon901:01.845933104.777360.71530.1169
17Pato O'Ward501:01.872429104.732320.74180.0265
18Simon Pagenaud2201:01.876433104.725350.74580.0040
19Conor Daly2001:01.921934104.648360.79130.0455
20Marco Andretti9801:01.993027104.528310.86240.0711
21Charlie Kimball401:02.125533104.305370.99490.1325
22Jack Harvey6001:02.168821104.232321.03820.0433
23Max Chilton5901:02.215933104.153351.08530.0471
24Graham Rahal1501:02.326629103.968401.19600.1107
— Practice: Results | Back to the session list

Session Notes:

  • The first 85 minutes of the 90-minute session on the streets of St. Petersburg were relatively free of incidents with no red flags. While a few drivers slapped walls or went into run-off areas, they were all able to continue.
  • With five minutes to go, Chip Ganassi Racing's Felix Rosenqvist spun and went off course at Turn 13, while in a separate incident Team Penske rookie Scott McLaughlin went into the run off at Turn 10. Both cars were quickly refired and the session resumed with two minutes remaining.
  • With less than one minute on the clock, the second and final red flag came out when the No. 7 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet of Oliver Askew contacted the tire barrier on the outside of Turn 13. McLaughlin also ran off course in the same corner.
  • The top five of the session represented four teams with four Honda-powered entries in the mix and two from Andretti Autosport.
  • Championship contenders Josef Newgarden and Scott Dixon ended the session eighth and 16th fastest, respectively.

Green Flag2:32 p.m. EDT *
Drivers Start Your Engines2:27 p.m.
Race Broadcast2:30 p.m. on NBC
Qualifying3:05 p.m. Saturday on NBC Sports Gold
Qualifying Broadcast8 p.m. Saturday on NBCSN (tape delayed)
Practice Sessions10:55 a.m. to 12:55 p.m. Saturday
10:40–11:10 a.m. Sunday (warm-up)
Full Weekend ScheduleView PDF
Live Timing and ScoringINDYCAR Race Control and INDYCAR Mobile app (iOS, Android).
Radio BroadcastINDYCAR Radio Network, Sirius 211, XM 205, IndyCar.com, indycarradio.com and on the INDYCAR Mobile app (iOS, Android).
Video StreamingPractice and qualifying will be available via INDYCAR Pass on NBC Sports Gold.
* All times are in Eastern Daylight Time. View the green-flag time in all time zones.

Starting LineupView Table
Qualifications GroupsView PDF
Entry ListView Table
Spotter Guide
2020 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg spotter guide
View PDF
Push-to-Pass Parameters150 seconds of total time with a maximum single duration of 15 seconds. The push-to-pass is not available on the initial start or any restart unless it occurs in the final two laps or three minutes of a timed race.
Tires Available per EntrySeven sets primary, four sets alternate. One extra set is available to the rookie drivers entered.

Starting Lineup

SPCar No.DriverEngineTire
112Will PowerChevroletAlternate
227Alexander RossiHondaPrimary
388Colton HertaHondaPrimary
426James HinchcliffeHondaPrimary
560Jack HarveyHondaPrimary
65Pato O'WardChevroletAlternate
714Sebastien BourdaisChevroletPrimary
81Josef NewgardenChevroletPrimary
921Rinus VeeKay (R)ChevroletAlternate
107Oliver Askew (R)ChevroletAlternate
119Scott DixonHondaAlternate
1222Simon PagenaudChevroletPrimary
1330Takuma SatoHondaAlternate
1420Conor DalyChevroletAlternate
158Marcus EricssonHondaAlternate
1655Alex Palou (R)HondaAlternate
1715Graham RahalHondaPrimary
1818Santino FerrucciHondaAlternate
1928Ryan Hunter-ReayHondaAlternate
204Charlie KimballChevroletAlternate
213Scott McLaughlin (R)ChevroletPrimary
2210Felix RosenqvistHondaAlternate
2398Marco AndrettiHondaAlternate
2459Max ChiltonChevroletAlternate
(R) Rookie
— Starting Lineup: PDF

Entry List

Car No.DriverHometownSponsorTeamEngine
1Josef NewgardenNashville, Tennessee, USAHitachiTeam PenskeChevrolet
3Scott McLaughlin (R)Christchurch, New ZealandShell V-Power Nitro+Team PenskeChevrolet
4Charlie KimballCamarillo, California, USATresibaAJ Foyt RacingChevrolet
5Pato O'WardMonterrey, MexicoArrow McLaren SPArrow McLaren SPChevrolet
7Oliver Askew (R)Jupiter, Florida, USAArrow McLaren SPArrow McLaren SPChevrolet
8Marcus EricssonKumla, SwedenHuski ChocolateChip Ganassi RacingHonda
9Scott DixonAuckland, New ZealandPNC BankChip Ganassi RacingHonda
10Felix RosenqvistVärnamo, SwedenNTTChip Ganassi RacingHonda
12Will PowerToowoomba, AustraliaVerizonTeam PenskeChevrolet
14Sebastien BourdaisLe Mans, FranceAJ Foyt RacingAJ Foyt RacingChevrolet
15Graham RahalNew Albany, Ohio, USAUnited RentalsRahal Letterman Lanigan RacingHonda
18Santino FerrucciWoodbury, Connecticut, USASealMasterDale Coyne RacingHonda
20Conor DalyNoblesville, Indiana, USAU.S. Air ForceEd Carpenter RacingChevrolet
21Rinus VeeKay (R)Hoofddorp, NetherlandsSonaxEd Carpenter RacingChevrolet
22Simon PagenaudMontmorillon, FranceMenardsTeam PenskeChevrolet
26James HinchcliffeToronto, CanadaGainbridgeAndretti AutosportHonda
27Alexander RossiNevada City, California, USAAutoNation / NAPA Auto PartsAndretti AutosportHonda
28Ryan Hunter-ReayFort Lauderdale, Florida, USADHLAndretti AutosportHonda
30Takuma SatoTokyo, JapanPanasonic / Mi-JackRahal Letterman Lanigan RacingHonda
55Alex Palou (R)Barcelona, SpainGuaranteed RateDale Coyne RacingHonda
59Max ChiltonReigate, EnglandGallagherCarlinChevrolet
60Jack HarveyBassingham, EnglandAutoNation / SiriusXMMeyer Shank RacingHonda
88Colton HertaBelleair, Florida, USACapstone Turbine #ShiftToGreenAndretti AutosportHonda
98Marco AndrettiNazareth, Pennsylvania, USAAutoNation / CurbAndretti AutosportHonda
(R) — Denotes NTT IndyCar Series Rookie of the Year candidate
— Entry List: PDF

ST. PETERSBURG WEATHER

Track TypeTemporary street circuit
Length1.8 miles
Race Distance100 laps (180 miles)
Number of Turns14
DirectionClockwise
Track Map
2020 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg track map
Credit: Will Pittenger, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Event Twitter Account & Hashtag@GPSTPETE, #FirestoneGP

Last Five Wins— 2019: Josef Newgarden, Team Penske
— 2018: Sebastien Bourdais, Dale Coyne Racing
— 2017: Sebastien Bourdais, Dale Coyne Racing
— 2016: Juan Pablo Montoya, Team Penske
— 2015: Juan Pablo Montoya, Team Penske
Last Five Poles— 2019: Will Power, Team Penske (1:00.4594)
— 2018: Robert Wickens, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports (1:01.6643)
— 2017: Will Power, Team Penske (1:01.0640)
— 2016: Will Power, Team Penske (1:00.2450)
— 2015: Will Power, Team Penske (1:00.6931)
Qualifying Lap Record1:00.0476 (Jordan King of Ed Carpenter Racing on March 10, 2018)

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