Colton Herta dominated a majority of the race, as he cruised on to take his first win of the season at St. Petersburg. It is Herta’s fourth win in the Indycar Series, his first at St. Petersburg.
“We knew we needed to win,” Herta said.
“We needed a good points swing for us. It’ll put us up in the championship and that’s gonna make our lives that much easier in Texas and that much easier going forward for the rest of the season.”
Herta started the race on the pole, with Jack Harvey on his outside. The field would roar off to the green flag, and there would be some four-wide action near the mid-pack as Alexander Rossi would make an aggressive dive into the first corner. Herta would maintain the lead while Rossi moved up to eighth.
Sebastien Bourdais would have damage on the front nose after contact with the Penske cars of Simon Pagenaud and Josef Newgarden.
Scott Dixon would make an overtake on Pato O’Ward on the fifth lap, putting the defending champion up to the ninth position.
Conor Daly would pit early, as he would bring his No. 20 down pit road on Lap 11 in order to go for a three-stop strategy while many other teams looked at a two-stop strategy.
Jimmie Johnson would go off the track on Lap 16. He would struggle in getting the car to reverse while everyone else would come down pit road. Will Power, Romain Grosjean, and several others would come in, hoping for a caution to come out. Eventually, there would be a full course yellow as a result of Johnson’s stalled No. 48.
Herta would lead on the restart. Graham Rahal would make a dive on the outside of Rinus Veekay, putting the No. 15 to sixth.
On Lap 23, Takuma Sato would make a move to the inside of James Hinchcliffe into Turn 1. The two would make contact and as a result it would give Hinchcliffe’s No. 29 a flat tire.
Will Power and Grosjean would make contact battling it out, as they also would collide, putting Grosjean’s No. 51 into the wall. A few corners later he would find the wall again but would keep ongoing.
Sato would continue to get on the attack as he would make a dive on the inside of Hunter-Reay, putting him up to 11th.
Dixon would make a swing to the inside on Veekay, moving the No. 9 to eighth on Lap 28. Sato would make it three-wide on Veekay and O’Ward as the No. 21 would continue to plunge down the order. Sato would move up to ninth.
More drivers would head down pit road on Lap 30, as Veekay and Ryan Hunter-Reay would pit for tires and fuel.
A lap later, Newgarden would makes his move to second as he would pass Harvey off the first corner.
Green flag pit stops would continue to commence as Harvey, Bourdais, Dixon, and O’Ward would bring their cars down pit road on Lap 35. A majority of the field would come in lap after lap. Rossi and Rahal would duke it out, but Rossi would have a right front go down after the two would make contact, sending the two of them off course on Lap 38. Herta would cycle as the leader at the end of pit stops. Rossi would end up two laps down as a result of the contact, while Rahal would drop down to 19th.
The field would remain spread out for the next portion of laps, but as the field reached Lap 66, the final round of pit stops would begin. O’Ward would be the first to come in. Afterward, more would come down.
Leader Herta would have a close shave, as when he finished his stop, Newgarden was coming into his stall. The two nearly touched, but managed to stay off one another.
Dalton Kellett’s car would be stopped outside of Turn 1 on Lap 71. There would be no yellow regarding the No. 4’s stopped car.
Johnson’s troubles would continue as he would spin on Lap 74. As a result it would bring out another full course yellow.
Herta would lead the field once again to the restart, and everyone else would flock right behind the No. 26. However, another yellow would fly laps later as Ed Jones would try and make a move down the inside of Hinchcliffe, sending the No. 18 spinning around. O’Ward would also receive damage from the incident.
With 18 laps to go Herta would continue to hold his ground. Power would send it down the bottom underneath teammate Scott McLaughlin to take tenth away.
However, there would be no opposition for Herta, as he would take the win.
In terms of the standings, Alex Palou holds a two-point gap over Power and Dixon. Herta sits fourth in points, five points back. Simon Pagenaud rounds out fifth in the points, 13 points back. Harvey, Bourdais, Beekay, Ericsson, and Newgarden round out the rest of the top 10 in the points.
Next week marks a doubleheader at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday and Sunday, May 1st (at 7:00 PM ET) and 2nd (at 5:00 PM ET) respectively. Coverage will be on NBSCN, Peacock, and SiriusXM Radio.
Results Sunday of the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg NTT INDYCAR SERIES event on the 1.8-mile streets of St. Petersburg circuit, with order of finish, starting position in parentheses, driver, engine, laps completed and reason out (if any):
- (1) Colton Herta, Honda, 100, Running
- (3) Josef Newgarden, Chevrolet, 100, Running
- (4) Simon Pagenaud, Chevrolet, 100, Running
- (2) Jack Harvey, Honda, 100, Running
- (8) Scott Dixon, Honda, 100, Running
- (15) Takuma Sato, Honda, 100, Running
- (16) Marcus Ericsson, Honda, 100, Running
- (20) Will Power, Chevrolet, 100, Running
- (7) Rinus VeeKay, Chevrolet, 100, Running
- (5) Sebastien Bourdais, Chevrolet, 100, Running
- (14) Scott McLaughlin, Chevrolet, 100, Running
- (17) Felix Rosenqvist, Chevrolet, 100, Running
- (18) Romain Grosjean, Honda, 100, Running
- (13) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Honda, 100, Running
- (9) Graham Rahal, Honda, 100, Running
- (19) Conor Daly, Chevrolet, 100, Running
- (10) Alex Palou, Honda, 99, Running
- (12) James Hinchcliffe, Honda, 99, Running
- (6) Pato O’Ward, Chevrolet, 99, Running
- (21) Ed Jones, Honda, 99, Running
- (11) Alexander Rossi, Honda, 98, Running
- (23) Jimmie Johnson, Honda, 95, Running
- (24) Dalton Kellett, Chevrolet, 67, Off Course
- (22) Max Chilton, Chevrolet, 18, Mechanical
Winner’s average speed: 96.552 mph
Time of Race: 1:51:51.4115
Margin of victory: 2.4933 seconds
Cautions: 3 for 9 laps
Lead changes: 3 among 3 drivers
NTT INDYCAR SERIES point standings: Palou 67, Power 65, Dixon 65, Herta 62, Pagenaud 54, Harvey 51, Bourdais 51, VeeKay 51, Ericsson 50, Newgarden 47.