Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Sports

Extra laps change Grand Prix strategy

RECOMMENDED READING


ST. PETERSBURG — Today's forecast for the beginning of the IndyCar Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg calls for a 20 percent chance of rain. But even if rain doesn't slow the cars, the race will still take longer than usual.

This year's race is 110 laps around the 1.8-mile downtown street circuit, 10 more than the past eight IndyCar races here.

And that resets pit strategy for everyone.

"It's going to be a three-stop race. You just don't know how much fuel you're going to put in for each of those three stops," Chip Ganassi Racing managing director Mike Hull said Saturday. "But at some point, you're going to put in less than a full tank of fuel. There were four or five people last year that did this race in two stops."

Tires will be another variable. Each team gets six sets of regular-compound slick tires with black sidewalls and three sets with softer compounds and red sidewalls. Cars must use one set of new, soft tires — called "sticker reds" for the stickers on them — and one set of harder "blacks" each for at least two green-flag laps. If it rains, teams use grooved tires and the red/black rule is waived.

"We've had a fair amount of rain here in the past to deal with, and it changes things dramatically," said Dennis Reinbold, co-owner of the Panther DRR team and race strategist for driver Oriol Servia.

"As the track dries, your strategy changes completely because the tires start tearing apart. Then you have to use the reds, use the blacks."

Timing is key, too. Hull said teams can take less fuel — called a short fill — early. However, "You might jump four or five guys, but that's not the part of the race you want to jump them. You want to jump them at the end.

"A lot of people from the outside see multiple switches in the cockpit and (think drivers) just turn it to a certain point and that's going to get you X amount of mileage. It only gets you 70 percent there. The other 30 percent is what your driver does to help you; short-shifting, where he lifts (off the gas), how he lifts."

Whatever the mechanical components, fans will see a racier result, Reinbold says.

"For the fans, it's not much fun to see us try to save our way to a victory as opposed to really going for it," he said. "So this way, we'll be able to run full tilt all the time, and that's really what racing is about."

Comments
Rays make promotions in clubhouse, athletic training staffs

Rays make promotions in clubhouse, athletic training staffs

The Rays announced several promotions to complete their home clubhouse and athletic training staffs:Ryan Denlinger was promoted from assistant to home clubhouse manager, replacing Jose Fernandez, who left during last season. Denlinger has been with t...
Updated: 14 minutes ago
LINEBACKER CORPS IS A FORCE FOR CCC

LINEBACKER CORPS IS A FORCE FOR CCC

CLEARWATERFrom Colin McCarthy (Miami/Tennessee Titans) to Caanan Brown (Virginia) to Conner Dorris (Navy), a Clearwater Central Catholic defensive staple has been star quality at linebacker. Think Marauders, think linebackers. It has been a cornersto...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Bucs linemen hand out Thanksgiving dinner to 1,000 families in drive-through event

Bucs linemen hand out Thanksgiving dinner to 1,000 families in drive-through event

TAMPA ó The smiles started with hundreds of moms, dads and kids as they arrived at One Bucs Place, but it wasnít long before the giant men in red were beaming, too."This is the first time I have gotten a Thanksgiving meal like this," said Melissa Mob...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Jones: Maybe the Florida job isnít as good as we thought

Jones: Maybe the Florida job isnít as good as we thought

These are strange, unsettling times for the University of Florida.The Gators need themselves a football coach.They offer a terrific job. Maybe one of the best jobs in the country.Right?Uh, right? (nervous laugh)Well, weíll soon find out. Maybe this i...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Captainís Corner: Cooling trend to send inshore species into deeper canals

As temperatures drop with every passing cold front, it will soon be time to seek out protected deeper waters for consistent inshore catches. Residential canals will offer protection from northerly winds, keeping it more comfortable for us topsides wh...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Lightning-Blackhawks: Tampa Bay is killing it on penalty-killers

Lightning-Blackhawks: Tampa Bay is killing it on penalty-killers

BRANDON ó A successful penalty kill begins long before the offending Lightning player, whistled two minutes earlier for some infraction, leaves the box with the score unchanged.It begins with a detailed scouting report of the opposing teamís power pl...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Making sense of the latest Chip Kelly-Florida news

Making sense of the latest Chip Kelly-Florida news

Florida is prepared to look beyond Chip Kelly as its next coach, Yahoo! Sports reported Tuesday afternoon.Of course the Gators are. They have to be. UCLA is a feasible landing spot for Kelly, the former Oregon coach. UF athletic director Scott Strick...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Bucs-Falcons: Has this former Buc become a pass-rushing force?

Bucs-Falcons: Has this former Buc become a pass-rushing force?

TAMPA ó The Bucs face the defending NFC champions twice in their final six games. As they prepare to go to Atlanta on Sunday, former Tampa Bay first-round pick Adrian Clayborn is enjoying quite a two-week run.Clayborn, 29, had six sacks Nov. 12 in a ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Fennelly: USF-UCF rivalry needs more than directional disrespect

Fennelly: USF-UCF rivalry needs more than directional disrespect

TAMPA ó Itís the biggest football game in USF history.Itís two days and 90 miles away. USF at UCF. The 9-1 Bulls against the 10-0 Knights. Itís USF coach Charlie Strong against UCF/Florida/Nebraska coach Scott Frost. Itís the best these two programs ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Clayborn shining for Falcons as Bucs come to town

Clayborn shining for Falcons as Bucs come to town

The Bucs face the Falcons twice in their final six games, and as they prepare to go to Atlanta on Sunday, former Tampa Bay first-round pick Adrian Clayborn has had a nice two-week run.Clayborn had a huge game nine days ago with six sacks in a win aga...
Updated: 3 hours ago