Wednesday, December 13, 2017
Sports

IndyCar Grand Prix of St. Petersburg field at a glance

Mikhail Aleshin | No. 7

Honda Schmidt Peterson Motorsports

Age: 28Hometown: Moscow

Notable: He returns to the No. 7 car, which he occupied in 2014, having recovered from injuries sustained in a crash at Fontana in practice for that season's finale. He had one IndyCar start in 2015.

Marco Andretti | No. 27

Honda Andretti Autosport

Age: 28Hometown: Nazareth, Pa.

Notable: This year's race falls on Andretti's 29th birthday. His best finish in St. Petersburg was third in 2013, and he has finished ninth in points each of the past two seasons.

Sebastien Bourdais | No. 11

Chevrolet KVSH Racing

Age: 37Hometown: Le Mans, France

Notable: The St. Petersburg resident re-signed with the team within the past two weeks, and the four-time Champ Car series champion has had three IndyCar victories in the past two seasons.

Helio Castroneves | No. 3

Chevrolet Team Penske

Age: 40Hometown: Sao Paulo

Notable: Last year was the first winless season since 2011 for the three-time Grand Prix of St. Petersburg winner and three-time Indianapolis 500 champion, but he still finished fifth in points.

Max Chilton | No. 8

Chevrolet Chip Ganassi Racing

Age: 24Hometown: Reigate, England

Notable: The former Formula One driver spent last season in America in the Indy Lights series, winning in Iowa. The Ganassi ride promises to be far more competitive than his Marussia car in F1.

Conor Daly | No. 18

Honda Dale Coyne Racing

Age: 24Hometown: Noblesville, Ind.

Notable: The son of former F1 and IndyCar driver Derek Daly has six IndyCar starts, five of them last year — including one with Coyne and four subbing for James Hinchcliffe at Schmidt Peterson.

Scott Dixon | No. 9

Chevrolet Chip Ganassi Racing

Age: 35Hometown: Auckland, New Zealand

Notable: The four-time series champion captured last year's title in most dramatic fashion, winning at Sonoma and vaulting past Juan Montoya to take the championship on a tiebreaker.

Luca Filippi | No. 19

Honda Dale Coyne Racing

Age: 30Hometown: Savigliano, Italy

Notable: Finished ninth last year in St. Petersburg in his debut with CFH Racing and was second at Toronto for a 1-2 team finish; this is slated to be his first full season in the series.

Jack Hawksworth | No. 41

Honda A.J. Foyt Enterprises

Age: 25Hometown: Bradford, England

Notable: His eighth-place finish in St. Petersburg last year, a just reward for a race in which he led five laps, was one of five top-10 finishes for him. He won here in 2013 in Indy Lights.

James Hinchcliffe | No. 5

Honda Schmidt Peterson Motorsports

Age: 29Hometown: Toronto

Notable: The 2013 St. Petersburg winner missed most of last season after his near-fatal accident during practice at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but the "Mayor of Hinchtown" has fully recovered.

Ryan Hunter-Reay | No. 28

Honda Andretti Autosport

Age: 35Hometown: Fort Lauderdale

Notable: The 2012 series champion and two-time St. Petersburg runnerup has at least one victory in each of the past six seasons, one of only three drivers to have done so (also Power and Dixon).

Tony Kanaan | No. 10

Chevrolet Chip Ganassi Racing

Age: 41Hometown: Salvador de Bahia, Brazil

Notable: One of two drivers to have started every series race in St. Petersburg (Dixon's the other), has finished in the top five eight times on the downtown streets but seeks his first victory here.

Charlie Kimball | No. 83

Chevrolet Chip Ganassi Racing

Age: 31Hometown: Camarillo, Calif.

Notable: His third-place finish last year in the Indianapolis 500 was the highlight of a season in which he had only one other podium finish. He led 10 laps in his third top-10 finish at Indy.

Juan Montoya | No. 2

Chevrolet Team Penske

Age: 40Hometown: Bogota, Colombia

Notable: The defending Grand Prix of St. Petersburg and Indianapolis 500 champion keeps building on one of the best, most well-rounded racing resumes of this generation.

Carlos Munoz | No. 26

Honda Andretti Autosport/HVM

Age: 24Hometown: Bogota, Colombia

Notable: The Miami resident earned his first series victory last season in the first race of the Belle Isle doubleheader in rainy conditions and led 14 laps at Fontana before finishing 11th.

Josef Newgarden | No. 21

Chevrolet Ed Carpenter Racing

Age: 25Hometown: Hendersonville, Tenn.

Notable: Last season was a breakthrough, with his first two victories for CFH, the combined team of Ed Carpenter and Sarah Fisher. Newgarden was also seventh in points in 2015.

Simon Pagenaud | No. 22

Chevrolet Team Penske

Age: 31Hometown: Montmorillon, France

Notable: After winning two times in both 2013 and 2014 at Schmidt Peterson, his first season with Penske was surprisingly winless. But he led a career-high 132 laps, indicating he was still fast.

Spencer Pigot | No. 16

Honda Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

Age: 22Hometown: Orlando

Notable: The Indy Lights graduate starts his IndyCar career about two hours from where he grew up. He's on a partial deal for now, set for St. Petersburg and the two Indianapolis races.

Will Power | No. 1

Chevrolet Team Penske

Age: 35Hometown: Toowoomba, Australia

Notable: The two-time St. Petersburg winner and 2014 champ has won at least once every year since 2008 but must have been disappointed to only win one time last season.

Graham Rahal | No. 15

Honda Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

Age: 27Hometown: New Albany, Ohio

Notable: The 2008 St. Petersburg winner had a banner 2015 — he won twice and was a serious championship contender. And he married NHRA driver Courtney Force in the offseason.

Alexander Rossi | No. 98

Honda Bryan Herta /Andretti Autosport

Age: 24Hometown: Nevada City, Calif.

Notable: Herta's one-car team has been folded into the Andretti operation. Rossi got five starts in Formula One last year after spending three seasons as a test driver and in GP2.

Takuma Sato | No. 14

Honda A.J. Foyt Enterprises

Age: 39Hometown: Tokyo

Notable: He has started on the front row in St. Petersburg twice, including the 2014 pole. He finished on the lead lap in a career-high 10 races in 2015 but also had four DNFs thanks to crashes.

     
                                 
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