Sunday, May 20, 2018
Sports

Will Power wins Grand Prix of St. Petersburg

ST. PETERSBURG — The only agreement concerning the IndyCar season's first restart is it was really slow.

And it all worked out for Will Power, who won Sunday's Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

Power started fourth and dominated on the downtown street circuit, leading 74 of 110 laps, including the final 53.

But the biggest talking point was a restart on Lap 82, when cars bunched up behind Power so much that a multicar collision happened in the middle of the frontstretch.

Power, who also won in St. Petersburg in 2010, defended the way he took the field to the green flag.

"Basically, the pace car pulls off, and you can set the pace you want," he said. "We weren't even in the zone that you have — the 200 yards or whatever it is — to decide for the leader to go when he wants."

Marco Andretti and rookie Jack Hawksworth took the worst of the accident as both cars were too badly damaged to continue. Andretti was left with a slight limp and told ABC his car didn't hit the inside wall hard, but at a bad angle.

Several drivers criticized Power's restart. Penske Racing teammate Helio Castroneves called it a "trick." That's notable because last year here, Power believed Castroneves passed him by jumping him on a restart.

But IndyCar officials did not penalize Power's No. 12 Chevrolet nor did they even review video. They gave Power a warning — but for his second restart, which was a tad early yet clean and incident-free.

IndyCar's new single-file restart rule was meant to reduce the chances of this kind of incident. For street and road courses, the series eliminated double-file restarts, which were often chaotic and costly. Sunday's controversial restart came after Charlie Kimball went off the track and stalled in Turn 1, bringing out a full-course yellow flag.

"It did surprise me," runnerup Ryan Hunter-Reay said of such trouble on a single-file restart. "There's always going to be some stack-up."

Hunter-Reay finished 1.947 seconds behind Power on the 1.8-mile circuit followed by three-time St. Petersburg champion Castroneves. Defending race champion James Hinchcliffe was never a factor, finishing 19th in the 22-car field.

How different were opinions regarding the restart?

"There was definitely a check-up in the front," fifth-place Simon Pagenaud said. "That was not a clean move, for sure."

But fourth-place Scott Dixon said, "They keep telling us they're going to be really hard on these restarts and people jumping. The speed was probably too slow, I think. But they purposefully moved the restart zone closer to the start/finish line (Sunday) morning. I don't think Will was doing anything wrong apart from it was maybe a little too slow."

Power said he was in first gear and never hit the brakes, Castroneves, speaking before Power arrived at the news conference, said letting off the gas in first gear is almost akin to hitting the brakes.

"He knows my tricks," Castroneves said. "I didn't quite know that trick from him, and he got me, which is good. I'm not saying that in a bad way. … Now I know when I restart behind him, I know what I need to do."

Castroneves, who started 10th, was third by Lap 22 on Firestone's red-sidewalled, soft compound tires. But he said at the end, Power made the right call on strategy and had better tires.

All that added up to Power's third straight win dating to last year and 22nd of his career and a push toward an elusive first series title.

"Will definitely hasn't skipped a beat," Hunter-Reay said. "He'll be a definite pain in the rear end this year."

"Some years I've started here and been so conservative," said Power, who gave Team Penske its sixth win in 10 IndyCar races in St. Petersburg. "I just race now, race hard."

He's certainly off to a fast start, if not a fast restart.

Monday, March 31, 2014 , Section C | 

     
   
Comments
Softball: Scouting the Academy at the Lakes vs. Lake Worth Christian semifinal

Softball: Scouting the Academy at the Lakes vs. Lake Worth Christian semifinal

Academy at the Lakes (24-4) vs. Lake Worth Christian (10-3)Where: 11:50 a.m. Monday at Historic Dodgertown, Vero BeachHow they got thereAcademy at the Lakes defeated Seacrest Country Day 11-1, defeated Canterbury 5-1Lake Worth Christian defeated...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Rays hang on to beat Angels 5-3 behind Robertson slam, get back to .500

Rays hang on to beat Angels 5-3 behind Robertson slam, get back to .500

ANAHEIM, Calif. – Playing .500 ball is obviously no goal, and the Rays certainly know that.But given where they came from, that terrible 1-8 start that oozed into 3-12 and 4-13, climbing back to the respectability of .500 would be an accomplish...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Rays journal: New pitching plan worked so well Romo starts again Sunday

Rays journal: New pitching plan worked so well Romo starts again Sunday

ANAHEIM, Calif. — The first part of the Rays' new and unusual pitching plan worked so well Saturday, as game "opener" RHP Sergio Romo struck out the first three Angels hitters, that the Rays will do it again on Sunday.That's right. Romo will st...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Lightning-Capitals: How Tampa Bay withstood Washington’s barrage

Lightning-Capitals: How Tampa Bay withstood Washington’s barrage

TAMPA — A two-goal lead was suddenly only one, and the Washington Capitals, having pulled their goalie, had a furious 96-second siege.Andrei Vasilevskiy made the last three of his 28 saves to preserve the Lightning's 3-2 victory Saturday in Gam...
Published: 05/19/18
Updated: 05/20/18
Lightning-Capitals: How Tampa Bay’s early surges carried the day

Lightning-Capitals: How Tampa Bay’s early surges carried the day

TAMPA — Dan Girardi knew where the puck was heading. It was heading to Alex Ovechkin for a one-timer on net, so Girardi did the only thing he could do. He blocked it.With his rump."It hit me right in the cheek," said Girardi, the Lightning defe...
Published: 05/19/18
Lightning-Capitals: Grading Tampa Bay’s 3-2 victory in Game 5

Lightning-Capitals: Grading Tampa Bay’s 3-2 victory in Game 5

TAMPA — Faster than Justify down the stretch at the Preakness, quicker than Harry and Meghan walked down the aisle at Windsor Castle, the Lightning jumped on Game 5 of the Eastern Conference final. No runaway gallop. No funny hats. Just ho...
Published: 05/19/18
Lightning-Capitals: How Ryan Callahan and his linemates overwhelmed the Caps

Lightning-Capitals: How Ryan Callahan and his linemates overwhelmed the Caps

TAMPA — They're called grinders. Pluggers. Checkers.They're lunch-pail guys. Like 9-to-5ers. They get up every day and go to work. They punch in and punch out for no glory or credit. But the business would fall apart without them.They're the fo...
Published: 05/19/18
Justify wins foggy Preakness, keeps Triple Crown bid alive

Justify wins foggy Preakness, keeps Triple Crown bid alive

BALTIMORE — Justify rounded the final turn and hit the top of the stretch winded but with the lead. The roar from the crowd was delayed, hushed by the thick fog that enveloped the track. When Justify emerged from the haze in view of the grandstand, t...
Published: 05/19/18
Lightning-Capitals: Quick strike, but not the quickest ever

Lightning-Capitals: Quick strike, but not the quickest ever

TAMPA — Cedric Paquette needed only 19 seconds to put the Lightning on the scoreboard Saturday night, coming up with the second-fastest playoff goal in franchise history.The only goal faster? Tampa Bay's Adam Hall needed only 13 seconds to scor...
Published: 05/19/18

Rowdies tie in debut of new coach Neill Collins

St. PETERSBURG — Neill Collins, the former Rowdies defender who this week abruptly replaced Stuart Campbell as coach of the team, was a bit ambivalent about his debut, but he sure liked the way his club played in the second half of Saturda...
Published: 05/19/18