Chevrolet Indycar at St. Petersburg: Team Chevy Advance

The Team Chevy drivers and teams of the NTT INDYCAR SERIES kick off the 2024 season on the Streets of St. Petersburg, Fla. this weekend with the 20th running of the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

Chevrolet earned its eighth NTT INDYCAR SERIES Engine Manufacturer Championship of the 2.2-liter twin turbo direct-injected era since 2012 after the 2023 season and carries significant momentum heading into 2024. The drive for a ninth title starts in Round 1 on the Streets of St. Petersburg, Fla., a 1.8-mile, 14-turn temporary circuit featuring city streets and a section of the Albert Whitted Airport’s runway, with long straights and heavy braking zones.

“While 2023 is in the rearview mirror, 2024 is a great opportunity for everyone at Chevrolet to drive towards our ninth engine manufacturer title, potentially our third-in-a-row in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES, said Mark Stielow, Director of Motorsports Competition Programs at General Motors. “We’re carrying positivity, talent, and momentum from our successful season last year with all our teams and drivers, and look forward to racing with new drivers, engineers, and team members as well.”

“St. Petersburg provides an excellent opportunity to kick the new season off successfully and provides a strong challenge with a field that’s ever-evolving competitively,” continued Stielow. “We’re looking forward to getting on track in St. Petersburg soon.”

Entering the weekend for the 200th race of Chevrolet’s V6 era, the Bowtie brand holds eight victories on the Streets of St. Pete as well as eight earned NTT P1 Pole Awards. Team Chevy has also scored 20 podiums and 684 laps led since 2012 at St. Petersburg and looks to return to Victory Lane this year.

Leading 23 of Chevrolet’s 61 laps in the 2023 event and finishing on the podium, Arrow McLaren’s Pato O’Ward, driver of the No. 5 for Team Chevy, notes of excitement heading into a new year.

“I’m always pumped to go back to St. Pete every year because that means we’re starting a new season,” said O’Ward. “It’s a track that I’ve had the pleasure of driving on multiple types of open wheel cars through the years and can’t wait to add another one to the books. The team and I are coming off a strong test in Sebring and are ready for the challenges that lie ahead this year.”

With a strong showing in 2022 that saw Team Penske and Chevrolet capture both the NTT P1 Pole Award and the St. Pete victory, and a solid race effort in 2023, Scott McLaughlin returns searching for his fifth career NTT INDYCAR SERIES win.

“I’m really excited to head to St. Pete for the first round of the season,” said McLaughlin. “2024 is going to be a really big year for the Thirsty 3s. I’m back to DEX Imaging’s home round at the Tampa region. St. Petersburg is awesome, and I just have really good vibes heading into it. We nearly won it; we nearly went two-for-two last year and were really close without the problem we had toward the end of last year’s race. I have a lot of confidence in my group and the DEX Imaging Chevrolet to make sure we can get to the front again and start the season off strong.”

The Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg kicks off with Practice 1 at 2:45 p.m. ET on Friday. Practice 2 starts at 9:35 a.m. ET on Saturday, with qualifying following at 2 p.m. ET. A final warm-up at 9:10 a.m. ET on Sunday will lead into the noon ET race start. All practice and qualifying will be live on Peacock, INDYCAR Radio, and SiriusXM Channel 160.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

Josef Newgarden, No. 2 Chevrolet at Team Penske:

“It has been a very long, very busy off-season. From the residual effect of winning the Indianapolis 500 to helping push the hybrid program forward, it has been nice to settle in and get ready for St. Pete over the last few weeks. I love starting the season down there. It has become one of the top events on our schedule. I couldn’t imagine starting the season anywhere else. Fans will get to see our beautiful No. 2 PPG Chevrolet this weekend too. Hopefully we can qualify well, stay up front and get another St. Pete win.”

Will Power, No. 12 Chevrolet at Team Penske:

“I really feel as ready for the start of the season as I have in a long time. It was a long off-season, but it has been anything but quiet with helping get the hybrid system into a good spot. Our test at Sebring last week was very strong. Chevy has done a lot of work to the current car while working on the hybrid, which is amazing. They’ve absolutely gone to work to improve the 2.2-liter product with an eye on the hybrid, which takes a lot of work. So, we’re all ready to get the No. 12 Verizon Business Chevy on track at a place I love in St. Pete.”

Callum Ilott, No. 6 Chevrolet at Arrow McLaren:

“It’s been a crazy schedule to make this all work, and I’m very grateful to finally be here and to make it happen. The Homestead test was very positive, and then we got the ball rolling again at the shop this week to get last minute preparations in. It’s going to be good, I think. I’m very impressed with the team and how they operate, and I’m excited to see what we can do. I had a good race last year at St. Pete and I’m coming off the back of a good race in Qatar in the World Endurance Championship, so the mindset is good. There’s a lot to discover and a lot to learn.”

*Note: Ilott is filling in for David Malukas in St. Petersburg who is currently recovering from a hand injury sustained off track.

Alexander Rossi, No. 7 Chevrolet at Arrow McLaren:

“I am so excited to get to St. Pete to kick off 2024. It has been a very long off-season, but at the same time, it has been incredibly productive. It is amazing to see how far we’ve come since the season opener last year, and we have a lot of confidence as an entire organization. As always, it’s important to start the year off with some positive momentum and that is exactly what we are looking to do this weekend. I can’t wait to see everyone at the track wearing papaya.”

Gavin Ward, Team Principal at Arrow McLaren:

“It’s been a long off-season, but we’re finally here. I’m excited to get down to St. Petersburg and compete with a really talented group that’s worked hard all winter to improve many of our processes. I think we’re in a really strong place and hopefully we can roll off the truck strong to, frankly, take care of some unfinished business here from last year. I couldn’t imagine a better group to go racing with, and I’m looking forward to getting this season started the right way.”

Christian Rasmussen, No. 20 Chevrolet at Ed Carpenter Racing:

“I am very excited to get back to racing! The anticipation has been extra big this year with the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg being my debut in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES! This has been my dream for many years now and I can’t wait to get started with Ed Carpenter Racing and Team Chevy!”

Rinus VeeKay, No. 21 Chevrolet at Ed Carpenter Racing:

“St. Pete is right around the corner! I am really excited to get the season going, it’s been a pretty quiet offseason for us with not many days of testing. We are ready to show the progress that we have made as a team and get started on the right foot! Of course, the car looks great in its new color thanks to askROI! Green has been a successful color for me, now to make that translate to the NTT INDYCAR SERIES!”

Santino Ferrucci, No. 14 Chevrolet at AJ Foyt Racing:

“Very much looking forward to another year with Chevrolet power and being part of AJ Foyt Racing. I think St. Pete can be a solid kickoff. Chevy has made some incredible improvements over the offseason. I think that showed in preseason testing and I’m excited to see what we can do during the race weekend.”

Sting Ray Robb, No. 41 Chevrolet at AJ Foyt Racing:

“St. Pete is a great place to kick off the start of the NTT INDYCAR season. I’m looking forward to heading back there with more experience and with a new team in AJ Foyt Racing. Joining Team Chevy is a welcome change as well, as it will be the first time in my career, I get to race the brand associated with my namesake. There’s a lot to look forward to.”

Romain Grosjean, No. 77 Chevrolet at Juncos Hollinger Racing:

“Looking forward to start the adventure for Juncos Hollinger Racing, after limited but positive testing, I am looking forward to going back to St Pete. I really like the race track, I’ve had some great memories there, and I’m looking forward to see what we can do with the car and the team, during the first race of the season. Very happy to get back to racing after a long time of non-IndyCar racing.”

Agustin Canapino, No. 78 Chevrolet at Juncos Hollinger Racing:

“We start a season with great enthusiasm to be able to continue our evolution, on a personal size and with the team. We finished in very good shape last season and the tests were also positive, the team has grown during the break and all of us who are part of it are in better shape. The objective will be to start this first race by adding as many points as possible, in an always very demanding circuit where anything can happen throughout the 100 laps.”

CHEVROLET IN ST. PETERSBURG:

Wins at the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg (since 2012): 8

2012 – Helio Castroneves

2013 – James Hinchcliffe

2014 – Will Power

2015 – Juan Pablo Montoya

2016 – Juan Pablo Montoya

2019 – Josef Newgarden

2020 – Josef Newgarden

2022 – Scott McLaughlin

Earned Pole Awards in St. Petersburg: 8

2012, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2019, 2020 – Will Power

2022 – Scott McLaughlin

Chevrolet Driver with the Most St. Petersburg Street Course Wins (since 2012): Juan Pablo Montoya (2015, 2016), and Josef Newgarden (2019, 2020) – 2

Chevrolet Driver with the Most St. Petersburg Street Course Pole Awards (since 2012): Will Power, 7 (2012, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2019, 2020)

Number of Team Chevy Podiums on the St. Petersburg Street Course (since 2012): 20

Number of laps led by Team Chevy on the St. Petersburg Street Course (since 2012): 684

GM PR