The end that was the beginning is the end for the NTT IndyCar Series, whose 2020 schedule ends this weekend on the streets of St. Petersburg.
The Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg was slated to start the season March 15 before the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic struck, postponing the traditional season opener by more than seven months.
Sunday’s 100-lap race on the 14-turn, 1.8-mile temporary circuit will be the 14th and final race of the 2020 season (originally slated for 17 races). It’s also the first time in two months that IndyCar won’t be holding races on consecutive days (after weekend doubleheaders at World Wide Technology Raceway, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course).
For the 15th consecutive season, the IndyCar championship will be determined in the finale as five-time defending champion Scott Dixon enters with a 32-point lead over two-time and defending series champion Josef Newgarden.
In addition to the NTT IndyCar Series, the USF2000, Indy Pro 2000 and MX-5 Cup also will be racing at St. Pete, which has been approved for a crowd of 20,000 fans.
Here’s the IndyCar weekend schedule for the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg:
(All times are Eastern)
IndyCar weekend schedule: Friday, Oct. 23
11:05-11:35 a.m. — USF2000 practice
11:55 a.m.-12:25 p.m. — Indy Pro 2000 practice
2:35-3:05 p.m. — USF2000 qualifying, Race 1
3:25-3:55 p.m. — Indy Pro 2000 qualifying, Race 1
IndyCar weekend schedule: Saturday, Oct. 24
9:30-9:50 a.m. — USF2000 qualifying, Race 2
10:10-10:30 a.m. — Indy Pro 2000 qualifying, Race 2
10:55 a.m.-12:25 p.m. — IndyCar practice (NBC Sports Gold)
3:05-4:20 p.m. — IndyCar qualifying (NBC Sports Gold)
4:40-5:25 p.m. — USF2000, Race 1
5:35-6:15 p.m. — Indy Pro 2000, Race 1
IndyCar weekend schedule: Sunday, Oct. 25
9:30-10:15 a.m. — USF2000, Race 2
10:40-11:10 a.m. — IndyCar warmup (NBC Sports Gold)
11:30 a.m.-12:20 p.m. — Indy Pro 2000, Race 2
2:30 p.m. — IndyCar Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg (NBC, NBCSports.com, NBC Sports App)