School will be back in session for the NTT IndyCar Series’ vaunted rookie class Sunday — here are the important start times and stats for the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.
The freshman trio of Jimmie Johnson, Romain Grosjean and Scott McLaughlin will be in the 24-driver field, but it’ll be the second career start for McLaughlin. The three-time Supercars champion made his IndyCar debut on the 1.8-mile street course with Team Penske last October, finishing 22nd in a crash.
This is the 17th consecutive year that St. Petersburg’s downtown circuit has played host to IndyCar. Josef Newgarden has won the past two events, joining WIll Power (2010, ’14), Sebastien Bourdais (2017-18), Helio Castroneves (2006, ’07, ’12) and Juan Pablo Montoya (2015-16) as multiple winners.
Newgarden was fastest in the first practice Friday ahead of Will Power and Colton Herta.
Here are the details and IndyCar start times for the Firestone Indy Grand Prix of St. Petersburg (all times are ET):
Firestone Indy Grand Prix of St. Petersburg
TV: Noon, NBC (and streaming on the NBC Sports App and NBCSports.com); Leigh Diffey is the lead announcer for IndyCar on NBC with analysts Townsend Bell and Paul Tracy.
COMMAND TO START ENGINES: 12:35 p.m.
GREEN FLAG: 12:42 p.m.
DISTANCE: The race is 100 laps (181 miles) on a 14-turn, 1.8-mile street course east in downtown St. Petersburg, Florida.
TIRE ALLOTMENT: Six sets primary, four sets alternate. One additional set is available to rookie drivers for use in the Friday afternoon practice session.
PUSH TO PASS: 150 seconds of total time with a maximum time of 15 seconds per activation. The push-to-pass is not available on the initial start or any restart unless it occurs in the final two laps or three minutes of a timed race. The feature increases the power of the engine by approximately 60 horsepower
FORECAST: According to Wunderground.com, it’s expected to be 79 degrees with a 24% chance of rain at the green flag.
PRACTICE: 9:45-10:30 a.m. ET Saturday, live on Peacock Premium
WARMUP: 9:05-9:35 a.m. ET Sunday, live on Peacock Premium
QUALIFYING: 1:45 p.m. ET Saturday, live on Peacock Premium; tape delay on NBCSN at 10 p.m.
Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg race day schedule
8-8:40 a.m.: Indy Pro 2000, Race 2
9:05-9:35 a.m.: IndyCar warmup, Peacock Premium
10-10:50 a.m.: Indy Lights, Race 2
11:05-11:35 a.m.: Stadium Super Trucks, Race 2
Noon: Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg (100 laps / 181 miles), NBC
12:35 p.m.: Command to start engines
12:42 p.m.: Green flag
COVERAGE ON NBCSPORTS.COM:
JIMMIE INDYCAR WATCH, RACE 1: A 19th at Barber Motorsports Park