Thursday, March 30, 2023

Scott Dixon Leads Opening IndyCar Practice at St. Petersburg

Scott Dixon looks into the distance.
Scott Dixon looks into the distance. Photo courtesy of James Black/Penske Entertainment.

ST. PETERSBURG, FL — A hectic opening practice session for the 2023 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg ended with Scott Dixon leading the 27-car NTT IndyCar Series field.

The No. 9 Chip Ganassi Racing Honda turned a fastest lap of 1 minute, 1.6145 seconds to average 105.170 mph around the 14-turn, 1.8 mile street circuit.

The session had several interruptions due to spins or contact. The first red flag in the session was due to a spin and slight wall contact from Benjamin Pedersen in the No. 55 A. J. Foyt Racing Chevrolet.

IndyCar race control threw another red flag 10 minutes later to inspect a manhole potentially coming up off of the track surface exiting Turn 3. IndyCar race control added another six minutes and 12 seconds to the session to make up for the time lost.

Another red flag greeted competitors after Simon Pagenaud spun the No. 60 Meyer Shank Racing Honda in the Turn 4 runoff. Following this incident, race control started utilizing waved yellow flags so safety crew members could restart stalled cars in runoff areas. That procedure worked and was repeated as the session continued.

Several drivers had wall contact but all drivers were able to continue after changing damaged suspension pieces.


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