Chip Ganassi Racing’s six-time NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion Scott Dixon, driver of the No.9 PNC Bank Honda heads into the 2023 season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St Petersburg presented by RP Funding eager to take victory at a track that has eluded him over the course of his 23 seasons.
The Iceman returns to Chip Gansssi Racing for his 22nd season with the team which is the longest partnership in the team’s history.
Dixon has 53 career wins to his name and is second only to the legendary AJ Foyt in the all-time winners list, AJ has 67.
Looking ahead to the start of the season, Dixon said:
Start of the season; Everybody is excited. It’s definitely one of the best places to kick off the season, especially after a long winter. For us as a team, it’s been a great track for us but with some highs and lows for sure. Last year, we were the leader of the three-stop group and it didn’t work out, but we had great pace. Alex finished second on the podium, which was big. We’ll definitely be trying to get a better result for this season, but ultimately, it’s a track I love to go to and it provides great racing.”
Defending Indianapolis 500 winner Marcus Ericsson in the No.8 Huski Chocolate Honda is aiming to build on his strongest season to date in 2022 and looking ahead to this weekend’s race in St Pete the Swede said:
It’s always exciting going down to St. Petersburg. It’s a highlight of the season for me to kick things off there. This is a track I really like and it’s quite technical, especially the middle section between turn four and nine. As a team, we’ll go there with high expectations. We had a good test at Thermal a couple weeks ago and feel that we’ve improved our package over the winter. We’re very excited to see how things work compared to our competition. I’m excited for this INDYCAR season; With 27 full-time cars on the grid, it will be amazing.”
Alex Palou in the No.10 American Legion Honda is looking forward to the upcoming season with the Spaniard once again hoping to be in the title hunt.
Speaking ahead of the race in St Pete, Palou said:
Here we are in St. Pete with warm weather, as always. We are hoping to start as we finished last year. I’m really, really looking forward to this year. I think we have an amazing opportunity to try and get the championship again and have a great year in front of us. We’ll have the same team as last year with Ricky Davis, Julian Robertson and great teammates. Looking forward to it and we’ll see you out on the track
Rookie Marcus Armstrong will make history this weekend in St Petersburg as he becomes the Chip Ganassi Racing driver to pilot the No.11 Honda and speaking ahead of the start of the season, the New Zealander who will compete in road and street course events in the No.11 Ridgeline Lubricants Honda commented saying:
First race weekend here in INDYCAR, and it is a special feeling. I am very excited but for whatever reason, I’m not really nervous. I feel like Chip Ganassi Racing and our engineers have been on top of it, so I’m carefree at the moment. I’m just looking forward to being in the seat and pushing as hard as I can. It’s a new circuit for me and I’m still learning the car, but I feel very confident and love street circuits. I have not been to St. Petersburg before, but by all accounts it’s an awesome circuit and I’ve always bonded very well with these races. Let’s push hard and see what we can get.”