Andretti Global Chief Operations Officer Rob Edwards says that it was a disappointing day at the 2024 NTT INDYCAR SERIES opening race of the year, the Firestone Grand Prix of St Petersburg, presented by RP Funding.

“It was a disappointing day in some ways because we obviously came here to win and street courses are our specialty. However, it was still a strong finish for Colton in the Gainbridge Honda. Yellows just seemed to come out at the wrong time, and we were vulnerable on the tires compared to the guys on alternate tires around us. It was a challenging race for Kyle, and he couldn’t make any ground up through the field. Marcus dealt with a mechanical issue, so we’ll have to take a look and work through it. We’re excited to take what we have learned from here and see what we can do at Long Beach which is one of our favorite tracks.”

Colton Herta in the No.26 Gainbridge Honda started the race from fourth place and came home in fifth and speaking following the action he commented saying:

“We just wrapped up the weekend here in St. Pete finishing fifth. It was a decent day and definitely gives us something to build off of through the rest of the season. I’m really happy with how the Gainbridge Honda performed today. It was super fast and we kept a good pace. Overall, I’m feeling good with how this weekend went for us, and hopefully, we can improve a little more at the next race. I’m glad we started the season this way.”

Kyle Kirkwood in the No.27 AutoNation Honda started the race from 17th place and came home in 12th place and speaking following the 100-lap race he commented saying:

“It was an okay race for us. To be honest, it was extremely hard to pass. Very little degredation across either set of tires, so everyone was just stuck on the same strategy and not able to do much. The only excitement that we had was on a pit sequence, which didn’t work out for us whatsoever. Unfortunately, the leader [Newgarden] came out in front of us when we were still on an in-lap and held us up massively. We spent multiple seconds on that exchange and it cost us massively. We should’ve been right behind Palou, who ended up sixth. We should’ve been in the top 10, even knocking on the top five, but it was literally the matter of that one lap that cost us a stronger finish. Overall though, the No. 27 AutoNation Honda was really fast the entire race – you just can’t pass out there. At least this year we weren’t five feet in the air, so that’s the positive we’re going to take away from it. We raced clean and the car was fast, we’ll just capitalize that for Long Beach.”

Marcus Ericsson in the No.28 Delaware Life Honda was classified in 25th place having been forced to retire from the race with a mechanical issue and speaking following the action he commented saying:

“Having an issue out of our control take us out of the race was a disappointing way to end the weekend. We were having a really solid weekend and I think that the Delaware Life Honda was working really well. We had a strong qualifying, reaching the Firestone Fast Six, and then a solid race running in the top six. I’m disappointed to go out how we did at our first race, but we will regroup and bring all the positives as we advance because there were a lot of them this weekend. We’ll come back strong for Thermal.”

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