IPS: St. Pete: RLR/Andersen Racing preview

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., March 27 - RLR/Andersen Racing drivers Andrew Prendeville of Morristown, N.J. and Joey Scarallo of Smithtown, N.Y. are testing their Indy Pro Series cars at Homestead-Miami Speedway today (Tuesday) in preparation for a ...

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., March 27 - RLR/Andersen Racing drivers Andrew Prendeville of Morristown, N.J. and Joey Scarallo of Smithtown, N.Y. are testing their Indy Pro Series cars at Homestead-Miami Speedway today (Tuesday) in preparation for a doubleheader on the street circuit in St. Petersburg on Saturday and Sunday as part of the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

It's a very important weekend for all the Indy Pro Series teams since so many points are up for grabs. It is one of four doubleheaders in the 16-race season. The other three are at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway June 16-17; Watkins Glen, N.Y. July 7-8; and Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif. Aug. 25-26.

Although neither Prendeville nor Scarallo have raced on St. Petersburg's 14-turn, 1.8-mile temporary street circuit before, they do have ties to the area. Andersen Racing's Indy Pro Series engineers are two brothers, Dominic and Nicholas Cape of Manchester, England, who have been based in Palmetto, Fla., about 20 miles from St. Petersburg, for several years. Their shop is located at Group Four Park, an 18-acre facility that includes a 1-mile test track. Although Andersen Racing is based in Fairfield, N.J., its Indy Pro Series cars are physically located at the Cape's shop at Group Four Park between races. Insiders will remember that the Capes fielded the car that took JR Hildebrand to the Cooper Tires Formula Ford 2000 championship last year.

Another interesting note concerns who painted Prendeville's No. 5 Dallara, which promotes the Best Friends Animal Society, and Scarallo's No. 15 Dallara, which touts GroupAWheels.com. It was none other than Kevin Greeno, who had a whole other life as a professional wrestler. In the eighties he was better known as one-half of the wrestling team The Sensations, and later in his wrestling career he went by the name Mr. America. Greeno also paints the retaining walls for the street course at St. Petersburg, which utilizes several public streets, including stretches of First Street South, Central Avenue and Bay Shore Drive, and a runway at Albert Whitted Airport.

Both Prendeville and Scarallo have visited the St. Petersburg area many times in the past. Scarallo even has family there.

"My grandmother lives down there, and I have a few uncles who live there, and they'll be out to watch," Scarallo said. "My grandmother only saw me race one other time; Montreal in a Trans-Am race. We finished fifth. My uncles and cousins have never seen me race."

Prendeville and Scarallo are two of 15 rookies entered in the fields of 25. Their first Indy Pro Series race ever was last Saturday at Homestead. Prendeville came from 21st starting spot to finish fifth in his first oval-track race ever. Scarallo was also headed for a top-10 finish until debris from the accident that shortened the race hit his car. Luckily he wasn't hurt.

Tomorrow night (Wednesday) both drivers are slated to be two of Don Kay's guests on his Autosport Radio show, which can be heard live on the Internet at autosportradio.com by clicking on the top right of the home page. It will be streaming live from Dino's Jazz Bar and Grill, 16 Second St. North in St. Petersburg, beginning at 7 p.m. EDT. Dino's is part of Janis Landing in downtown St. Petersburg.

-credit: rlr/andersen racing

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Indy Lights