St. Pete I: Andrew Prendeville race notes

Prendeville Finishes All 40 Laps Saturday at St. Pete For Racing Laps for Best Friends ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., April 5 - Forty was the magic number for Andrew Prendeville Saturday during the first of two Firestone Indy Lights races that are part...

Prendeville Finishes All 40 Laps Saturday at St. Pete For Racing Laps for Best Friends

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., April 5 - Forty was the magic number for Andrew Prendeville Saturday during the first of two Firestone Indy Lights races that are part of the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. His first goal was to finish all 40 laps of Saturday's race with his Best Friends Animal Society No. 5. He did just that, guaranteeing the most donations possible to Best Friends by the fans that made donations through racinglapsforbestfriends.com; at Thursday's PetStop at the Tampa Bay SPCA; or at the Racing Laps for Best Friends booth in the parking garage next to Mchaffey Theater and adjacent to the 1.8-mile street course.

Prendeville started eighth Saturday afternoon and advanced two positions on lap one. He stayed in sixth place until Arie Luyendyk Jr. passed him with two laps to go, and ended up seventh at the checkered in the 23-driver field.

Passing is hard on street courses, and there were only three yellows to tighten up the field for restarts. The walls are also very close to the track surface and it's easy to get in trouble, but Prendeville kept his car under control throughout the race despite difficult conditions.

"It was a bit like driving on ice, and we're not really sure why," Prendeville said afterwards. "We had a good enough finish to move up in the points. We need to improve for tomorrow, but we got valuable points while others may have fallen back. We also finished all the laps, and we thank everyone who made donations to Best Friends."

The top four finishers from Saturday's race were inverted for the starting line-up for Sunday's race, with the rest of the field following as they finished on Saturday. That means Prendeville will start seventh tomorrow, beside Cyndie Allemann in Row 4.

Tomorrow's action starts with a 10-minute warm-up session at 8:05 a.m. followed by the second 40-lap race at 10:45 a.m. Both races will be covered live on indyracing.com. They'll also air on ESPN2 at 2 p.m. Eastern time on April 10.

Fans can make their pledges for Sunday's St. Petersburg race and the other events remaining on the schedule at racinglapsforbestfriends.com. Bertil Roos Racing School raffle tickets can be purchased on that Web site too. Additional information is available at bestfriends.org and andrewprendeville.com.

-credit: restart communications

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Series INDYLIGHTS