The 2012 championship team with their title holder Hunter-Reay aim for the first victory of 2013 in the IZOD IndyCar Series race in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Ryan Hunter-Reay, No. 1 DHL Chevrolet
Hunter-Reay, the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series champion, will begin his quest to defend the No. 1 when he takes the green flag on the streets of St. Pete this Sunday. This will be Hunter-Reays sixth start in St. Pete where he has recorded two podium finishes (third in 2012, second in 2009).
Did You Know: Ryan and his wife Beccy welcomed their fist born during the off season. A son, Ryden Hunter-Reay, was born on December 28. A date very fitting for the RHRs.
E.J. Viso, No. 5 Team Venezuela PDVSA CITGO Chevrolet
Viso's best finish at the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg occurred his first year in the IZOD IndyCar series when he finished fourth in 2008.
"This year I'm going to start with a different approach. I believe that off the bat I'm already coming with a strong lineup of partners, not only at the track, but off the track, that I will be adding to my program. I'm definitely excited about working with Andretti Autosport and working with the three drivers that they have been working with for a time that they have created a good energy and good atmosphere, which I'm willing to add to and be a part of. St. Pete is one of my favorite tracks - I really like it. It's a track where, as a driver, you can really drive it. I believe it's going to be a really fun year."
Did You Know: This is E.J.'s sixth season in the IZOD IndyCar series and first with Andretti Autosport.
Marco Andretti, No. 25 RC Cola Chevrolet
Andretti made his 100th career start in the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in March 2012. He is no stranger to the streets of St. Pete as this will be his eighth start on the 14-turn temporary street-circuit.
"I love the setting and the atmosphere of St. Pete, and being the first race it really sets the tone for the season. I am looking to start off strong with the RC Cola Chevy."
Did You Know: Marco runs an average of 26 miles per week while training in the off season.
James Hinchcliffe, No. 27 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet
This will only be Hinchcliffe's second start on the streets of St. Petersburg despite being his third year in the series. He missed the race during his rookie year as his sponsorship for that season came together later. The Canadian-native started and finished in the fourth position in the 2012 Grand Prix of St. Pete.
"I'm definitely looking forward to finally just getting to St. Pete! It's been such a long off season that the first race simply can't come soon enough. We had a strong result there last year with the Go Daddy Chevy and with the work the team has done through the winter hopefully we're going to be even stronger. It's the first race of any kind - you obviously can't test on street circuits so nobody quite knows where anybody stacks up. It will be interesting to see on Friday where we stand. More than anything I love that event; I love that that's where we open the season. It's such a cool city, such a cool track and we just want to get back to racing."
Did You Know: Hinchcliffe spent the day Tuesday at batting practice with the Toronto Blue Jays during their spring training in Dunedin, Florida.