Sarah Fischer Hartman Racing press release
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., March 24, 2012 – Rookie Josef Newgarden qualified 19th out of 26 cars for Sunday’s Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. Newgarden was building speed in the No. 67 Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone car when time ran out in his 15-minute session of knock-out style qualifying.
“I thought we did a good job, but obviously it wasn’t good enough for what we’re trying to achieve,” Newgarden said. “I think we’re learning, and that’s the biggest thing that I can say right now. We learned a lot from the session and how the strategy needs to play out.”
Sunday’s race will mark Newgarden’s IZOD IndyCar Series debut. He finished a strong eighth in the final practice session before qualifying, and his team will build from that strong result on race day.
“We know where we’re at, and I think we’re in a good position for the race tomorrow,” Newgarden said.
Will Power qualified on pole position with an IZOD IndyCar Series circuit-qualifying lap record of 1:01.3721 seconds. This marks the third consecutive year that Power has started the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg from pole position.
Ryan Briscoe, Ryan Hunter-Reay, James Hinchcliffe and Helio Castroneves claimed the remaining top five qualifying positions. The 2011 Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg winner, Dario Franchitti, will start the race from ninth position.
The Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg will air live Sunday, March 25, on ABC beginning with coverage at 12:30 p.m. ET. Coverage of the race by the IMS Radio Network can also be heard on Sirius XM Radio channel 94 or through local radio affiliates.
• Josef Newgarden served as a guest commentator for the Firestone Indy Lights race at the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on Saturday, March 24. Alongside Mike King and Jon Beekhuis, Newgarden provided insight to a race that he won just one year ago. Catch the broadcast on NBC Sports Network (formerly Versus) at 5 p.m. ET on March 29, 2012.
• Will beginner’s good fortune strike again for Josef Newgarden? Newgarden won the 2011 Firestone Indy Lights race at the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, which was his debut in that series. He went on to win the 2011 Firestone Indy Lights championship.