St. Pete: Andretti Autosport preview



* A former Firestone Indy Lights race winner at St. Petersburg (2005), Andretti also has one front-row start and one top-five finish (fourth) in an IZOD IndyCar Series car, both coming in 2007.

"I have high hopes for Team Venom Energy this weekend. I've always enjoyed the St. Pete circuit and I won there in Firestone Indy Lights so I'm confident that we can be successful. I was really pleased with our car in Brazil and, had we been able to race, I really do believe we would have been a contender at the finish. The team as a whole had strong cars and some bad luck, but I think Ryan's finish was a great energy boost for everyone. It was our first race as the new team and we were able to show that we have four cars and four drivers capable of running up front."


* Coming off a second-place finish at the March 14th season-opener in Sao Paulo and is looking to build on last year's runner-up finish at St. Petersburg.

"St. Petersburg is one on my favorite events of the year for a number of reasons. Most importantly, I love the track layout which makes for some great racing. The Tampa/St. Pete area is exactly my speed and it's only a three-hour drive from home in Ft. Lauderdale, so it's pretty much a home race to kick off the U.S. races. This will be my fourth St. Pete event and each time I find myself getting closer and closer to the front. After finishing a close-second last year we have our sights set on winning.

"Brazil was a great result for the IZOD team. Obviously, we feel it was a win that got away, so we are extremely determined to grab our first win together in St. Pete. The IZOD guys did a fantastic job in the pits and proved it by winning the pit crew challenge. We just need to go into St. Pete with the same mindset as Brazil and just concentrate on doing a consistent and solid job all weekend."


* Stands as the only driver in the IZOD IndyCar Series to complete every lap of competition at St. Petersburg during the series' five trips to the temporary downtown street circuit.

"The race in Sao Paulo gave us all a reason to feel like we are headed in the right direction. It's hard for me to say that I had a car capable of winning, but we were certainly going to at least have something to say about it at the end. Team 7-Eleven just needs a little better luck and maybe that will go in our favor this weekend at St. Pete."


* Posted a run of three-straight top-10 finishes at St. Petersburg (2006-2008) until contact from another car sidelined her early in last year's event.

"It's always nice to come back to a track at which you've competed before. I'm especially looking forward to returning to St. Petersburg, because it's such an exciting atmosphere. There's always a huge crowd and the fans know so much about the IZOD IndyCar Series. Plus, Tim Ramsberger and his team do a fantastic job promoting and executing the race. It really has become a world-class event. With everything that I've been doing thus far in 2010, I think it will be great to get back to a place with which I'm familiar. Hopefully, we can get the car off to a good start Friday and build on it from there."

-source: andretti autosport

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Series IndyCar
Teams Andretti Autosport