By: Spencer Neff
May 13, 2020 | 6:24 PM
Amidst all the changes for the 2020 NTT IndyCar Schedule, the question of the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg’s place had remained. On Wednesday afternoon, that question was answered. On October 23-25, the NTT IndyCar Series will close out the season in Florida.
Following the cancellation of its March 13-15 date amidst the novel coronavirus pandemic, the 1.8-mile, 10-turn temporary street circuit was left off the schedule for the first time since 2004.
Rescheduling brings finale
On March 26, a shakeup of the 2020 calendar brought St. Petersburg back into the fold. Among several noteworthy changes, the race was confirmed as the 2020 season finale for IndyCar and all three Road to Indy Series. Today, that was confirmed with the announcement of its October date.
With the announcement, it will mark the first time since the 2003 ChampCar World Series that the season ends on a temporary street circuit.
Additionally, St. Petersburg is expected to kick off the 2021 season next March. It will be the first time since 1982-83 that the same track hosted a season finale and the following season’s opener. The previous instance, Phoenix Raceway did so for CART.
What They’re Saying
“The streets of St. Petersburg will make for a fitting and action-packed finale in a venue and city that our entire INDYCAR community holds dear,” Penske Entertainment Corp. President and CEO Mark Miles said in today’s release.
“We extend our thanks and gratitude to Mayor Kriseman, Green Savoree and Firestone for working with us to find a new date for the event. It’s going to be a fantastic weekend of INDYCAR action, and I know our drivers will have race day in St. Pete circled on their calendars.”
For their part, St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman and Bridgestone Americas Director of Motorsports Lisa Boggs offered similar sentiments.
“The City of St. Petersburg stands ready to welcome back the fans of INDYCAR, drivers, teams, and sponsors in October,” said Kriseman.
“I want to thank our partners at Green Savoree Racing Promotions for believing in this race and giving the residents of the Sunshine City something to look forward to. I am confident that the race will occur in a manner that puts public health at the forefront.”
“We greatly appreciate the efforts of Green Savoree Racing Promotions, INDYCAR, Mayor Kriseman and the City of St. Petersburg to find a new date for the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg,” Boggs expressed.
“Coming back to the streets of St. Pete to close the 2020 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season is a great way to thank the incredible fans in this area for their support. While we couldn’t kick off the season with them as planned, we now look forward to crowning the 2020 INDYCAR champion together in October.”
Like much of the world, Green Savoree Promotions has been profoundly impacted by the global pandemic. Needless to say, today’s developments offered a glimmer of hope for Green Savoree St. Petersburg, LLC (GSSP).
“Having a rescheduled date for the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg is a very positive development,” said Kim Green, co-owner, chairman and CEO of GSSP, organizers of the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.
“This could only happen because of our partners’ commitment and support at City of St. Petersburg, INDYCAR and Firestone. We hope this offers both Floridians and our race fans something to look forward to later this year as we navigate through these unprecedented times for us all.”
Following a situation that provided for several changes of course in such a short period of time in march, co-owner, president and COO of GSSP Kevin Savoree offered garaitutde to everyone who helped make the new date possible.
“Thank you to our fans for their patience and understanding as we’ve worked through this process with Mayor Kriseman, City Council, the City of St. Petersburg’s event team, INDYCAR and Firestone. It’s been a terrific team effort by all, and we appreciate the opportunity to host the event again this fall in one of the most fantastic settings in downtown St. Petersburg.”
On June 6, the 15-round 2020 NTT IndyCar Series will begin with the Genesys 300 at Texas Motor Speedway.
Header Image By Chris Owens/INDYCAR