A quick update on the craziness that was today’s race in St. Petersburg. We knew all weekend that the weather would be a bit sketchy for the race, but we had no idea it would be that bad! There was a huge thunderstorm cell hanging out in the Gulf just of St. Pete and it was headed on shore. With all the guess work on weather calls, who knew when it would hit the race track area! Still, we had to prepare for both wet and dry and then see how it shook out. As we rolled out to start the race, the skies were dark and it was starting to sprinkle. But the rain wasn’t hard enough to make us stop for wets, or even slow our speeds. I had a good solid start and after avoiding a spearing Philip Major, I was fourth after the first corner (up from my 7th starting spot). Then after a full course caution to clean up a couple of crashes, it was raining harder. The track was pretty slippery and Sebastien Saavedra ahead of me was tip- toeing around. His super slow pace caught me by surprise and we made light contact in Turn 4. There wasn’t damage to either of our cars, and we both continued although we (and my teammate) were delayed and I slid down the order to 10th. Then, the rain was heavy enough that the series red flagged it and allowed everyone to change to wet tires. We struggled a bit with the set up on wets, but I really focused on keeping off the walls and the car in one piece. It was a smart strategy as I passed a couple of cars up to 8th and then picked off 2 more as they slid wide and spun. After a yellow for Saavedra in the wall (one more spot), I had one last chance to move up. I got held up behind a backmarker and couldn’t make in roads into the front four. However as we finished our 60 minute race, I moved up one more spot to 4th place!! Summerton had spun into the wall just before the last corner on the last lap. After our checkered flag, the true deluge started and they had to evacuate the stands because of rain, lightning and wind!!!
I promise to get a full report of the weekend from media interviews to hospital visits and the on-track activities (Pace Car Team included!) soon. Like hopefully tomorrow while I watch the postponed Indy Car race!