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DATE News (chronologically)
03/27/11
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Newgarden wins St. Pete Indy Lights opener
Josef Newgarden, who started third in the No. 11 Robo-Pong/Sam Schmidt Motorsports car, led teammate Conor Daly across the finish line by 0.8552 of a second to win in his Firestone Indy Lights debut.

Peter Dempsey, who started fifth but jump to the point for the first 11 laps in the No. Pulse/O2 Racing car, finished third and David Ostella advanced seven positions to finish fourth in the No. 16 Global Precast Team Jensen entry.

Anders Krohn moved up two positions to finish sixth in the No. 9 Liberty Engineering Special for Belardi Auto Racing.

Polesitter Esteban Guerrieri, driving the No. 7 Lucas Oil/Sam Schmidt Motorsports car, who ran second to Newgarden from Laps 12-43, dropped to seventh as he was forced wide in Turn 1 on the second of two restarts in the 45-lap race.

Results Sunday of the Grand Prix of St Petersburg Firestone Indy Lights Series event on the 1.8 mile St Petersburg Street Circuit, with order of finish, starting position in parentheses, driver, laps completed and reason out (if any):

1.  (3) Josef Newgarden,  45, Running
2.  (2) Conor Daly,  45, Running
3.  (5) Peter Dempsey,  45, Running
4.  (11) David Ostella,  45, Running
5.  (8) Anders Krohn,  45, Running
6.  (1) Esteban Guerrieri,  45, Running
7.  (16) Mikael Grenier,  45, Running
8.  (14) Duarte Ferreira,  45, Running
9.  (12) Victor Carbone,  45, Running
10.  (10) James Winslow,  44, Running
11.  (15) Jorge Goncalvez,  44, Running
12.  (13) Juan Pablo Garcia,  44, Running
13.  (9) Joel Miller,  40, Contact
14.  (6) Gustavo Yacaman,  37, Contact
15.  (7) Victor Garcia,  37, Running
16.  (4) Stefan Wilson,  22, Running

Race Statistics
Winners average speed:  86.502
Time of Race: 00:56:11.0037
Margin of victory: 1
Cautions: 1 for 5 laps
Lead changes: 1 among 2 drivers
Lap Leaders: Dempsey 1-11, Newgarden 12-45
Points: Newgarden 52, Daly 40, Dempsey 35, Ostella 32, Krohn 30, Guerrieri 29, Grenier 26, Ferriera 24, Carbone 22, Winslow 20, Goncalvez 19, JP Garcia 18, Miller 17, Yacaman 16, V. Garcia 15, Wilson 14.

POST-RACE QUOTES:

JOSEF NEWGARDEN (No. 11 Robo-Pong Sam Schmidt Motorsports, winner St. Petersburg Grand Prix): "It is great to race here again and a good day for Sam Schmidt Motorsports. We had really fast race cars and were running 1-2-3 until that restart. Unfortunately on that initial start I was just in the wrong gear. It was my mistake, and next time I will be able to learn from it. It was unfortunate for us there, but it is also good to know that we can make passes happen in this car. It was a valuable experience for me if I ever have to get into a dog fight situation again. The last restart was epic and Esteban went straight down the inside and he saw I was coming and he was trying to make a move on Josef as well. I could tell that it was basically an ice rink on the inside of the track as there was dust flying everywhere. Me and Josef haven't raced together since 2008 and we always seem to end up together on the podium as 1-2 one way or another. It was a great day for the entire Mazda Road to Indy Team.

CONOR DALY (No. 77 Mazda Road to Indy/Sam Schmidt Motorsports, finished second): "It is great to race here again and a good day for Sam Schmidt Motorsports. We had really fast race cars and were running 1-2-3 until that restart. Unfortunately on that initial start I was just in the wrong gear. It was my mistake, and next time I will be able to learn from it. It was unfortunate for us there, but it is also good to know that we can make passes happen in this car. It was a valuable experience for me if I ever have to get into a dog fight situation again.  The last restart was epic and Esteban went straight down the inside and he saw I was coming and he was trying to make a move on Josef as well. I could tell that it was basically an ice rink on the inside of the track as there was dust flying everywhere. Me and Josef haven't raced together since 2008 and we always seem to end up together on the podium as 1-2 one way or another. It was a great day for the entire Mazda Road to Indy Team.

PETER DEMPSEY: (Pulse/O2 Racing, finished third): "I got a fantastic start, it was a first-ever roll-in start, I thought once I get inside hopefully these top three cars would run a bit fast and try to chase each other and they did.  I led for the first 10-15 laps and the tires let off a little bit.  I knew in the restart I had a chance for the podium if they [the team] fought and they did fight quite hard and they got a podium out of it.  I want to thank the guys of the number 36 Pulse car for giving me the opportunity to do it and O2 Racing.  I think it's probably their first podium at Indy Lights  - at their first real race.  It's a great start for the season and hopefully it leads on to a few more podiums.I only had two test days in the car.  I was aiming for the top five but to come out with a podium is just…I couldn't ask for anything more.

DAVID OSTELLA (No. 16 Global Precast Team Jensen): "I feel incredible. My first race ever in Firestone Indy Lights and I can't say how great this was. It was the first time with the rolling start and I did pretty good. I was a little nervous, but I just jumped up from I don't know where to the top five. It was awesome."

ANDERS KROHN (No. 9 Liberty Engineering Racing Special): "It was a hectic race to say the least; a lot of bumping on the restart. Today was all about capitalizing on the mistakes of others. Top five in Belardi's first-ever Firestone Indy Lights race is not bad."

ESTEBAN GUERRIERI (No. 7 Lucas Oil/Sam Schmidt Motorsports): It was a really good race until the last two laps. We were lapping great, really consistent. I didn't want to make any mistakes. I was trying to push on the restart and we got to the first corner very close with other cars and I missed my braking point a little bit. That was my mistake. I went wide and got picked off. But, in the end, it's an official race and e go for the next one."

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