IRL St. Pete race in jeopardy?

UPDATE According to our St. Pete source this rumor is 'false' and the race is definitely on for March 31st to April 2nd. 11/26/05 We are hearing from various sources that the IRL season opener in St. Petersburg, Florida could be in jeopardy. We are told that the race was a loss to Honda to the tune of $6.5 million in 2005 and with Honda being asked to now supply the entire grid for the IRL in 2006, a year earlier than planned, they may not be able to sponsor the race again. We hear that either the IRL or Andretti Green recently went to the city asking for money and were told no.

We hear the promoter only sold around 5,000 tickets to fans in 2005, the rest being bought by Honda, Marlboro, GM and Firestone and given away to fans as promotional items.

And to add fuel to this rumor's fire, the St. Petersburg Grand Prix website has disappeared including any links to it from the IRL website. Perhaps the race will proceed as planned, but the rumor mill is beginning to churn.

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