Race Report: Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. March 30, 2014—A disappointing finish. Such is the mindset of the ABC Supply/AJ Foyt Racing team that a top-10 finish in the Verizon IndyCar Series no longer ranks as a good day. Takuma Sato, who won the Verizon P1 award with the No. 14 ABC Supply Honda, finished seventh in the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.
“In the end it was a very tough day today,” Sato said. “The start off the line was good and I got into a nice rhythm the first stint but it looks like we didn’t have enough speed on the second and third set of tires—we struggled a bit to get the balance right. We had a little issue with the pit stop as well, lost a couple places. I tried hard but it was difficult to gain positions on the track today. Overall, I think after such a great qualifying, it’s a disappointing finish. At least the team fought really hard and it was a good job for the weekend and we brought home some points.”
Will Power won the race while Ryan Hunter Reay finished second. Third through fifth were Helio Castroneves, Scott Dixon and Simon Pagenaud.
Sato and the entire ABC Supply team had been fast the first two days on the 1.8-mile street course, and topped qualifying to win the pole—Sato’s fourth and the team’s 44th. They were fast at the start of the 110-lap race as Sato leapt ahead of row-mate Tony Kanaan to easily take the lead into Turn-1 and extend it to nearly six seconds by the time of his first pit stop.