Who Wins Sunday’s 2023 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Pete (12 p.m. ET, NBC, INDYCAR Radio Network)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla — 2 practice sessions down. So is qualifying to set the field for Sunday’s NTT INDYCAR Series season opener. The question now is, who wins the 2023 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Pete (12 p.m. ET, NBC, INDYCAR Radio Network)?

More: 5 things I’m watching for Sunday’s Firestone Grand Prix of St. Pete

Well, they’ll likely come from the top 10 starters. 16 of the last 18 years has the race winner started from the top 5 Rows. That leaves then: Romain Grosjean, Colton Herta, Pato O’Ward, Marcus Ericsson, Kyle Kirkwood, Scott McLaughlin, Alex Palou, Felix Rosenqvist, Scott Dixon and Will Power.

However, you probably want to break it down a little more. 12 of the last 16 years of this race has been won by a top five starter. Those drivers are: Grosjean, Herta, O’Ward, Ericsson and Kirkwood.

Prior to 2021, just two times in 17 years had the pole winner won at St. Pete. The last one before then? 2010. The pole winner has now won though the last two years.

  • Each winner with the exception of one since 2015 repeated the next year
    • Juan Pablo Montoya won in 2015 and again in 2016
    • Sebastien Bourdais won in 2017 and again in 2018
    • Josef Newgarden won in 2019 and again in 2020
    • Colton Herta won in 2021…4th last year
    • Scott McLaughlin won in 2022….??

So, what about the podium finishers?

Just 4 times since 2011 did someone finish on the podium and not have a top 12 starting spot. So it’s essentially the same drivers fighting for the win that are going to be for the podium too.

Over the last four years, there’s been 12 combined podium opportunities here. 11 of those 12 came from top 10 starters. 8 of the 12 came from the top 2 rows with 5 of those 8 from the front row at that.

Firestone Grand Prix of St. Pete Top 5 Prediction

  1. 26 Herta – The last 2 years has seen the driver who was quickest in the second practice session win the race outright.
  2. 28 Grosjean – I feel like Herta has more race pace.
  3. 3 McLaughlin – He has a great car and could charge from his third row starting spot.
  4. 27 Kirkwood – Was 4th in both practice sessions.
  5. 9 Dixon – I feel like this will be a strategy race and who’s better at maximizing that than…Dixon.

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