Airborne wreck causes red flag on the first lap of 2023 IndyCar opener at St. Pete (VIDEO) IndyCar results, points after St. Petersburg GP
ST. PETERSBURG, Florida — Devlin DeFrancesco rose into the air but was injured in a wild eight-car crash on the opening lap of the NTT IndyCar season.
Dallara-Honda at number 29 DeFrancesco took off into the air (see video above). or click here) with a lazy half-turn after full-speed rookie Benjamin Pedersen’s No. 55 Dallar-Chevrolet ran him down in the first minute of the Firestone Grand Prix in St. Petersburg.
“I’m fine, but it was a really hard hit,” DeFrancesco, who started 18th out of a record 27 cars, told NBC Sports after Andretti Autosport was checked out at the service center. “This is not how we wanted to start the season. I saw Helio (Castroneves) spinning around and I couldn’t get past it, and then I saw Pedersen coming towards me. I said, “Yes, it will be big.”
“Just packed up and got ready for it. It’s been a wild ride.”
Big crash at the start @GPSTPete.
Devlin DeFrancesco took to the air after being hit by Benjamin Pedersen. #INDICAR pic.twitter.com/1v3z5C6zq6
— INDICAR on NBC (@IndyCaronNBC) March 5, 2023
No driver was seriously injured in the incident, which caused a red flag for 19 minutes and 25 seconds.
After carefully climbing off his No. 06 Dallara-Honda, Castroneves limped over to check on Meyer Shank Racing teammate Simon Pagenaud, but the four-time Indy 500 winner told NBC Sports that X-rays of his right leg were negative.
Castroneves had ice on his right hand, and Pagenaud said he had a “little finger problem” at the time of the accident.
Helio has ice on his arm and had an X-ray done on his right knee. pic.twitter.com/Ht1PKfuKka
— Jenna Fryer (@JennaFryer) March 5, 2023
“I saw (cars ahead slow down) and honestly expected it,” Pageno, who started 25th, told NBC Sports. “It was such a difficult area all weekend. I slam on the brakes in this corner and turn right so sharply.
“I thought I passed, man. I thought I did it. It’s my forte to avoid accidents. We will regroup. We had a fast car.”
The accident also involved Santino Ferrucci and Sting Ray Robb.
The collision began at turn three because drivers were slowing down due to an incident several cars ahead when six-time IndyCar champion Scott Dixon pushed Felix Rosenquist (his former teammate at Chip Ganassi Racing) into the wall.
“Felix is my best friend, man,” Dixon told NBC Sports. “I am very sad that we got involved there. I thought I was clear. I’m really sorry for Felix.”
Rosenquist said he didn’t expect Dixon to offend him this way.
“I was just trying to get through the first couple of corners,” said the Arrow McLaren pilot. I don’t think he knew I was there. It sucks. Today we had a good chance. Really freaked out about this. Not the way we want to start.
“Maybe we should talk about it, but in IndyCar the race is tough and you can get through the first few corners pretty quickly.”
The chaos continued when the race resumed shortly before 13:00.
After Rinus VK crashed into the tire barrier at turn 4 on lap 41, Kyle Kirkwood was blown into the air by contact with the rear of Jack Harvey’s car.
With the help of medical personnel, Harvey got out of the cab, but he still appeared to be in pain as he sat on the back step of the ambulance.
Harvey was in stable condition but was taken to a local hospital for further examination “out of precaution,” IndyCar medical director Dr. Julia Weiser said.
Harvey missed last year’s race at Texas Motor Speedway with a concussion in a practice crash.
IndyCar results and points after St. Petersburg Grand Prix: In one of the most chaotic season starts in NTT IndyCar Series history, Marcus Eriksson snatched victory from Pato O’Ward with four laps to go on Sunday.
It was the latest plot twist in a race full of drama that began on the first lap when Devlin DeFrancesco soared into the air after being hit on the bones by Markus Pedersen in turn 4.
Kyle Kirkwood was also airborne after colliding with Jack Harvey on the 41st lap restart.
There were no serious injuries, although Harvey was checked and released to a nearby hospital as a precaution.
Participated in the race many other incidentsincluding the contact that made Colton Herta soar on Willpower, and the crash between the dominant cars of Romain Grosjean and Scott McLaughlin.
Travel to the decisive moment of today’s race with Romain Grosjean.
Contact with Scott McLaughlin ended his day.
(By using @IndyCar) pic.twitter.com/mNdicj0lpq
— INDICAR on NBC (@IndyCaronNBC) March 5, 2023
Here are IndyCar results and points scored on the Sunday after the season opener of the Firestone Grand Prix in St. Petersburg:
Click here to see the official result of the 100 lap race at the 2.8-mile 14-turn street circuit in St. Petersburg, Florida. Click here to view a summary of the lap leaderboards.
Complete lap chart
Best section time
Full section details
Pit stop results
Here is the order of finish at the Firestone Grand Prix in St. Petersburg with starting position in brackets, driver, engine, laps driven and explanation (if any):
1. (4) Markus Eriksson, Honda, 100, running
2. (3) Pato O’Ward, Chevrolet, 100, running
3. (9) Scott Dixon, Honda, 100, running
4. (12) Alexander Rossi, Chevrolet, 100, Running
5. (22) Callum Ilott, Chevrolet, 100, running
6. (20) Graeme Rahal, Honda, 100, running
7. (10) Willpower, Chevy 100, Running
8. (7) Alex Palou, Honda, 100, running
9. (11) Christian Lundgaard, Honda, 100, running
10. (16) David Malukas, Honda, 100, running
11. (13) Marcus Armstrong, Honda, 100, running
12. (21) Agustin Canapino, Chevrolet, 100, Running
13. (6) Scott McLaughlin, Chevrolet, 99, running
14. (26) Conor Daly, Chevrolet, 99, running
15. (5) Kyle Kirkwood, Honda, 97, running
16. (23) Sting Ray Robb, Honda, 96, off course
17. (14) Joseph Newgarden, Chevrolet, 95, running
18. (1) Romain Grosjean, Honda, 71, Contact
19. (8) Felix Rosenquist, Chevrolet, 51, retired
20. (2) Colton Herta, Honda, 49, Contact
21. (24) Rinus VKey, Chevrolet, 41 years old, Contact
22. (19) Jack Harvey, Honda, 41, Contact
23. (15) Helio Castroneves, Honda, 0, Contact
24. (17) Santino Ferrucci, Chevrolet, 0, Contact
25. (18) Devlin DeFrancesco, Honda, 0, Contact
26. (25) Simon Pageno, Honda, 0, Contact
27. (27) Benjamin Pedersen, Chevrolet, 0, Contact
Winner average speed: 86.047 mph; Race time: 2:05:30.7907; Margin of victory: 2.4113 seconds; Cautions: six for 26 circles; lead changes: Six among six drivers; Circle leaders: Grosjean 1-31; McLaughlin 32–34; Dixon 35-37; McLaughlin 38-71; Maluka 72-73; O’Ward 74–96; Ericsson 97-100.
Click here for Sunday race scoring.
Here is the points table after the opening of the season:
Pit stop performance
Top 10 points: Ericsson (51), O’Ward (41), Dixon (36), Rossi (32), Ilott (30), Rahal (28), Power (26), Palu (24), Lundgaard (22), Malukas ( 21).
Other league tables: , McLaughlin 20, Armstrong 19, Canapino 18, Daily 16, Kirkwood 15, Grosjean 14, Robb 14, Newgarden 13, Rosenquist 11, Hertha 10, VK 9, Harvey 8, Castroneves 7, Ferrucci 6, DeFrancesco 5, Pagenaud 5, Pedersen 5.
next race: April 2, Texas Motor Speedway.