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Mar 27, 2014 - 06:26 AM
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MRTI Grand Prix of St. Pete Preview
Posted by: newsla on Mar 27, 2014 - 06:23 AM
Support Series News
MRTI Grand Prix of St. Pete Preview


The Mazda Road to Indy veterans of Veach and Brabham kick off their season with an 81-mile season opener on Sunday afternoon.

 

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Zach Veach, No. 26 RePLAY XD

Becomes the veteran of the Andretti Autosport Indy Lights team as he begins his second season in the series 2013 brought one pole position, one podium, six top-five finishes and 56 laps led " Our long wait for the season to start is quickly coming to an end, and after the winter we've had up north, I'm ready for some fun in the sunny St. Petersburg weather! I'm extremely proud of how hard my Andretti Autosport team has worked this off-season and I'm ready to fight for a win to repay them for it. Tuesday we had a very successful test at Sebring to warm up, and I feel like the RePLAY XD car is going to be right where it needs to be come Friday practice."

Matthew Brabham, No. 83 United Fiber & Data/MAZDASPEED

Reigning Pro Mazda champion moves up the Mazda Road to Indy to start his third rookie season in three years Captured 13 wins, 15 podium finishes, 10 pole positions, 13 fastest laps and 349 laps led in Pro Mazda in 2013 " Our off-season has been great - we have shown we have good speed; I'm quite confident going into our first round at St. Pete. If we put everything together that we have learned throughout the off-season, I think we will have a strong challenge for the top spot on the podium. I will be out there to win... I know it will be very challenging with the great competition this year, however, I believe we can do it.

I have been to St. Pete now two years in a row. This will be my third year, so I know the track really well. It makes the whole event a little simpler for me and allows me to narrow in my focus in on other important things. The key for myself and the team will be to roll out of the truck guns blazing. We only have two short practice sessions to sort everything out before the race, so our preparation is incredibly important."

PRO MAZDA PRESENTED BY COOPER TIRES

Our Pro Mazda presented by Cooper Tires duo will start off the 2014 season with a double header on the streets of St. Petersburg.

Garett Grist, No. 27 DaVinci Foods/Lander Property Management Starts his second year with Andretti Autosport moving up to the Pro Mazda Championship One win, one pole position, four podiums, seven top-five finishes and 10 top-10 finishes to come away with Rookie of the Year and third in the championship in 2013 "I am really looking forward to St. Pete this weekend. We have been working hard during the off-season and had a great Winterfest to set us up for the regular season. This will be my first time on a street course in a Pro Mazda car, so it will be a great learning experience. We will continue to learn and be there battling for the win."

Starstruck

Shelby Blackstock, No. 28 Starstruck

Finished third in the points standings in 2013 (as a rookie) with one win, seven podium finishes and three pole posiitons Captured a fourth-place finish in the Winterfest championship last month "I am very excited to start the year off at the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. I had good results there last year, and I hope to better them with a win or two. The No. 28 Starstruck Andretti Autosport team has been working very hard to get everything ready to go for the season opener, and I can't wait to turn the first laps of practice. I want to thank Mazda, the city of St. Petersburg, INDYCAR and the Mazda Road to Indy for giving us the opportunity to come back and be a support race for the Verizon IndyCar Series. Also want to thank Motivated Eyewear, Sparco and Starstuck for all of their support!"

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