A strange day ensued for qualifying on Saturday at the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg as Robert Wickens, driving for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, won the pole position in his first qualifying effort in the Verizon IndyCar Series with an average speed of 105.085 mph around the 1.8-mile downtown street course.
“I’m a little speechless,” Wickens said. “We had great strategy to get out right at the end, to get a lap on the track, in my opinion, when it was probably at its best. It was tough, but the No. 6 Lucas Oil Honda was fantastic.”
Will Power, the only Team Penske car in the Firestone Fast Six, ended the session in second, and Matheus Leist, another series rookie, driving for the A.J. Foyt Racing team, earned the third starting position.
Six different teams were represented in the Firestone Fast Six (also including Ed Carpenter Racing, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, and Andretti Autosport), with three of the drivers being rookies. Besides Wickens and Leist, rookie Jordon King qualified fourth.
Saturday’s session saw slight rain showers catching several teams and drivers off-guard.
Perhaps what was strangest of all was a set of twin girls (Jordan and Taylor) wanting to celebrate their 15th birthday with their girlfriends at the race track. Watch the video above to see the story!