Length: 1.8miles (2.9km)
Fastest Race Lap: Jordan King – 1:00.047 – 2018
Most Wins: Helio Castroneves (3)
2019 Winner: Josef Newgarden
The 14th and final round of the 2020 NTT IndyCar Series will see the championship decided on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida where the campaign was due to begin back in March, prior to Covid-19 taking a grip on the world.
Following a scintillating season of action, the 2020 title will be decided between the two veterans Scott Dixon and Josef Newgarden. They are taking their championship battle to the final round of the year, the 15th consecutive season in which that has happened.
Should Dixon claim a sixth title, he would put himself just one behind the all-time record holder of A.J Foyt. If Newgarden were to beat Dixon to the crown, he would join other Penske greats like Rick Mears and Al Unser on three championship titles.
Going into the event, Dixon holds a 32-point lead over Newgarden and in order to secure that sixth title he must finish inside the top nine. Should he do so, Newgarden would not be able to overtake the Kiwi for the top spot, even if he won the race and claimed all four bonus points available.
Only on two previous occasions has an IndyCar driver held the points lead for the entirety of the season: Sam Hornish. Jr. in the IRL in 2001, and Sebastien Bourdais in the 2006 CART championship.
Juan Pablo Montoya narrowly missed out on being a part of this statistic in 2015 after he was hauled in by Dixon at the final round of the season to win the title on count back of wins.
Elsewhere on the grid we will see the arrival of triple Australian Supercars champion Scott McLaughlin, who will be making his long-awaited IndyCar debut driving the #3 Team Penske Chevy.
Arrow McLaren SP will see Oliver Askew return to the #7 Chevrolet for his final race with the team after being dropped for the 2021. He missed the Harvest GP double-header after concussion-like symptoms ruled him out of the event.
Will Power led the field away from pole position alongside Newgarden, but Chip Ganassi’s Felix Rosenqvist slid past Newgarden into Turn 1.
The race took a twist after Bourdais’ engine blew en route to Turn 10 just 11 laps into the race and Power peeled into the pits with a very late call – skipping through the grass – to not get caught out by a possible caution period which never arrived.
This left Power out of sync but still made the strategy work to keep fighting at the front.
Ed Jones and Matheus Leist would clash at Turn 8 on lap 25 to bring out a caution after Jones was left in the wall.
Power and Rosenqvist narrowly missed out on a high-speed clash after the latter attempted to keep ahead of the Australian on the pit exit. But the rookie was on cold tyres and ended up wisely backing out of the throttle to avoid contact with Power and the wall.
Newgarden would resume the lead after getting back past Rosenqvist, while Dixon used his experience to also make his way into second and would hustle the Nashville-born driver to the finish line.
The final race of the season is set to get underway at 14:30 EDT on October 25.