Automotive

IndyCar Is Racing In St. Petersburg, Florida This Weekend, Not St. Petersburg, Russia


Image for article titled IndyCar Is Racing In St. Petersburg, Florida This Weekend, Not St. Petersburg, Russia

Photo: Joe Skibinski / Penske Entertainment

I am so sorry that I have to be the one to tell you this, but the NTT IndyCar Series does not need to cancel this weekend’s race. I know. You’ve probably heard about Formula One cancelling its Russian Grand Prix and may be wondering why IndyCar has failed to cancel its season opener in St. Petersburg. I understand the desire for some performative outrage. But folks — IndyCar’s St. Petersburg is in Florida, not Russia.

Advertisement

I know it may be difficult to believe me, but allow me to consult a map. This is the location of St. Petersburg, Russia:


Image for article titled IndyCar Is Racing In St. Petersburg, Florida This Weekend, Not St. Petersburg, Russia

Screenshot: Google Maps

And this is the location of St. Petersburg, Florida:


Image for article titled IndyCar Is Racing In St. Petersburg, Florida This Weekend, Not St. Petersburg, Russia

Screenshot: Google Maps

St. Petersburg, Russia is 5298.95 miles (or 8527.83 kilometers) away from St. Petersburg, Florida. They are on two separate continents.

If you’re having a hard time believing me, here is the track map for the 2021 Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, which takes place near Tampa Bay, which is located in Florida:


Image for article titled IndyCar Is Racing In St. Petersburg, Florida This Weekend, Not St. Petersburg, Russia

Image: IndyCar

Advertisement

I do not believe there is anywhere in St. Petersburg, Russia called the “Tropicana Bus Stop,” but I am willing to be proven wrong.

I can further vouch personally for the IndyCar Series, as I have been to the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, which was a brief flight from my home in Austin, Texas and did not require a passport to get there. It was also very warm and muggy in March in St. Petersburg, Florida, which would not be the case in St. Petersburg, Russia. I also do not think Russians serve fried alligator and Busch Light at their bars, which I consumed copious amounts of in St. Petersburg, Florida. But again, I am willing to be proven wrong.

Advertisement

If this lesson in basic geopolitics seems unnecessary, confusing, or unprecedented, then I’m going to assume you do not suffer the misfortune of being Aggressively On Line. Over on Twitter dot com, a handful of folks have wondered aloud why IndyCar should dare host a race in St. Petersburg after Russia began an unprompted invasion of Ukraine.

My fellow writer Owen Bellwood brought this to my attention after he finished his blog about Formula One cancelling the Russian Grand Prix.

Advertisement

“Do people actually think IndyCar is racing in Russia this weekend?” he asked in our Slack chat. “Don’t know if I’m being dumb, but it’s tricky to tell who seriously thinks it is.”

Mere moments later, one of the tweets in question popped up on my timeline.


Image for article titled IndyCar Is Racing In St. Petersburg, Florida This Weekend, Not St. Petersburg, Russia

Screenshot: Twitter

Advertisement

“Absolutely the right call for Formula 1 to scrap the Russian Grand Prix,” the tweet in question read. “Even though it’s still months away, it send a clear message that what’s going on in Ukraine isn’t ok. Meanwhile indycar is set to race in St Petersburg this weekend…”

I thought that perhaps it was a joke — a bad joke, but a joke nonetheless — until I searched “IndyCar Russia” on Twitter and found a treasure trove.

Advertisement

One person lamented, “wait fuck- indycar is in russia this week…”

Another tweeted, “Come on now @fia and #indycar, cancel all races in Russia! Putin cares more about sports than people.”

Advertisement

After Will Buxton tweeted a photo of his IndyCar credentials for the weekend, someone asked, “isn’t that in russia? what am i missing.”

Someone asked in Portuguese, “Indycar opens its season this weekend in St. Petersburg, will the conflicts between Russia and Ukraine affect the American category?”

Advertisement

So, as a quick reminder: IndyCar is a North American race series that does not race outside of North America. If you’re looking for a little distraction from the tone of the news this weekend, you can check out the season opener, which takes place in St. Petersburg, which is in Florida and not Russia.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Most Popular

To Top