IndyCar season off to a sloppy start on streets of St. Pete

Robert Wickens stands on his car after winning the pole for the IndyCar auto race, Saturday, March 10, 2018, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (Luis Santana/Tampa Bay Times via AP)


AP Auto Racing Writer

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) The first race of the IndyCar season is off to a messy start on the streets of St. Petersburg.

There were two spins on the opening lap, and IndyCar reviewed three incidents in the first nine laps of Sunday's race. No drivers were penalized in the series of sloppy errors.

Will Power spun in the second turn as he raced rookie Robert Wickens for the lead. Although the Canadian is new to IndyCar, Wickens is a 28-year-old star who left the DTM touring series to race in the American open-wheel series.

Wickens is just the third driver since 1993 to win the pole in his series debut.

After the Power spin, Tony Kanaan spun in an incident with Zach Veach that was reviewed. Ryan Hunter-Reay also had to go immediately to pit road when his car wouldn't accelerate at the start of the race.

Helio Castroneves gave the command to start the engines while partially hanging off one of the fences. The three-time Indianapolis 500 winner is known for climbing fences "Spiderman" style after victories.

Updated March 11, 2018