ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Team owner Sam Schmidt missed out on a trifecta in the season-opening Firestone Indy Lights race, but he'll gladly accept 1-2.
Josef Newgarden, who started third in the No. 11 Robo-Pong/Sam Schmidt Motorsports car, led teammate Conor Daly across the finish line by 0.8552 of a second to win in his series debut. Peter Dempsey, who started fifth but jump to the point for the first 11 laps in the No. Pulse/O2 Racing car, finished third and David Ostella advanced seven positions to finish fourth in the No. 16 Global Precast Team Jensen entry.
Anders Krohn moved up two positions to finish sixth in the No. 9 Liberty Engineering Special for Belardi Auto Racing.
Pole sitter Esteban Guerrieri, driving the No. 7 Lucas Oil/Sam Schmidt Motorsports car, who ran second to Newgarden from Laps 12-43, dropped to seventh as he was forced wide in Turn 1 on the second of two restarts in the 45-lap race.
Newgarden overtook Dempsey in Turn 5 of Lap 12 and completed the lap 1.2578 seconds ahead of Guerrieri.