PALMETTO, Florida – Carlos Munoz already has a win in Florida in a vehicle with the No. 14.
The AJ Foyt Racing driver used an aggressive move to get past Pro Mazda rookie Sting Ray Robb and win the seventh annual Firestone Grand Prix Media Go-Kart Challenge at Andersen Race Park on Tuesday.
Munoz teamed Tony Leno, an official with the City of St. Petersburg, Yerman Salazar, sports anchor at Telemundo Tampa and Ryan Bass, sports director at WTSP-TV to win the 30-lap event, which is the annual kick off to the Verizon IndyCar Series and Mazda Road to Indy season-opening race.
The race mimicked Munoz’ career in the Verizon IndyCar Series as Team Munoz switched from No. 26 to No. 14 mid-race, allowing Munoz to win with the number he’ll carry this year on his ABC Supply-sponsored Chevrolet.
“It was a pretty good race with all the media, Conor and all the young guys from the Mazda Road to Indy,” said Munoz, who calls the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg his hometown race since it’s the closest the Verizon IndyCar Series comes to his home in Miami. “This is always one of my favorite events to come to It was fun. Now I can’t wait to get back in my Indy car at Sebring to get ready for the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.”
Teams headed by Mazda Road to Indy Shootout winner and Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship driver Oliver Askew and Robb rounded out the podium. Munoz’ AJ Foyt Racing teammate Conor Daly finished fifth with his team.
“I had an absolute blast,” said Askew, who was recognized for setting a track record at Andersen Race Park for his lap in the opening stint. “This is a great event and it was an honor to meet the mayors of all the cities that host the St. Petersburg Grand Prix. We had a quick go kart and some fast guys on the team, but it just not enough.”
For Robb, who will make his Mazda Road to Indy debut when Pro Mazda takes to the street circuit in a few weeks, the chance to race with Verizon IndyCar Series drivers was special.
“I thought it would be different racing against some these big-name drivers,” Robb said. “But they were really fun to drive with and hang out with. I hope I get to do it again.”