The start of the 2023 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

Sound the alarms, lay on the horns. OK, not literally, but there is cause for celebration as the start of the latest NTT INDYCAR SERIES season is at hand.

Drivers and their teams are in Florida this week in preparation for the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg presented by RP Funding, the first of 17 points-paying series races in 2024. It will be the 21st time this sport has roared through these city streets and the 1.8-mile circuit, and the fun never seems to end.

Last year was particularly exciting, with several dustups. Among them: Romain Grosjean and Scott McLaughlin ending up in the tire barrier in Turn 4 in a fierce battle for the lead. That’s how hotly contested these races are.

Marcus Ericsson won last year’s race, the fourth time he has gone to victory lane in this series. You might also remember he won the 2022 Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge. This week, he will line up with Andretti Global for the first time, one of the many team changes on display in St. Pete.

Eleven of the 27 entries have changed hands since we last gathered for an official series race and that doesn’t count sports car ace Tom Blomqvist, who made three starts with Meyer Shank Racing last year before being named a full-time driver for '24. But now Blomqvist drives the team's No. 66 Honda rather than its No. 60, which has Felix Rosenqvist behind the wheel.

The field will begin to replicate (or exceed) what was on display last year: 7,753 on-track passes, including passing records set at six racetracks and the most laps and miles completed in a season in over a decade.

The list of storylines to open the season is plentiful, and will present many of them in the days ahead. The first practice of the season is set for Friday at 2:45 p.m ET. The 20th anniversary of the series’ knockout qualifying process for road courses and street circuits is on tap for Saturday at 2 p.m. All on-track action can be viewed on Peacock, NBC’s live streaming service.

Sunday’s 100-lap race comes on the air at noon ET on NBC and the INDYCAR Radio Network, with audio available on SiriusXM Channel 218 and the INDYCAR App powered by NTT DATA. A Spanish language version of the broadcast will be available on Universo.

INDY NXT by Firestone’s season-opening race begins earlier in the day at 10 a.m. ET. All 14 races during the season will air live on Peacock.

Gear up, race fans. Things are about to get interesting.