Roe Impacted by Mechanical Issue in St. Petersburg

March 11, 2024
Posted in News
March 11, 2024 jamesroejr

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (Monday, March 11, 2024) – For a second year, the luck of the Irish eluded James Roe in the opening race of the INDY NXT™ by Firestone championship on the Streets of St. Petersburg as a red flagged qualifying session and mechanical issues contributed to a 16th place finish for the No. 29 Topcon Dallara of Andretti Global.


New qualifying procedures implemented for the 2024 INDY NXT by Firestone season saw Roe and his Andretti Global teammates slotted into Group 2 for qualifying – a session which was abrupted by two red flags. Those untimely stoppages ultimately prevented Roe and his No. 29 machine from notching a proper flying lap resulting in a 14th place grid position.  


“It was a pretty straightforward session in qualifying with an abrupt ending,” noted the Irish driver. “We were up by quite a few tenths, then the first red came out and that was it – qualifying was over. There was no advancement after that, which is unfortunate because we were on a lap that would have put us up there in position when the red came out.”


Leaning on his street course experience, Roe started Sunday’s Grand Prix of St. Petersburg strong, quickly gaining three positions once the green flag flew. With another position secured, Roe was on the hunt through the course’s 1.8 miles of “concrete canyons” when mechanical issues forced the No. 29 Topcon car to the pit lane from P10 where the crew worked diligently to get Roe back to racing.


“We made a good start today and made up about four or five positions and then we unfortunately had a mechanical issue that caused the engine to lose all power. The No. 29 crew was able to make repairs and get me back out on the track, but it still set us back quite a bit at five laps down. That’s how racing can go, and we still got some points on the board today. We’ll regroup and come back better next time. It’s a long season.”


After returning five laps down, Roe battled back to a hard-earned 16th place at the checkers, securing 14 championship points for the No. 29 team and partners Topcon, Ring Power Corporation, CES Power, Strong Roots, Trintech, Tourism Ireland, and The Ireland Funds.


Roe returns to action on April 28 at 11:05 a.m. ET for the INDY NXT by Firestone Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park.



Hometown: Naas, Co. Kildare, Ireland

Residence: Indianapolis, Indiana

Age: 25

2024 Car: No. 29 Topcon Andretti Global Dallara

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