What a weekend in St. Petersburg, Florida.
The weather was perfect, the forecasted Sunday rain never came, and the guy who started last finished first.
Speaking of the latter, how about Dale Coyne Racing?!
Look, I knew Sebastian Bourdais could win with his new team (After all, I selected him for my INDYCAR fantasy team – available on the Verizon app and accompanied by exclusive video insights – shameless plug) but how about Bourdais's upstart teammate?
Rookie Ed Jones – the reigning Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires champion finished 10th, but ran strong with the top six most of the day. I was impressed.
I call the St. Pete race from the 12th floor balcony of the Northern Trust bank building just outside of Turn 4.
The balcony belongs to Squaremouth, an online travel insurance company. It's become a tradition, and Chris Harvey and his crew have shown the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network a hospitality that is second to none.
Between race sessions, I got to hang out with some of the employees and witness their dedication to customer service. If you're traveling to an INDYCAR race, please consider Sqauremouth as a partner!
Ferg's in St. Pete is one of America's great sports bars.
Screens everywhere, open air with a tropical breeze, all in the shadows of the only standing sports venue that has hosted both a Final Four and World Series.
Here's the big bonus- they offer massages! Yes, yours truly kicked back with a pint while soothing lactic acid from my calves. What's not to love?!
Speaking of pints, I enjoy trying a local beer at each stop along the Verizon IndyCar Series schedule. At Ferg's, I tried Wavemaker Amber Ale from Clearwater’s Big Storm Brewery.
Loved it. Just enough hop and malt mixture. Gets the Query thumbs up.
The clubhouse leader for me is still Bear Republic's Racer 5 IPA. It's a highlight of stops in the Golden State.
It was rough coming home to freezing temperatures with a sunburn. Not because of the weather, but the flight home was rough.
One of my row mates immediately removed his shoes. If you follow me on Twitter (@jakequery) you know this is a "thing" for me. An annoyance, NOT a fetish.
I simply don't get it.
An airplane is not your living room. I didn't say anything, because it was a series driver that I routinely interview.
I don't wanna create work tension, so I always try to put the right foot forward. Mine just happens to have a shoe on it. (And, in case you are wondering, Helio & Hinch fly private, not commercial.)
Have you filled out your NCAA Tournament bracket?
Everyone has "their" Final Four and "their" sleeper picks. I may as well offer mine – Nevada, New Mexico State, USC and UNC-Wilmington may grab some early 1st round headlines, but Duke, Arizona, Louisville and North Carolina will converge on Phoenix.
That's IF Louisville gets past Michigan. Oh, the Madness...