As members of the media, Brant James and Tony Fabrizio are used to getting interviews from winning race drivers.
On March 8, the reporters were giving interviews after winning the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg Media Go-Kart Enduro at Andersen Race Park in Palmetto, Fla.
James, who covers motorsports for SI.com, and Fabrizio, the motorsports reporter for the Tampa Tribune, teamed with Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg VP/GM Tim Ramsberger and IZOD IndyCar Series driver Alex Tagliani to win the 50-minute go-kart race.
“I’m not going to say it was fixed, but look at our team,” James joked as he pointed to Ramsberger on the podium following the event.
Media and VIPs were allocated to nine teams of three and joined by professional racing drivers who will compete in the five series that will race on the streets of St. Petersburg, Fla., later this month.
The Mazda Road to Indy was well-represented with Shannon McIntosh, Zach Veach and Spencer Pigot attending for the Cooper Tires presents the USF2000 National Championship Powered by Mazda, Nick Andries and Joao Horto representing the Star Mazda Championship and Martin Plowman and Tagliani representing the IZOD IndyCar Series.
Andries, a St. Petersburg-area native who will race on the streets of St. Petersburg for the first time, topped the field to take the fastest lap award.
“I have a little unfair advantage over the others because I’ve been here so many times,” said Andries, who nearly ran down Veach’s Team Rocket kart for second place. “ I think if Veach or Plowman had more time here, they would have been closer.”
The star of the day, though, may have been Veach, who finished second though Tagliani accused of having an unfair advantage because of his small stature.
“I’m glad Zach is here because I’m not the shortest,” said Tagliani, who carried the teenage racer over his shoulder and lifted him over his head. “But how much weight do we get to add to his kart?”
Veach’s weight advantage, though, helped Tagliani in the race as the pair used a stock car-style bump draft to gain on their competitors.
“You saw the Daytona 500,” Tagliani told Veach. “Some people are pushers, and some get pushed. You my friend are definitely a pusher.”
Turns out Tagliani didn’t need the push.