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VICS: Rundown of the Top-10 Finishers from St. Pete

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1st: Juan Pablo Montoya

Two-time champion of the Indianapolis 500 held off teammate Simon Pagenaud to win the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. It is the fifth career Verizon IndyCar Series win and second in a row at St. Pete.

2nd: Simon Pagenaud

Following the withdrawal from Team Penske teammate Will Power, Pagenaud was advanced to pole position. The second-year Penske driver led a race-high 48 laps before losing the spot to Montoya on a crucial restart. A second-place finish marks the 13th career podium finish in his 72nd series start.

3rd: Ryan Hunter-Reay

The 2012 champion started the race from sixth spot, led three laps and had a clean day in St. Pete despite contact with Luca Filippi damaged the front wing of his No. 28 DHL Honda. Charging hard in the closing laps, he caught and passed Helio Castroneves to grab the final podium spot, the 30th of his IndyCar career.

4th: Helio Castroneves

Positioned firmly in the Team Penske stranglehold on Sunday, Castroneves started the 110-lap event from the second spot and was in good standing for a podium result until a late charge from Hunter-Reay dropped the three-time Indy 500 champ to fourth.

5th: Mikhail Aleshin

The underdog performer of the race came in the Russian return of Mikhail Aleshin. Starting back in 18th, Aleshin drove into the top 5 before hunting down both Hunter-Reay and Castroneves to contend for his second IndyCar podium. Despite coming up a few laps short, the top-5 finish is a strong start to his 2016 season.

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Though no top 10, Conor Daly made a statement on Sunday, leading 15 laps before a pit issue brought the rookie to 13th. [Photo: IndyCar media]

6th: Takuma Sato

The Japanese driver qualified alongside his AJ Foyt Racing teammate Jack Hawksworth and came home sixth. Following a flat tire on the opening circuit, Sato overcame the issue to climb into the top 10 for his fourth top-10 finish at St. Pete.

7th: Scott Dixon

The defending champion brought the lightning both back to the Ganassi livery and on the race track in 2016. Dixon was a common face in the top 10 throughout the afternoon before finishing in the seventh spot – a solid start to a likely consistent season.

8th: Carlos Munoz

Pit strategy was the name of the game for the No. 26 Andretti Autosport team at St. Pete. Munoz finished eighth – his fourth top 10 in his last five IndyCar starts – after running as high as third while the team was off strategy from the race leaders.

9th: Tony Kanaan

The 2013 Indy 500 champion was the second most improved driver of the race as he finished ninth, gaining 10 spots from his 19th-place qualifying effort. A late-race battle with Alexander Rossi and Jack Hawksworth helped keep Kanaan on the lead lap for the finish.

10th: Charlie Kimball

Though a top 10, the ending was not a positive one as he found the Turn 1 barrier on the final lap of the race. The Ganassi Racing driver, however, was still scored 10th, making the result the second top-10 finish at St. Pete.

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About Zach Catanzareti

Zach Catanzareti serves as a Contributing Writer in the NASCAR department for Rubbings Racing and can be followed on Twitter (@zachracing) for the latest NASCAR updates. A native of Easton, Pennsylvania, he also follows IndyCar and Formula 1.

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