Mayors face off in race ahead of Grand Prix

- At Anderson Race Park in Palmetto, Mayor Rick Kreisman and others meet to talk about the 13th annual Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

"It's all about promoting the race and having a good time," he said.

It's also a chance for Mayor Kreisman to challenge others mayors in seeing who can burn rubber the fastest.

"There are some tight turns out there. It's trying to maintain that good line through the track to keep your speed as fast as you can and avoid the grass and the field because that probably means you've crashed," said Mayor Kreisman.

The St. Petersburg Mayor has been crowned the champion the last two years in the Mayor's Race. This year, Oldsmar Mayor Doug Bevis wanted to take that title.

"I'm friends with one of the Indy car teams so he said keep the pedal to the medal and power break," said Mayor Bevis.

The competition is a friendly, but fierce one.

"I'm going to rub him. If he spins out it's not my fault," he said.

As the mayors take off through twists and turns, Mayor Kreisman holds a lead that's too far for anyone to catch up.

"There were new tires on the car so it was gripping. There were a lot of marbles kicking up from the tires, but it was a lot of fun," he said.

Then it was my turn. The go karts have just a fraction of the power the cars driven by professionals have, but it still takes a lot of skill to maneuver even a tiny course. So we'll just leave it to the Grand Prix pros.

"For us it's a great place to start the season. The weather is generally nice and I hope I don't jinx it. There's a lot of people and it gets everyone pumped for the season," said racer Connor Daly.

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