Alex Cobb of the Tampa Bay Rays named Honorary Starter for 2015 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg

Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Alex Cobb is trading in his fastball for the fast lane to serve as the Honorary Starter for the 2015 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, taking place March 27-29.

As Honorary Starter, Cobb will wave the green flag for the season-opening Verizon IndyCar Series race, which begins at 3 p.m. ET on Sunday, March 29. Cobb will also participate in the pre-race ceremonies for the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. 

"We are excited to have Alex join us as Honorary Starter for the big race," said Kevin Savoree, Co-Owner, President and COO of Green Savoree Racing Promotions, organizers of the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. "Being in the starters stand and waving green flag is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. We hope he enjoys the incredible view up there, he'll truly have a front row seat for the start of the race."

Cobb has already been named to start the Rays season-opener against the Baltimore Orioles at Tropicana Field on April 6. The 27-year-old right-hander has posted a winning record in each of his four major league seasons and won 10 or more games in each of the past three campaigns. He fashioned a 10-9 record in 2014 and finished sixth in the American League with a 2.87 earned run average.

"I am really excited about this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," said Cobb. "I'm starting an IndyCar race one week and Opening Day the next. Plus, it's an honor to represent the Rays at an event that has become so important to our community and one that helps make Tampa Bay such a great place to live."

FAST FACTS: Baseball vs. INDYCAR

10 inches - Height of an MLB pitchers mound

13 feet, 3 inches - Height of the Firestone Grand Prix starter stand

94 mph - An Alex Cobb fastball
100 mph - An IndyCar's deceleration before hitting pit lane

4 seconds - Average time to cover 30 yards from first to second base

1 second - Average time for an IndyCar to cover 100 yards

4 - Cobb struck out four batters in one inning in 2013
4 - Verizon IndyCar Series driver Will Power won four consecutive poles for St. Petersburg race 

60 feet, 6 inches - Distance Cobb throws a ball to hit mark
40 feet - Length of pit box for drivers to hit mark

17 inches - Width of home plate
39 inches - Width of finish line for Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg

Tickets to the 2015 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg are available now and can be purchased online at www.gpstpete.com or by phone at 1-877-725-8849.

About the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg

Now in its 11th year, the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg is run on a 1.8-mile, 14-turn waterfront circuit that includes a combination of adjacent downtown streets circling Pioneer Park, the Duke Energy Center for the Arts, The Dali Museum and extending onto the runways at Albert Whitted Airport, which overlook the Tampa Bay and picturesque St. Petersburg Harbor and Marina. The event is organized and operated by Green Savoree Racing Promotions.

To learn more about the event, visit gpstpete.com, 'like' its Facebook page at facebook.com/GPSTPETE or follow the event on Twitter @GPSTPETE #FirestoneGP.