Photo by: Chris Owens
Track: Barber Motorsports Park, a 2.3-mile, 17-turn road course (clockwise)
Race distance: 90 laps / 207 miles
Push-to-pass parameters: 10 activations for 20 seconds each
Firestone tire allotment: Seven sets primary, three sets alternate
Twitter: @BarberMotorPark @IndyCar, #HIGPA, #IndyCar
Event website: http://www.barbermotorsports.com
2015 race winner: Josef Newgarden (No. 67 Hartman Oil/CFH Racing Chevrolet)
2015 Verizon P1 Award winner: Helio Castroneves (No. 3 AAA Insurance Team Penske Chevrolet),1:07.1925, 123.228 mph
Qualifying lap record: Scott Dixon, 1:06.7750, 123.999 mph, April 2013
NBCSN race broadcast: Sunday, April 24 (3 p.m. ET, live)
NBCSN qualifying broadcast: Saturday, April 23 (4 p.m. ET, live)
NBCSN practice broadcast: Friday, April 22 (Noon ET, live)
Rick Allen will be the play-by-play announcer for NBCSN’s broadcast of the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama alongside analysts Townsend Bell and Paul Tracy. Marty Snider, Kevin Lee, Katie Hargitt and Robin Miller are the pit reporters.
Radio broadcasts: The Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network is led by chief announcer Mark Jaynes, with analyst Davey Hamilton. Turn reporters are Jake Query and Nick Yeoman, with Dave Furst, Rob Howden and Michael Young reporting from the pits. All Verizon IndyCar Series races are broadcast live on network affiliates, Sirius 212, XM 209, IndyCar.com, indycarradio.com and the INDYCAR Mobile app. Qualifying broadcasts are available on Sirius 212, XM 209, I IndyCar.com, indycarradio.com.com and the INDYCAR Mobile app. Practice sessions are on IndyCar.com, indycarradio.com and the INDYCAR Mobile app.
Video Streaming: Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama track activity not covered live on television (Practice 2 on April 22, Practice 3 on April 23 and race day warmup on April 24) will be available on the INDYCAR YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/indycar) and RaceControl.IndyCar.com.
INDYCAR Mobile App: Verizon Wireless puts fans around the world in the driver’s seat with its INDYCAR Mobile app. The app has been enhanced with new features to keep fans in the know of the latest race-day action. Exclusive features of the INDYCAR Mobile app for Verizon Wireless customers will stream live through the app and includes enhanced real-time leaderboard and car telemetry; the ability to follow the race in real time with the interactive 3D track; live in-car camera video streaming for select drivers during Verizon IndyCar Series races; live driver and pit crew radio transmissions during races and live Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network audio streaming during all track activities.
At-track schedule (all times local):
Friday, April 22
11 a.m. -12:15 p.m. – Verizon IndyCar Series practice #1, NBCSN (Live)
3-4:15 p.m. – Verizon IndyCar Series practice #2, streaming on RaceControl.IndyCar.com (Live)
Saturday, April 23
11-11:45 a.m. – Verizon IndyCar Series practice #3, streaming on RaceControl.IndyCar.com (live)
3 p.m. – Qualifying for the Verizon P1 Award (three rounds of Verizon IndyCar Series knockout qualifications), NBCSN (live)
Sunday, April 24
10:30-11 a.m. – Verizon IndyCar Series warm-up, streaming on RaceControl.IndyCar.com (Live)
2 p.m. – NBCSN on air
2:45 p.m. – Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama (90 laps/207 miles), NBCSN (Live)
* Simon Pagenaud continued his hot start to 2016 claiming his first win of the season – and first as a member of Team Penske – at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach on April 17. The Frenchman, who made his Verizon IndyCar Series debut in 2011, leads four-time series champion Scott Dixon by 14 points heading into this weekend’s race.
* The Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama will be the seventh Indy car event conducted at Barber Motorsports Park.
* Helio Castroneves, Will Power, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Josef Newgarden are the only drivers to have won at Barber Motorsports Park.Castroneves won the inaugural race in 2010, Power won the race in 2011 and 2012, Hunter-Reay won in 2013 and 2014 and Newgarden won the race in 2015.
* Castroneves, Hunter-Reay and Power are the only drivers to have won the pole position at Barber Motorsports Park. Power claimed the pole position in 2010, 2011 and 2014; Castroneves won the pole in 2012 and 2015 and Hunter-Reay in 2013
* Two drivers have won the race from the pole – Power in 2011 and Hunter-Reay in 2013.
* Dixon has finished on the podium in each of his six previous starts at Barber Motorsports Park – including four runner-up finishes – but he has yet to finish on the top step of the podium at the picturesque road circuit. Dixon won at Phoenix earlier this season and is tied for fourth with Al Unser on the all-time Indy car victory list with 39.
* Eight drivers have competed in every Indy car race at Barber – Marco Andretti, Castroneves, Dixon, Hunter-Reay, Tony Kanaan, Power, Graham Rahal and Takuma Sato. All are entered this year.
* Team Penske has three wins at Barber Motorsports Park (2010, 2011 and 2012). Andretti Autosport and Ed Carpenter Racing are the only other teams to win at the track. Andretti Autosport won in 2013 and 2014 with Ryan Hunter-Reay. Ed Carpenter Racing won with Josef Newgarden in 2015.
* Rookies Max Chilton, Conor Daly and Alexander Rossi will compete in their first Verizon IndyCar Series race at Barber Motorsports Park. Chilton, who leads the Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings by six points over Daly and 11 points over Rossi, earned his first podium in Indy Lights in 2015. Daly competed on the circuit in Indy Lights in 2011.
* Kanaan seeks to start his 253rd consecutive race, which would extend his Indy car-record streak that began in 2001 at Portland. Teammate Dixon has made 194 consecutive starts, which is the third-longest streak in Indy car racing.
* The 2016 season is the second in which aerodynamic bodywork component kits are used. The aero kits, produced by engine manufacturers Chevrolet and Honda for their respective supplied teams, are the latest technical innovation to enhance on-track performance through competitive aerodynamic development. Each manufacturer produces two kits for teams – one for short ovals/road courses/street courses and another for superspeedway ovals – but within each kit, teams have multiple component options available.
* The second season of aero kit competition complements the fifth year of engine manufacturer competition between Chevrolet and Honda with their 2.2-liter, twin-turbocharged V-6 engines. It will be another season testing speed and durability to determine the manufacturer champion.
HONDA INDY GRAND PRIX OF ALABAMA PRE-EVENT QUOTES:
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA (No. 2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet): “I’m actually looking forward to getting on the track at Barber. It’s been one of our more challenging tracks since I came back to the series, but the Verizon Chevy team is looking to change that this time around. I don’t have quite as much experience there as pretty much everyone else, so track time is important for our team. We’ve had a pretty solid start to the season and want to continue that momentum as we head into May.”
HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 AAA Insurance Team Penske Chevrolet) : “It has been a couple of years since we’ve had the type of finish at Barber we look for in the AAA Chevrolet. We won the pole last year, but the race didn’t turn out very well. It’s a challenging track. We’ve had three podiums and a win here and need to get back to that type of performance. I feel like we’ve let some opportunities get away so far this season. Last week at Long Beach, we led a bunch of laps, but not the right ones. Not unhappy about the start of the season at all. We just need to get some better finishes and we will.”
JAMES HINCHCLIFFE (No. 5 Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda): “Barber is a great track to drive Indy cars around. We had a really good test there earlier in the year and, coming off a solid performance for the No. 5 Arrow Electronics car in Long Beach, we are hoping to keep the momentum going forward for another strong result.”
MIKHAIL ALESHIN (No. 7 SMP Racing Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda): “Barber is a great and very technical racetrack. It’s a classic road course. I’m very happy to be back on it with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports in the No. 7 SMP Racing car.”
MAX CHILTON (No. 8 Gallagher Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet): “I am really excited to head back to Barber after getting on the podium there last year in Indy Lights. It is an amazing track to drive and the grounds remind me of Augusta National golf club. I will be looking to build on a solid start to the year and grab as many points as I can with the Gallagher Chevrolet.”
SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet, 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series champion): “Barber is demanding. It’s like a little bullring almost. It’s very fast and very high grip. There are both fast and blind corners and it can get narrow in some places as well. The facility itself is one to see. The track has done a great job with the park over the years and it attracts a lot of people, which is great for our sport. We also run well here and I’m looking forward to doing that again this weekend.”
TONY KANAAN (No. 10 NTT Data Chevrolet): “Going from such a crazy atmosphere like Long Beach to a place as scenic as Barber shows how diverse the Verizon IndyCar Series really is. I really enjoy racing at Barber and, even though it’s a quick turnaround for the team, I’m feeling good about our chances at the road course. I’ve had strong qualifying efforts at Barber in the past, but it never seemed to really come together during the race. The No. 10 NTT Data Chevrolet was very strong in Long Beach and we’re hoping that momentum continues at Barber.”
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS (No. 11 Team Hydroxycut Chevrolet): “I am looking forward to racing at Barber Motorsports Park this weekend. The KVSH Racing team had a good test at Barber a few weeks ago and we have had a strong car there the last couple of years. We just haven’t achieved the results we should have. I think we will come off the transporter with a good baseline setup and can make the right adjustments based on the weather and track conditions. The biggest thing we need to focus on this weekend is to qualify well. If we can do that … if we can start at the front this race, we can have a good result.”
WILL POWER (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet): “We’ve had a tremendous amount of success at Barber in the No. 12 Verizon Chevy, leading quite a few laps, so we’re looking forward to getting on the track there this weekend. We haven’t won a race there since 2012, so I do want to change that. I wasn’t particularly satisfied with our Long Beach result, which makes getting right back to it this week good for us. Obviously, it has been an up-and-down start to the season for us and getting a good result at Barber can get us on the right track as we head into that important month of May.”
TAKUMA SATO (No. 14 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Honda): “Barber is an impressive road course that I always enjoy driving. The track has many challenging high-speed corners and it flows beautifully. I also enjoy the great support from fans who are really enthusiastic for motor racing and just the nice overall atmosphere. The museum is truly impressive, too. I look forward to being back there.”
GRAHAM RAHAL (No. 15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda): “Our race in Barber last year was one of the most competitive for us the entire season. It started off a string of podium finishes for us and I am hoping that will happen again this year. We were competitive at the St. Petersburg and Long Beach street courses and I hope that carries over to the Barber road course. It’s a difficult course because it has a lot of very high-speed corners, and several really slow ones. It’s hard to get a good balance out of the car on both of those parts of the track. It’s a difficult track to tackle, but after running so well last year I’m optimistic about our competitiveness this year. My favorite part is the back section of the track and it is extremely tricky. There are a lot of really high-speed, high (G-force) load, very physical corners and that is difficult. It’s very easy to make a mistake. I would say that not only is it my favorite, but it’s probably the hardest part of the track.”
CONOR DALY (No. 18 Jonathan Byrd’s Hospitality Honda): “We have to keep making progress overall, it’s what we’ve done so far. We’ve moved ourselves up in qualifying and we just have to keep working on gaining that track position in qualifying. Barber is a really tough place. Our test there was interesting and we were able to learn some things; things to do and to not do and hopefully we can use that as efficiently as possible and have another strong race. The track is really cool, very physical, difficult to pass on occasions, though. I hope that tire wear comes into play so we can take advantage of that. We seem to have good tires on long runs, so hope to be able to make up positions like that. In general, just can’t wait to see how the race there goes.”
LUCA FILIPPI (No. 19 Boy Scouts of America Honda): “The Barber Motorsports Park event is the first road course race of the season so it will be interesting to see how we can perform there. Also, after a disappointing weekend, it’s good to have a race the weekend right after and to already be focused on a new race. Barber is a place I like. I had a good weekend there last year. It’s a very technical track so I think we will have to do fine-tuning work for the qualifying car and the race car. It’s going to be very
important to be focused from the beginning to work in the right direction. My favorite part of the track at Barber are the blind corners, there are two. One is a right-hander that becomes kind of like a chicane going down the hill and the other one is actually quite fast before the final section of the circuit. You go uphill and you don’t see the exit, so you have to place yourself in the right position, but you don’t really see where you’re going. It’s actually very challenging. It’s a nice corner, quite unique and I like it very much.”
JOSEF NEWGARDEN (No. 21 Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet, 2015 Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama winner): “Barber, I’m excited to get back there! We’ve had a couple of good top-10 finishes these last two races, now it would be nice if we could go there and get a little bit better than that. Finally getting back on the podium or getting a win would be nice leading into the month of May. That’s our priority; we’ve got a fast car at Barber. We won there last year and we’re coming back with a great Fuzzy’s Vodka team. It’s also going to be the last race for the 100th running commemorative bottle livery, so we’ll try to send it out with a bang.”
SIMON PAGENAUD (No. 22 PPG Automotive Refinish Team Penske Chevrolet): “Getting our first Team Penske victory was huge and we’re looking to continue that positive momentum into the Barber event, where I have done well in the past. I’m very excited about getting into the No. 22 PPG Automotive Refinish Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet. We’ve had some fantastic success in that car with three podium finishes going back to last year. The start of the season has been tremendous and it’s great to be leading in points, however we have a long season ahead of us. Our goal is to concentrate on our job and everything else will take care of itself.”
MARCO ANDRETTI (No. 27 hhgregg/Snapple Honda): “Barber would be a good place to get my season going. It’s been a rough start and we need to turn things around this weekend. The cars felt good at the Barber test, so hoping to build on that. As a permanent road course, I love Barber – it’s fast, flowing and fun to drive.”
JACK HAWKSWORTH (No. 41 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Honda): “Barber is a great track that really flows well. The high-speed corners and elevation change make it a lot of fun to drive. I have won there in the ladder series and always enjoy coming back.”
CHARLIE KIMBALL (No. 83 Tresiba Chevrolet): “I think the Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing team has some momentum as we head to Birmingham. It’s a short turnaround for the crew right after Long Beach, but I know we’ll have a quick car again as soon as we roll out on Friday at Barber. Sure, it’s not quite a drastic change as going straight to an oval, but with Barber’s elevation changes and fluid turns, it definitely gives us (and our engineers) a significantly different challenge on the road course than the streets. Last season we had a decent qualifying, and I know that’s something we’ll continue to work hard to prepare for this coming weekend. Patience could be the name of the game once the green flag drops. With things heating up on track, I think it’s going to be a great show for the fans down South.”
ALEXANDER ROSSI (No. 98 Castrol Edge/Curb Honda): “I’m so happy that we only have to wait a couple days to get back in the car after what was certainly a weekend to forget in Long Beach. This will be the first road course race for us and, based on the test that we had here last month, I am going in with high expectations. We really need a strong weekend and I know all the guys will be pushing
hard to make that happen.”
Graphics & Photos Courtesy of Indycar