Scott McLaughlin won the 2024 Children’s of Alabama Indy Grand Prix

This was more like NASCAR with all the contact. Starting from pole Car 3 Scott McLaughlin, Chevrolet, won the 2024 Children’s of Alabama Indy Grand Prix at Barber Motorsports Park for his 5th NTT INDYCAR SERIES win. This is his 1st win of & 2nd Top 3 of 2024. 2nd Place Car 12 Will Power, Chevrolet, started from 2nd place posted his 1st Top 3 of 2024. 3rd Place Car 8 Linus Lundqvist, Honda, started from 19th place posted his 1st Top 3 of 2024.

4th Place Car 60 Felix Rosenqvist, Honda, started from 5th place followed by 5th place Car 10 Alex Palou, Honda, started from 10th place. 6th Place Car 45 Christian Lundgaard, Honda, started from 3rd place followed by 7th place Car 14 Santino Ferrucci, Chevrolet, started from 17th place. 8th Place Car 26 Colton Herta, Honda, started from 15th place followed by 9th place Car 11 Marcus Armstrong, Honda, started from 6th place. Lastly in the Top 10 Car 27 Kyle Kirkwood, Honda, in 10thplace started from 9th place.

Photo Courtesy of INDYCAR

The race had 4 Cautions for 15 laps: 1st Caution on lap 6 for Contact: Cars 5 and 30 in Turn 13. 2nd Caution on lap 44 for 4 Off Course: Car 7 in Turn 3. 3rd   5 Caution on lap 5 for Contact: Car 41 in Turn 1. 4th  Caution on lap 86 Spin: Car 20 in Turn 13. The race had 10 Lead changes among six drivers. Lap Leaders: McLaughlin, Scott 1 – 27, Palou, Alex 28 – 29, Rosenqvist, Felix 30, Ferrucci, Santino 31 – 34, McLaughlin, Scott 35 – 45, Palou, Alex 46 – 55, Ferrucci, Santino 56 – 65, Lundqvist, Linus 66 – 69, McLaughlin, Scott 70 – 74, Power, Will 75, McLaughlin, Scott 76 – 90.

Penalty Summary:
21 Avoidable Contact 5 Drive-Through.
5 Avoidable Contact 11 Drive-Through.
7 Hazardous Mechanical Condition 62 Drive-Through.
78 Avoidable Contact 82 Yield 8 Positions.
5 Avoidable Contact 90 Yield One Position.

NTT INDYCAR SERIES Point Standings: Herta 101, Power 100, Palou 98, Dixon 94, Rosenqvist 87, O’Ward 71, Kirkwood 67, Lundqvist 62, McLaughlin 59, Ferrucci 58, Rossi 53, VeeKay 53, Grosjean 50, Ericsson 49, Rahal 48, Newgarden 48, Lundgaard 48, Armstrong 45, Simpson 45, Canapino 39, Harvey 35, Blomqvist 34, Fittipaldi 28, Pourchaire 27, Robb 23, Rasmussen 22, Callum Ilott 19, Colin Braun 10, Nolan Siegel 10, Ghiotto 9.

INDYCAR Statement:

McLaughlin Pulls Off Sweet Repeat To Lead Penske 1-2 at Barber

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (Sunday, April 28, 2024) – Scott McLaughlin proved Sunday there’s no strategy like pure speed to win an NTT INDYCAR SERIES race.

McLaughlin won the Children’s of Alabama Indy Grand Prix powered by AmFirst for the second consecutive year at Barber Motorsports Park, again using a mash-the-gas, three-stop pit strategy in his No. 3 Good Ranchers Team Penske Chevrolet to earn his first victory of the season and his fifth career win.

The triumph put a positive exclamation point on a trying week for Team Penske, which was penalized Wednesday for illegal use of the Push to Pass system at the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg presented by RP Funding. McLaughlin and Josef Newgarden were disqualified from the race, while Will Power received a 10-point penalty.

“We know our job, we know what we need to do,” McLaughlin said. “I’m just super proud of the execution. A couple of yellows didn’t fall our way, but we just showed our pace. We just keep rolling, man.

“Definitely one of my best drives in terms of execution and just knocking out the laps. Very happy we could advance to the checkered flag there and bring home a W for Team Penske and for Roger (Penske).”

Power finished second in the No. 12 Verizon Business Team Penske Chevrolet, 1.3194 seconds behind McLaughlin, after starting second. Rookie Linus Lundqvist earned his first career INDYCAR SERIES podium finish by placing third after starting 19th in the No. 8 American Legion Honda fielded by Chip Ganassi Racing.

Felix Rosenqvist finished fourth in the No. 60 AutoNation/SiriusXM Honda to continue burnishing his potential championship credentials after joining Meyer Shank Racing this season. Two-time and reigning NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion Alex Palou rounded out the top five in the No. 10 Ridgeline Lubricants Honda as Chip Ganassi Racing matched Team Penske also with two drivers in the top five.

McLaughlin, who led 58 of the 90 laps after earning the NTT P1 Award in qualifying Saturday, took the lead for the final time on Lap 76 after his final pit stop. McLaughlin, Power, Lundqvist and Christian Lundgaard were the leading drivers on a three-pit stop strategy, while Palou and Rosenqvist were among those who opted to make only two stops and conserve fuel in hopes of snatching an unlikely victory like Scott Dixon did April 21 in the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach.

Palou led Laps 46-55 while on the alternate strategy before making the last of his two stops at the end of Lap 56. Meanwhile, McLaughlin – who made his second stop at the end of Lap 46 – knew he had to build a gap of around 27 seconds on Palou after Palou’s final stop to be able to keep the lead after his third and final stop.

No problem.

McLaughlin led Palou by nearly 30 seconds before his last stop and exited the pits for the final time ahead of his Chip Ganassi Racing rival. It looked like McLaughlin had more than enough speed to hold off Power over the last 14 laps, as both were on identical fuel strategies and running Firestone Firehawk alternate tires to the finish. Meanwhile, 2022 INDY NXT by Firestone champion Lundqvist completed his mighty march from the back of the field by passing teammate Palou for third place on Lap 84.

But the last of the race’s four caution periods threw a trick in the tail. Rookie Christian Rasmussen spun and stalled his No. 20 Guy Care Chevrolet of Ed Carpenter Racing in Turn 13 on Lap 86.

That set up a two-lap scramble for the victory on the 17-turn, 2.3-mile asphalt roller coaster. On the Lap 89 restart, McLaughlin eased away from Power and stayed inch-perfect for victory.

“It was a hard-fought 1-2 for Penske,” Power said. “We were certainly fast, but obviously a lot of strategy played into that. We were able to use our speed to come out in front again.”

McLaughlin, from New Zealand, has won at least one race in each of the last three seasons after joining the team full time in 2021. He was a legend in the Supercars Championship based in Australia, winning three consecutive titles for Penske in that touring car series from 2018-20.

Six-time series champion Dixon, who led the points entering this event, lost the top spot with his 15th-place finish capping a challenging weekend for the No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda crew.

Colton Herta took the NTT INDYCAR SERIES points lead for the first time – by one point over Power – after finishing eighth in the No. 26 Gainbridge Honda of Andretti Global w/Curb-Agajanian. Palou is third, just three points behind Herta. Dixon is fourth, just seven points behind Herta. That sets the table for a magical Month of May at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The most fabled three weeks in motorsports begin with the Sonsio Grand Prix on Saturday, May 11 on the IMS road course, followed by the 108th Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge on Sunday, May 26 on the IMS oval.

Children’s of Alabama Indy Grand Prix Race Results

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Results Sunday of the Children’s of Alabama Indy Grand Prix powered by AmFirst NTT INDYCAR SERIES event on the 2.3-mile Barber Motorsports Park, with order of finish, starting position in parentheses, car, driver, engine, laps completed and reason out (if any):

1. (1) Car 3 Scott McLaughlin, Chevrolet, 90, Running

2. (2) Car 12 Will Power, Chevrolet, 90, Running

3. (19) Car 8 Linus Lundqvist, Honda, 90, Running

4. (5) Car 60 Felix Rosenqvist, Honda, 90, Running

5. (10) Car 10 Alex Palou, Honda, 90, Running

6. (3) Car 45 Christian Lundgaard, Honda, 90, Running

7. (17) Car 14 Santino Ferrucci, Chevrolet, 90, Running

8. (15) Car 26 Colton Herta, Honda, 90, Running

9. (6) Car 11 Marcus Armstrong, Honda, 90, Running

10. (9) Car 27 Kyle Kirkwood, Honda, 90, Running

11. (7) Car 15 Graham Rahal, Honda, 90, Running

12. (11) Car 77 Romain Grosjean, Chevrolet, 90, Running

13. (22) Car 18 Jack Harvey, Honda, 90, Running

14. (23) Car 4 Kyffin Simpson, Honda, 90, Running

15. (13) Car 9 Scott Dixon, Honda, 90, Running

16. (8) Car 2 Josef Newgarden, Chevrolet, 90, Running

17. (27) Car 21 Rinus VeeKay, Chevrolet, 90, Running

18. (18) Car 28 Marcus Ericsson, Honda, 90, Running

19. (12) Car 66 Tom Blomqvist, Honda, 90, Running

20. (20) Car 78 Agustin Canapino, Chevrolet, 90, Running

21. (21) Car 51 Luca Ghiotto, Honda, 90, Running

22. (24) Car 6 Theo Pourchaire, Chevrolet, 89, Running

23. (4) Car 5 Pato O’Ward, Chevrolet, 90, Running

24. (14) Car 20 Christian Rasmussen, Chevrolet, 89, Running

25. (16) Car 7 Alexander Rossi, Chevrolet, 59, Mechanical

26. (25) Car 41 Sting Ray Robb, Chevrolet, 54, Contact 27. (26) Car 30 Pietro Fittipaldi, Honda, 41, Contact

Race Statistics
Winner’s average speed: 106.369 mph
Time of Race: 1:56:45.7773
Margin of victory: 1.3194 seconds
Cautions: 4 for 15 laps
Lead changes: 10 among six drivers

Next Event: Saturday, May 11 Indianapolis Motor Speedway (road course) NBC, Peacock

Photos & Graphics Courtesy of INDYCAR

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